On my Gerography course, half or full day field trips make up a regular part of most modules, for both human and physical geographers. So it’s always important to have the right gear with you!! You must be prepared for anything.
Having been on plenty of field trips myself, I think I can give a fair bit of advice on the essentials in my list below:
- Walking boots. Yes, these are at the top of my list and it’s because I know exactly how necessary they are. You’ll be walking – often quite a lot – to get to a site. So you want a pair of sturdy shoes that will be kind to your feet. You’ll never know exactly what the terrain will be like until the day, and walking boots cater to most kinds – often better than wellies. Most importantly, NEVER bring your nice new pair of white trainers or dolly shoes. You might already think that obvious, but I’ve seen quite a few people wear theirs on the wettest and muddiest days….that’s asking for a disaster!
- Waterproofs. Speaking of water, you’ll want to ensure that you stay dry when it rains. So make sure you have your waterproof coat AND trousers packed – don’t trust the weather forecast!! Trust me when I say that there’s nothing worse than sitting on a coach for two hours with a soggy bum!
- Clipboard and paper. You’ll post likely be expected to make notes on the day, and unless you intend to lean on someone’s back to write whilst you’re standing, then I suggest you pack these essential items into your bag! Sometimes you’ll be advised to take a notebook instead, but overall I recommend anything with a hard back to it! Don’t forget the pen and pencil either!
- Food Supplies. It could be a long day, and it’s always best to be prepared. Bring a good supply of food and drink; a solid packed lunch, bottled water, alongside some chocolate for that extra blast of energy that might be required. It might also be nice to bring along some sweets to share on the coach journey.
- Entertainment. Not really a necessity, but sometimes when the journey can be a few hours long it can be nice to bring a long a book/phone/music player to keep yourself distracted….or even help you take a nice nap on the way home.
- First aid kit. If you’re clumsy like I am, then this may also be something to consider. Grab yourself a pack of Disney princess plasters to put over any grazes and it makes everything better! Hehe.
- Cash. Sometimes, you never know exactly where your trip will take you until the day you go on it. There might be a chance to buy your own snacks (maybe even hot food!) or browse in a shop during lunch, and you might miss out if you don’t bring it with you. Be prepared for anything!
This is a list of some of the essentials I have picked up during my time on the course. But make sure you check your module guide for anything specific to your particular fieldtrip!! Check out my other fieldtrip post. Happy geographing!!!