Field Herping and Exploration Check-List

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My personal Field Herping and Exploration Check-List.
It's served me well on half a dozen excursions. Please post /feel free to add to it or comment ! It's not inconclusive, all encompassing list but merely a template. Feel free to pick and choose from the list.

Herping Equiptment
• Field Guide(s)
• List of local contacts and suggested spots
• Permits (where applicable if required)
• Hooks/tongs - collapsible and lightweight aluminum. Pocket collapsible mini-hook.
• Nets
• Binoculars on lanyard with case (also good for feathered reptiles)
• Leather gloves (for lifting rocks)
• Snake-proof boots and / or gaiters
• Mirror (for shining in cracks) or signaling
• Pillow cases, zip lock bags and containers (film) for posing animals later
• Magnifying glass and case
• Topographic atlas or maps with waterproof map case or Laminated. Google Earth printouts
• Small spiral notebook, 3 moleskin notebooks, 2 pens and pencils for field notes

• Walkie-talkies and extra batteries
• 2 Flashlights and 2 Headlamps (including spare bulbs) and extra batteries
• 2 Cameras, cases and accessories
• Computer and cases
• Backup all computer data and hard drive prior to trip
• Tough USB drive, preferably keychain model, waterproof and locking
• Extra batteries for cameras, bulbs for flashlights, etc.
• Battery chargers/adapters for car and outlet with foreign adapters
• Cell phone with armored housing (waterproof) and chargers (both AC and DC adapters)
• GPS either Garmin like device or Global Smartphone with GPS
• Waterproof bags to protect gear from wet weather / water
• 2 Watches – Diver’s watch and G-shock are good examples

Camping, Clothing and Personal Items
• Tent & ground cloth, sleeping bag, thermo-rest pads, pillow
• Mosquito netting (for travel in the tropics when sleeping in rooms without screens)
• Back pack (with hydration pack or pockets for water bottles)
• Hiking boots, sneakers, water shoes, rubber boots or hip-waders (if hiking in streams, swamps)
• Flip flops, Crocs
• Bathing suits ,2 pair
• Hiking Pole ,Aluminum collapsible
• Hat, Crusher and baseball types, 2 bandanas
• Quick drying, breathable lightweight pants, long sleeve shirts for hiking in hot climates and bugs
• UnderArmour underwear – longer boxer brief to prevent chaffing from hiking
• Rain gear, paclite jacket and small umbrella
• Sunglasses, 2 pair – polarized with lanyards and hard cases
• Pocket knife, large knife with belt sheath and Swiss army knife or Leatherman
• Compass and case
• Civilian 550 cord or equivalent and several carabiners
• Duct tape
• Comb (for removing cholla) and small Brush
• First-aid kit, medications, pain relievers and toiletries. Ear plugs , sunscreen
• Total foot care kit – medicines, tinctures and ointments. Powder, Callus pads and hose
• Bug spray, sun block, ointment for stings / anti- itch and poison ivy, etc.
• Toilet paper
• Passport (for foreign travel) and current immunizations
• U.S Drivers license / International drivers license
• Foreign dictionary
• U.S “New” Cash currency and /or Local money or Travellers cheques.
• 50 U.S “One Dollar bills” and 20 “Five Dollar bills – new condition –take up less room. New bills are always much appreciated by locals. Some ripped or damaged bills are not accepted. Use smaller bills to avoid having to accept change.
• Credit card – contact institution and let them know you will be using overseas.
• Two (02) sets of photocopies of ALL documents -1 set left at home with contact person.
• Photocopies of animals pics for showing guides / locals and copies of Reptile mags in clear protection, for photo posing.
• AAA Premiere Membership and HERTZ card for rental car facilitation and discount.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Rule #1 - Take someone with you - especially to another country, like Mexico for instance. Security is the main reason, but it is also 1000 times better, to have an extra set of eyes, hands and someone to talk to. I've been to a couple different countries by myself and it was....not as fun.

Rule #2 - Leave 100% of all items that are Military or "Military looking" at home. The last thing you want, is for some residents of the country you are in, that dislike the U.S to associate you (right or wrong) as a ex soldier, or worse yet....a current soldier or possibly a spy.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
definitely, in remote areas especially. another person not only makes observing or collecting in the field interesting and fun but also can back each other up should something happen like a disabling injury and someone can't hike back out themselves. simple thought but a lot of people don't think injuries can occur that will make you immobile.better safe than sorry.

Twice.....not once, but twice.....I actually considered making a 'last statement" and update to my will on my cellphone thru a video in case I died "out in the jungle". Once was in a remote part of Southern Florida in August with temps of 105 and without potable water, and the other was 2 days lost in the jungle in Costa Rica north of Sarapaqui, near Nicaragua.

Scary stuff Confusedhock:

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
sounds like possibly the everglades?
definitely wouldn;t be a dry heat. i always laugh at that term.
i lived in florida a few years and it was like living in a swamp, at least in the central florida area where i lived. i'll take the desert first.
i go out "exporing" a lot. if someone else isn't available to go i'll still go myself if i feel it isn't dangerous but i always let someone know what area i'll be in "just in case"
luckily i haven't had to think about updating wills before my expeditions.LOL. but the fact that you had thoughts sounds like you may have accessed some real nice remote areas though. hope you saw some good sights and not too many gators.

Got to learn to survive off way less that that Phil. I like the list, its great to take all that with you out of the country but you risk looking like a tourist and that makes you ver vulnerable. Leaving this stuff in your room while your in the jungle is a mistake as well. I lost a few items and a new toshiba notebook while I was in the jungle looking for pythons on my free day. GPS is a must. Its easier and safer than asking directions or looking at a map as people are always looking for new victims.

As for native ventures I prefer a hook, pepper spray and whatever fits in my pockets. Ive had to run from quite a few animals in the past. Its no fun with a pack on your back. A small water fill backpack works ok though. Wild Boar, Bears, alligators run fast believe it or not and I was once chased by a bob cat which ended pretty nasty.

Everyday I meet someone I dislike, are you today's pick? If you dislike me it's because somethings wrong with you!

Don't Be A Hybridiot!
Yeah Mike....the list is long but I tired to craft it that way. It doesn't mean you need all that stuff....just a template to pick and choose which part of the list you like. "Last Video" was IN the field....not BEFORE treking out. It would have been a video that could be accessed from my cellphone sim card after someone found my body...heh.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
gotcha phil,

sounds like you and michael have had some good explorations out there. glad i haven't been chased by any animals.
would love to explore an actual rainforest some day.

Ive never been to South America, all overthe US, AK, Canada, and Asia. I hear you Phil the full list is very important for people to see and prepare with. But with all the anti american talk as well as kidnappings I favor not looking like a rich tourist.

Everyday I meet someone I dislike, are you today's pick? If you dislike me it's because somethings wrong with you!

Don't Be A Hybridiot!

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