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Herping Gear Pack Load out

SludgeMunkey

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I am off to a late start herping today, so while my field pants are in the dryer;), I got to wondering:


What gear do you all take out field herping?

Here is my load out:

First I leave a note at home with specific details as to where I am going and when I should be back. I also let my wife and kids know verbally. Next I verify my acess permissons and that my fishing liscense is up to date. (A fishing liscense is required to field herp in Nebraska, California, and Pennsylvania, plus quite a few other states)


Standard Gear
Wide brimmed hat
Sunglasses
Two pairs dry socks
Spare pair of Dry Chuck Taylors
A small towel
USGS topographic maps of the target area
US Army surplus field compass (because GPS is really cool till your battery dies...)
Permanent Sharpie Marker
Pencils
Journalist's Notepad (because it fits in your pocket well too!)
Leatherman CHARGE ALX multitool
Various sized Zip-loc bags (You never know what these come in handy for)
Bottled water
Waterproof matches
Disposable Lighter
25 feet of 200lb test rope
Backpacker's first aid kit
Camera
Back up SD cards for camera
Lunch
Emergency beer money;)
Pelican diver's flashlight
6 AA batteries
100% DEET insect repellent
Rain poncho
Wallet, Keys, and ID sealed in a ziploc along with any written permison documents , permits, and my fishing liscense)

For Night Herping I add in

UV LED flashlight
Portable spotlight
Laser pointer (great for baiting frogs!)
Green Glowsticks (green glows are the internationally recognized color to indicate a person, handy if you get hurt in the dark)
Cut/puncture resistant gloves (Ever grab a briar thorn in the dark?)
Cell phone, even though I hate them.
MP3 player with all local frog and toad calls stored on it, with voice reminders of their names.


I am curious what everyone else takes along!
 
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eyrops

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When I go out with the intention of taking pictures these days, I bring my handheld GPS along. If the clocks on your camera and GPS are co-ordinated you can georeference the photos you take. There are gettining to be4 multiple ways to do this. I use a program called Robogeo (www.robogeo.com) which cost about $50. It writes compares the time the picture was taken to the loction on the GPS at that time and writes the location to the EXIF header of the image file. So then you have anchored the image in both time and space. I have not done this with herping as I haven't been out doing that lately, but I've done this with hundreds of other images. Georeferenced photos would be innapropriate for this site because they disclose the exact location, but for personal use and for non-sensitive public photos they are great.
 

John

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Georeferenced photos would be innapropriate for this site because they disclose the exact location, but for personal use and for non-sensitive public photos they are great.
If you use the "save for web" option in a lot of programs now it will strip out the EXIF info so no geotagging. That's what I do.

One thing I would add to your list is a good LED headlamp. I've tried a few and this one is the one I don't leave home without:

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/t...-box.jsp.form23&Go.x=0&_dyncharset=ISO-8859-1

I've taken all of this year's calling anuran photos at night while using this lamp.
 

SludgeMunkey

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Oh wow...Nichia LEDs!!!!

Sorry, that's an electronics geek thing...

I never even thought of a headlamp. Brilliant suggestion. thankfully, we have a Cabella's just a few miles away, so I will pick one up shortly.
 

Kaysie

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Headlamp (Petzl LED/Incandescent)
Flashlight (Surefire)
Notebook and pen/pencil
Tupperware
Socks
Sweatshirt
Camera
Snake hook (sometimes, other times it just gets in my way)
TP
Knife
Compass
Water
Food (I'm hypoglycemic, and so is Justin. Lots of food!)
Itty bitty first aid kit
Rain gear (sometimes)

Now, if I'm going out on a longer, further-from-civilization hike, more stuff comes along (like rope, lighters [which are way better than matches!!], etc.). I guess it just depends on where I'm going.
 

SludgeMunkey

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And here is my newest addition to night herping gear, they just showed up in the mail:

http://www.opticsplanet.net/atnamvipmodh.html

I will be honest with you, this is not the high grade military optics I am used to, but these suckers do the job. I was able to find bobby pins in the closet with them. And the price was even lower when I ordered them. Good bang for the buck.
 

Azhael

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Scientists and researchers are taking that into account, dessinfecting materials thoroughly, but hobbyists don´t...i know i don´t and i don´t know anyone who does....maybe we should start doing so....
 

caleb

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Anyone thought of bio-security, what with the spread of the Chytrid fungus?

