Necessary Gear

($) - pricier items that you may want to save up for



  •  ($) Waterproof hiking boots that will cover your ankles. There is a REI in College Park, I would suggest stopping by there and trying on boots for sizing. Ordering online may be best for prices and selection.
    • Some brands we recommend are Vasque, Merrell, Keen, Asolo.
    • has a lot of gear and you can easily find coupons (20% off $200 boots is significant)
    • can save you a lot of money on REI gear
    • Wear these in before going to camp unless you want blisters...


  •  Water bottle(s) +/- a backpack bladder. We would suggest bringing 3-4 liters of water into the field each day. You can buy fairly cheap bladders at Walmart.
    • You should use a bladder rather than water bottles.  It allows you to drink on the go and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. However, also carry a water bottle as backup.


  • Tall socks


  •  Field Pouch. Keeps pencils, colored pencils, acid, and other stuff in one spot so you don’t lose stuff.
    • A commonly used pouch is from Plateau Design ($30), and others even used a fanny pack.


  • Pencils, colored pencils. Depends on field camp, but can also use fine tip pens (suggested Pigma Micron Pens).
    • If using mechanical pencil, use hard lead (soft lead isn't precise enough for making maps)
    • 24 pack colored pencils is probably better than 12 pack.


  • Rock Hammer. Estwing is common geology hammer (google "geology hammer"....).



  • Map board/clip board.  Can be a classic  clipboard or a sheet holder.  A sheet holder will protect your map from the elements.


  • Protractor with straight edge. You will want a small plastic protractor for drawing strike/dip.


  • ($)  Rain Jacket.


  • ($) Day pack. A small to medium sized backpack that can hold your water, writing utensils, first aid, layers of clothing, etc…
    • You can typically find Camelbaks and other day packs from REI, REI outlet, or Sierra Trading Post for $40 - $80 if you want to buy a nice field pack.
    • Alternatively, a normal backpack would work as well.



Suggested Gear


  • ($) Lightweight field clothes: lightweight pants ( Never wear shorts in the field!) and long sleeve shirts (mountain sun will burn you quickly). You may also want to buy quick drying or waterproof pants.
    • Sierra Trading Post has great cheap-ish field clothes.
    • Zip-off pants with cargo pockets are clutch.


  • A wide brimmed hat/something to cover your face and neck from the sun
    • You don't get sunburned? We will see after 6 weeks of 10 hour days outside at high altitude...


  • Watch


  • Camera/phone camera.  Beware, sometimes camps will not allow phones in the field.


  • ($) Camping equipment – this will depend on the camp.


  • Small bags/ziplocs for labeling samples you may want to bring home.


  • Laptop – again this depends on the field camp.


  • Pocket knife.


  • Personal first aid kit.

  University of Maryland-College Park | College Park, MD 20740


Updated: May, 2016



Updated: May, 2016