1st Aid Kit-Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Cactus, sharp rocks, stinging or biting bugs are constant.
Spare Tire-Always have a regular spare tire, aired up, and the tools to change it.
Full Tank-Always start the Field Trip with a full tank of gas. Most of our day trips will leave some in the case of emergencies.
Food & Water-Always have water, at least a gal. Bring something to eat or snack on, you know your needs better than anyone.
Know your Heat Tolerance-Know your limits, do not go by someone else's abilities or limitations in the heat.
4WD- Always assume you will need 4WD and good clearance. Most of the places we go are off road, through sandy washes and up rocky inclines. Dealerships do not always outfit your 4WD vehicle with good off-road tires, check that your tires can bear the weight of a loaded vehicle over pointy rocks. We can never garrentee that the road-unless paved- will be passable, even with 4WD. The roads are subject to change everytime it rains.
NOTIFY TRIP LEADER if you are going to leave the group. Do not leave this to others. The trip leader is responsible for everyone on the outing.
Tools for Collecting:
Rock hammer, Chisel, small Shovel, Saftey Goggles- A hammer is paramount. A regular hammer will work, but, the preferred tool is a rock hammer with a striking face on one side and a pick on the other. Estwing is a tried and true brand. A chisel is important, and in a pinch, a sturdy screwdriver will do the job. A small shovel is not necessary, but can come in handy. Depending on how much effort you want to exert a full size shovel is good, a regular pick is handy, and a good long pry bar, pointed on one end and flattened on the other, can really be useful. Safety goggles can save your eyes from the chips that fly off of the rock you are beating.
Bucket or Bag- A 5gl or 2gl bucket will work, a bag or an old backpack is easier to carry. Just know what you can handle and do not rely on others to pack your rocks back to your vehicle.
Spray Bottle-This is very handy to see what you just picked or dug up. It is also good for a quick cool down, clean your hands, etc.
Hat & Gloves-The hat can provide shade for your face and block the sun from your eyes as you search for rocks. A good pair of leather gloves will prevent small cuts and abrasions, cushion the blow of a hammer or chisel, and help eliminate blisters and splinters.
Fun Facts to Know and Tell:
Never lay your hammer (or anything else) down and walk away from it with the thought you will find it again. Painting part of it with a loud neon color will let people know it is yours when they come across it.
Don't pile "your" rocks and walk away. On the rare chance you locate the spot again, your rocks may not be there. No one is going to take them on purpose, but things look different in nature to others. Someone will think they just "lucked" onto a great find. When your bucket or bag is full, go and empty it and then return to collecting.
A whistle can be a life saver. It can summon others or help locate a stray.
Always be at least 10 minutes early to departure time at Field Trips. If the stated time is 7, be there at 6:45. This is the time to sign in and any last minute changes or info is given at this time. Always know who the Trip Leader is.