Here is our list of field essentials – those tools and items that we think will make your geological field trip a better experience.
These items are all available online – click on the image to go to the Amazon page.
Being able to see minerals and textures in finer details is essential for field geology. Hand lenses come in different magnifications. You may find a 10X lens will work for you. 30X is for super fine work. If in doubt, you can get a whole set!
This is a 30X hand lens. It has a metal case. See it here.
This is a 10X hand lens. It has a stainless steel case. See it here.
Here is a set of three. 30X, 20X and 10X. See it here.
Field Note Books
We can’t recommend highly enough Rite-in-the-Rain products. They are perfect in any conditions, and you can write in them using any lead pencil (although we recommend using a 2B lead for darker, clearer notes and how much easier it is to draw field sketches). See our guide on how to write the best field notes.
The awesome Geological Field Book version. This has data sheets in the back which are perfect for quick reference. See it here.
Field Note Book pouch – which allows you to carry your book easily on your belt. This one holds books 4.75 inches by 8 inches. See it here.
Or get the Geological Field Book and pouch as a ‘kit” 🙂 (Awesome)
See it here.
If you want a spiral-topped 3 X 5 inch field book (without the data sheets) then this is the one we recommend. See it here.
Estwing brand (great quality) 22oz hammer with a pointed end. Rubber grip. This is what I use in the field most of the time. See it here.
Estwing brand (great quality) 24oz hammer with a pointed end. Leather ring grip. This was my very first field hammer. I still have it! See it here.
Estwing brand (great quality) hammer with a chisel end. Perfect for fossil collecting (mine has found me some awesome samples). See it here.
No “ifs or buts”…you HAVE TO HAVE a set of safety glasses when using a rock hammer in the field. They are not expensive and will save your eyes! See them here.
Field Reference Books
AGI Field Data Sheets (Geoscience Handbook): This has to be one of the best investments I have ever made. This book contains data sheets and quick reference information that is just invaluable in the field. I have never regretted buying this….not for one second! See it here.
Field Day Backpack
I have had a lot of different backpacks that I have taken into the field over the last 30 years. This Osprey 28 has been by far the best. It has a load of pockets for storing gear. A 2 litre water bladder. A built in rain shield. But the best thing is that the pack is held off your back allowing air to flow btween you and the back..making it SO MUCH COOLER to wear. I love it. See it here.
Field Reference Charts
A great card reference to take into the field. Can be used as a photo card as well. See it here.
First Aid kits
One of the best tools in the field – to save sore knees and to help your balance on rough terrain – are these hiking poles. I bought a pair, but most often just take on into the field (so I have a second to lend to a friend or a backup. Here are the ones I use.
I recommend these items as I have personal experience with them and have found them very useful. These links are part of my Amazon Affiliate program and, if you purchase any of them using these links, I may receive a small commission.