Equipment (stuff) To Bring To Field Camp

Before camp begins you need to decide what supplies you lack and purchase them. Lost River Field Station is 70 miles from the nearest Wal-Mart and 100 miles from the nearest organic food store. This is the rural west. It is possible to order things on-line and get them delivered by UPS at field camp, but it is easier to just bring them.

The weather in Idaho will vary from below freezing, cold rain and snow in the first weeks, to 80 and 90 degree dry heat during the last weeks, and sometimes a 40o F temperature change within a few hours. We will map in all weather, so bring the appropriate clothing and field gear. The terrain will vary from rolling sage- and cactus-covered hills to angle-of-repose slopes with pine trees. We will begin some days by wading across cold mountain streams.

Here is a PDF version of the same list .........gear

Camp Gear (Absolutely Essential)

  • Sleeping bag and foam pad -- You will use your sleeping bag every night.  A light fleece blanket to put inside your sleeping bag if you think you might need it. The temperature will not be below 25 degrees F, if that. We will be in tents, and will provide pads and cots. The tents are two to six person canvas tepees and wall tents with floors. There is an extension cord to each tent so you can have light and music in the tents.
  • Towels and toiletries --including sunscreen, bug repellent, etc.
  • Flashlight and batteries ! ! ! .....for those nighttime walks to the bathroom.
  • You do not need to buy or bring a large backpack unless you have one and think you might use it.

Mapping Gear (Absolutely Essential)

  • Day pack -- to hold mapping gear.  A hip belt helps distribute the weight.
  • Clipboard -- to hold maps, photos, pencils, rulers.  One with a cover is necessary to protect the map from rain and snow.  Make one from 9" x 11" sheets of masonite and plexiglass hinged with duct tape, or buy a fancy aluminum type from Miners, Forestry Supplies, Office Max, etc. You might want to bring thick rubber bands to hold your clipboard closed in the howling wind.
  • Rock hammer and belt holster (from hardware store)
  • Hand lens (10x magnification)
  • Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman (just don't put it in your carryon luggage).
  • Field book -- about 5"x 7".   Hardback books are best.  Waterproof paper is not necessary. 
  • Brunton compass -- We have some, but please bring your own if you can or borrow from your school.
  • Water bottles or Camelback -- smaller folks need at least 2 quart capacity, larger folks 3-4 quarts.


Drafting supplies

  • Protractor/Ruler combination (metric and English units)
  • Mechanical pencil with hard lead (bring lots of extra lead!). (You will lose this pencil the first week, so bring a few more for weeks 2 through 5).
  • Eraser -- several tips to fit mechanical pencil, or cartridge-style
  • Colored pencils (about a dozen)
  • Indelible felt pen to label samples
  • 2 black permanent ink pens (1 coarse tip--.5mm) and 1 fine tip .35 mm). You will need these to draw your final maps. Please get them in advance, as they are at a premium at camp.

Personal First Aid Kit

Someone at camp will have a complete first aid kit. A compact, basic first aid kit for yourself with the following:

  • Band-aids
  • moleskin
  • painkillers/fever reducers (aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.)
  • neosporin (antibiotic cream)
  • ace bandage
  • adhesive tape
  • allergy medications if you need them
  • diarrhea medication
  • wet wipes
  • elastic bandage
  • tweezers
  • hydrocortisone/anti-itch cream
  • knee brace -- If you need it, bring it; don't be proud



Other Items You May Want To Have

Absolutely Essential: Patience, enthusiasm, good humor, hunger for knowledge. Attitude is the single most important part of a successful field camp experience. If you do not want to participate whole heartedly in an intense group experience, please find another field camp.