Field gear

Rob Quinlan (C611417@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU)
Sat, 8 Apr 1995 02:02:34 CDT

A while ago Marsha and I requested suggestions for field gear. We got
lots of responses to our request. Since then we've either been swamped
or distracted. Now that it's time for us to start thinking about going
back to the field I thought I'd reciprocate by providing a list of your
suggestions. Please feel free to suggest additions to this list.

Things you might find useful in the field:

mosquito net
bear bell (arctic & sub arctic)
ear plugs (for a good night's rest)
lap-top computer
poetry (for those so inclined)
swiss army knife
pictures of home (for sulking & rapport purposes)
cross pen (w/ plenty of refills -- they don't explode etc.)
video camera
a shitty camera you don't care about
zip-lock bags
silica gel (for camera equipment etc.)
old clothes
tupperware (for water-tight storage)
fruit flavored tums (for when there's nothing to eat)
insect repellant
medicated powder
antibiotics (two rounds, broad spectrum -- be careful, some cause stomach
blanket (cotton-poly blend)
cork screw
screw driver
things you can give away
credit card
ground pad
watertight coat w/ lots of pockets
feminine hygiene products (sex specific)
solar charged light (where to find one?)
tape recorder
plenty of blank cassettes (they make good trade items in some places)
rolling papers (?)
tylenol (industrial sized bottle)
Pack Towel (name brand - lighter than terricloth & not prone to get funk)
sun screen (plenty for mid latitudes)
shotgun (may be inappropriate for some sites)
notebooks & writing implements (remember pencil smudges & fades over time)
aqua sox (good for bathing & rocky seashores)
synthetic paper (for humid environs -- where to get?)
sticky lamination stuff (good for maps, ethograms & interview schedules)
patrol box (what's that?)
range finder & compass or gps (if mapping is required)
polaroid or other instant camera (great for rapport)
moth balls (to keep bugs out of field notes, plant samples etc.)
water filter
U.S. surplus ammo containers (paint them non-military colors)
disposable lighters
nalgene bottles for storage (what's that?)
flashlights (several -- you'll lose them)
polysporin & iodine
toilette paper (unavailable in some areas -- leaves work too)
phone company card
cheap tennis shoes (adidas makes several models perfect for tropics)
graph paper (if you might need it)
moist towelettes
mirror (for man)
grape tang or some other powdered drink mix (for nasty water)
Nikonos camera (virtually indestructible)
Monopoly (?)
solar shower
virgin gallon paint cans (for storage)

Along with this list of items you all sent a number of great suggestions. I
wish I had time to include them all, but I don't. However, a couple of points
are worth special attention. (1) floppy disks and batteries go bad quick
in the tropics -- DON'T RELY ON THEM. (2) some universities have a travel
doctor who can give you advice and appropriate prescriptions for your
particular area -- take advantage of this opportunity if you can. (3) Bring
plenty of stuff to give away -- stinginess is universal. (4) Bring a set of
nice clothes -- you'll probably have to deal w/ bureaucrats that expect
you to look a certain way. (5) If you have special needs (like sensitive
skin, allergies, contacts etc.), then bring enough of what you need to
last the whole trip -- don't expect to find those things when you get there.
(6) Bring lots of first aid stuff -- it's great for rapport purposes and
it's just generally good to relieve other's pain and discomfort.
Besides it's one thing you can do to be useful where you are otherwise
incompetent. Thanks for your help and sorry for the delay in getting
back to you all on this.

Rob Quinlan