- Backpack or duffle: This should be something in which to pack all your personal belongings for the entire six weeks. We will be limited on space in vehicles, so limit it to one duffle or backpack containing the most necessary items.
- Tent: If you want sufficient room and dislike feeling confined, consider a four-person or a two-person tent. Costco, Target, Sports Authority, Big Five and some other retailers all tents at reasonable prices ($60–$80). Don’t skimp too much on this, because it is going to be your home for six weeks.
- Ground cloth for your tent: an inexpensive plastic tarpaulin works fine.
- Sleeping pad: Thin foam mats may be fine for a weekend backpacking trip, but you might want something thicker for six weeks in the field. You can double up foam mats or maybe consider an air mattress (no bigger than single bed size if you’d like to fit more than just the mattress in your tent).
- Sleeping bag: You don’t need a heavily insulated one intended for freezing weather, but make sure you have something that will keep you warm with nighttime temperatures in the 50s.
- Pillow: You can purchase a small camping pillow or just bring a regular size one. That’s not a must-have item, but it will help keep you comfortable.
- Flashlight or headlamp. Headlamps work best because they are hands free.
- Mug: A good multi-use mug for hot and cold beverages.
- Alarm clock: You will be responsible for waking yourself up each morning and will need a battery-powered alarm clock or watch with an alarm. Don’t rely on your cell phone or any other device that needs to be recharged periodically. Our access to electricity will be limited.
- Two water bottles: We recommend the 1-quart size. Nalgenes work best, but anything that holds water that you can carry around will work. Camelbak 2-liter water bottles are ideal for survey work.
Working in field conditions requires adequate protection from sun, vegetation, rocky ground and other potential sources of injury while at the same time trying to remain at a comfortable temperature. Strong work pants (such as jeans, Dickies, Carharts) are recommended, along with long-sleeve shirts (especially for survey work) to protect from the sun and vegetation. In some circumstances, working in shorts and T-shirts may be possible. We recommend layers of clothing so you can adjust for cool mornings and hot days, as well as more comfortable camp clothes for off-duty hours. Bring plenty of socks, T-shirts and underwear, and remember that everything will be getting extremely dirty and worn out.
- Pants: Old jeans and khakis work well in the field. Comfortable pants make a huge difference in the field. If you have to purchase some cheap jeans or work pants, try a store like Wal-Mart, Kmart, or the thrift store.
- Shirts: Same idea here as with the pants. Old T-shirts and tank tops work best, as the potential to re-wear after field school is low. Remember, the days will be hot, so stick to materials that breathe well.
- Socks: The type of socks are really up to you. You don’t necessarily need thick wool ones, but it wouldn’t hurt to have some quality pairs. Try to bring a week’s worth of socks.
- Shoes: Old tennis shoes work out great. Hiking boots are fine and can protect your feet if you plan to go on hikes and for survey work. The key is comfort, and protection of your feet from aching. While working you will need to wear closed-toe shoes.
- Hat: A hat of some sort – a straw hats, a baseball cap or a wide-brimmed cowboy hat -- will protect you from the sun and help to keep you cooler during those hot days. A bandana can offer some protection, too.
- Top layers: A good lightweight windbreaker jacket can be very helpful. Fleece is light and warm and fairly inexpensive. Cotton Sweatshirts are OK, too, but make sure you will be warm enough if the nights become chilly.
- Rain gear: A good set of rain gear is important to have on hand. Any hardware store should have a two- or three-piece set of rain gear for under $20. You may look like a fisherman but you will be toasty warm and dry when it rains. We may also use rain gear if we wet-screen.
Bring a couple of changes of clothes that will be comfortable when we are hanging out at camp after work. Temperatures will be hot during the day and cool at night, so bring some comfortable clothes with that in mind.