Packing list – items may not be what they seem

For many field biologists, the warmer weather of the spring usually means the field season is about to begin. While others are walking around outside enjoying the sun’s rays on their face without being bundled up, field biologists are rummaging around in their offices and storage closets (not their natural habitat) trying to find all of the items on their packing list for the field season.

Most packing lists will be quite similar – sampling items such as tools and containers, personal protective equipment such as gloves, warm/cool clothes, hat, and sunscreen, and equipment to help you get around such as canoes, ATVs, and good hiking shoes.

However, when you can’t find the fancy science-y equipment, it is often time to put on your thinking cap and get creative about you could use as a replacement. Surprisingly, a lot of items right in front of your eyes usually are able to do the trick (and sometimes even better than the fancy equipment)! There are some great lists compiled by @CMBuddle and @DynamicEcology but we wanted to add some of our own as well.

In honour of trying to fool someone on April 1st, we asked the Twitterverse and our field biologist friends what was the weirdest item on their field packing list.

Here are some of the responses:

Items usually occur in usually large numbers:


Or include household items that now have a new role:


But sometimes you have to get really creative:


But you also have to be careful what you call items:


Because you never know what people might be thinking your “job” is:


But the most important items on your list are ones that will keep you happy:


Tweet us at @fieldworkblog and let us know what the weirdest item on your packing list has been!

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