One woman's quest for geological understanding!

Geo Packing List

Going on a field trip? Then you need to prepare!

Most geology trips planned by organisations / tutors etc. will provide you with a list of things to take with you, however if you are planning your own trip, then you need to make sure that you are well equipped – not just to look at rocks, but for weather, accidents etc.


  • Hard hat
  • Safety glasses/goggles
  • Safety Gloves
  • Weather Proofing
  • Cagoule / waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Lots of light layers of clothing (geology is hard work – you might need to remove some!)
  • Appropriate footwear (Hiking boots, lightweight walking boots… NO FLIP FLOPS!)
  • Good hiking socks (TIP: to avoid blisters, wear a thin pair of socks underneath)
  • Food & Drink: Of course, you will take lunch / dinner with you – however make sure that you pack sufficient water / energy drinks and a few extra energy bars, just in case…. A flask of tea/coffee is always good if the weather turns on you!
  • First Aid Kit: you can usually pick up a nice basic one from a walking shop or supermarket.  However, make sure you add painkillers, antihistamine (in case of allergies / insect bites), insect repellent and some blister plasters (I recommend “Compeed Blister Plasters”).  If you have asthma or any other medical condition, ensure that you have the appropriate medication with you.
  • Mobile Phone


  • Geology hammer (in conjunction with the glasses mentioned above!)
  • Chisel(s)
  • Tweezers
  • Compass Clinometer
  • Penknife
  • Hydrochloric Acid (dilute – 10%)
  • Sample bags
  • Handlens
  • Power lock tape measure
  • Geo Field Ruler (ideal for field use and for photographing specimens)
  • Geological field bag
  • Map case
  • Small nail brush (to clean field specimens in the evening)
  • Head torch (for additional light if required)

Record Keeping:

  • Geology Map
  • (Waterproof) Field notebook (I usually take two – one with graph paper for graphic log and one with lines for additional notes)
  • Pencils
  • Rubber (we all make mistakes!)
  • Sharpener (and a little plastic bag for the shavings!)
  • Waterproof pen (to number samples!)
  • Digital camera (NOT to be confused with a graphic log!)
  • GPS (for marking the location for future reference / records – also can prevent you getting lost, LOL)
  • Clipboard (& plastic bag in case of rain) / Weatherwriter

If you are short of any geological fieldwork equipment, I have added some links to (UK) suppliers on my Useful Links page.