Chytrid is killed by drying and by high temperature (about 35C+). If you dry your kit and wash your clothes between trips (and/or sites) it shouldn't be a problem.

There are quite a few websites that have recommendations for precautions regarding chytrid and ranavirus, here's some from Australia:
http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PHTM/frogs/field-hygiene.doc
 

Azhael

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Yes, but the problem is that most of us don´t really take the time to make sure it´s properly dried out. You just take out the boots, and store them until the next time. If there´s some moisture left, it could carry the chytrid.
I guess some basic protocol should be encouraged among the hobbyists.
 

Dave1812

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There are quite a few websites that have recommendations for precautions regarding chytrid and ranavirus, here's some from Australia:
http://www.jcu.edu.au/school/phtm/PHTM/frogs/field-hygiene.doc

Please see point 12 in
[FONT=&quot]"General principles and background"
[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]"The greatest risk of transmission of infectious agents is when amphibians are placed together in contact or in the same container or in containers reused for holding amphibians without disinfection between amphibians."

This highlights my point!
[/FONT]
 

SludgeMunkey

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I do take along hand sanitizer and disposable disinfecting wipes as part of my first aid kit, however I am unsure of their effectiveness against bD. I would assume they would be effective against ranavirus and iridovirus, since they supposedly kill other viruses.

Personally, I don't do any collecting though, just photography and note taking.

As for the boots, I have multiple pairs that I rotate between, for my own health I avoid damp boots...:D
 

John

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Please see point 12 in [FONT=&quot]"General principles and background"
[/FONT] [FONT=&quot]"The greatest risk of transmission of infectious agents is when amphibians are placed together in contact or in the same container or in containers reused for holding amphibians without disinfection between amphibians."

This highlights my point!
[/FONT]
Hmm, I don't think most of us go around collecting amphibians from the wild. I don't see the relevancy here. Please enlighten me.
 

slowfoot

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I know you guys already know this, but... :p

Please be very careful when using DEET - it's extremely toxic to reptiles and amphibians. One of my lab mates managed to kill over 100 lizards while she was collecting just by having a collection bag rub against her arm. After that, the lab adopted a no-DEET policy when working with the animals, even outside. If I'm wearing DEET, I make sure I don't handle anything.
 

John

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I have been known to wear it occasionally but not on my hands. I don't think collecting is much of an issue for us here, and anyhow you can't collect amphibians in a "collecting bag".
 

slowfoot

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I have been known to wear it occasionally but not on my hands. I don't think collecting is much of an issue for us here, and anyhow you can't collect amphibians in a "collecting bag".

My point is that even if you don't put it on your hands, it's easy to forget and scratch yourself or touch some of the DEET you have in other places. And many people pick up and pose animals for photos even if they aren't collecting. It only takes a tiny bit on the skin to kill an amphibian.
 

Dave1812

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Hmm, I don't think most of us go around collecting amphibians from the wild. I don't see the relevancy here. Please enlighten me.

I have just started monitoring a few local sites for some of the UK amphibs - some of which are protected under UK and European law.
Part of this process was the collection and release of the animals once measurements, weight, swabbing, and micro tagging had taken place; during this process the animal was placed on several surfaces that had been previously been used. This is why I mentioned the bio-security issue. You could also include any "dip-nets" used.
The process outline was not done by myself but by a professional/competent person. All concerned have the relevant licences to undertake the above actions.
 

John

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My point is that even if you don't put it on your hands, it's easy to forget and scratch yourself or touch some of the DEET you have in other places. And many people pick up and pose animals for photos even if they aren't collecting. It only takes a tiny bit on the skin to kill an amphibian.
I do pose animals. I suppose this is really all dependent on one's approach to chemicals. For me it's not a problem because my career is dealing with harmful chemicals and I suppose this must be why I don't go around touching the Deet areas, or my face, for that matter, when I handle animals.
 

SludgeMunkey

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Have you had a chance yet to try out your night vision gadget on any unsuspecting amphibians?

-Steve Morse


Yes! And in fact it comes in handy for tracking in on calling toads and frogs. However, I will admit, it is more to keep me from calling out obscenities in the dark after collisions with trees and fences and the like. My particular favorite use so far is while in my canoe at night.
 
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