Fieldwork Packing List

Any seasoned field worker will amass a list of equipment to bring along on scientific expeditions and a lot of random knowledge of and strong opinions on wool sock brands, for instance. I’ve collected what I know into a Fieldwork Packing List, augmented with the help of Kenny Chiou. Pointing out any missing bits, whether via email or via a pull request, would be welcome, especially since I leave for Uganda in a week.

Teddy Roosevelt in the field during the expedition to map the Rio Téodoro.

Teddy Roosevelt in the field during the 1913 expedition to map the Rio Téodoro.

  1. I’d add condoms and emergency BC in case of emergencies (among other things, doxycycline and cipro can render birth control ineffective). If you’re up for it, a divacup makes periods way more pleasant in the field.

    For work shirts, I like getting men’s shirts and wearing a tucked-in tank top underneath so ants can’t get in my pants even if they get under my work shirt.

    You should also be able to get boots in the field (unless you want fancier boots) – I always buy construction worker rubber boots in Abidjan, and I’d guess you can find similar ones around Uganda. That way you don’t have to stuff them somewhere or wear them on the plane…

    Sharpies and extra pens are handy. I’ve made do with rite in the rain pens on normal notebook paper, but I can never find very good pens in CIV. Leaving them with my assistants makes everyone SUPER happy.

    If you like cooking with a particular spice, you might bring that with you. Also, pick up some hot chocolate mix and it will make your life SO HAPPY :-)

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