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Field Gear Essentials

Working in the field requires specific gear. Most jobs will give you a list of what you need once you have been given a job offer. These lists usually tell you what will be provided for you and what items you must bring yourself. I do not recommend buying these items before getting a job, however, buying all of this at once can be overwhelming. Many of these items are universal for all field jobs while others are very specific. You can determine what items may be needed for the kinds of field jobs that you are interested in by reading job descriptions. This list is to provide you with an idea of what money may be required even before volunteering, taking a field class, or an internship. These jobs may require you to reach into your pocket long before you can get a paying field job. I collected my gear from REI, Any Mountain, Amazon, and Walmart. REI is an extremely helpful source because their staff are knowledgeable and can really help you figure out the best product for your needs.


Headlamp (with bright, low, and red light settings)

Reusable Water Bottle(s)

Camping Stove with Fuel


Sleeping Bag

Ground Pad

30L or smaller Backpack for Day Use

60L Backpack for Backpacking

Waterproof Digital Watch with Stopwatch/Timer/Light/Alarm

Quick Drying Towel(s)

Waterproof Hiking Boots/Shoes

Rain Boots

Sandals/Flip Flops

Day Shoe for Time Off

Rain Jacket

Rain Pants


Pack Cover


Anti-itch Cream

Deet/Insect Repellent

First Aid Kit with antibiotics, Imodiumum, Band-Aids

Emergency Blanket



Extra Pair of Prescription Glasses

Lens Wipes

Long Thin Field Pants

Long Thin Field Shirts

Non cotton T-shirts/Long Sleeves

Thermal Pants/Shirts

Down Jacket/Vest

Outer Shell Jacket

Warm Hat

Baseball Cap

Sun Hat



Rite in the Rain or Regular Notebook(s)



Nonperishable Foods such as Canned Soup, Pastas, Oatmeal

Energy/Granola Bars



Moisture Wicking /Hiking Socks



This is a basic list of gear that I have accumulated. Many of it will be specific to different types of field jobs, such as warm or cool weather clothes.


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