I’ve been enjoying doing fieldworks with my fellow iNatters and it made me curious about what kind of tools people are using for iNat related things.
For me, when I go out to make observations, I usually bring:
・Cameras (TG-6 and a SLR) and diffusers, head torch and waterproof jacket
・Plastic ruler(s) for the sense of scale (Sometimes I just use [finger]https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/fingers-in-photos/30145)(url))
・Small high-magnification loupe (20x)
・White plastic containers to photograph quick-moving invertebrates
・Small plastic containers and/or plastic bags to collect things
・Tweezers (the one made of bamboo is the best but I lost it!)
・Estwing hammer and some chisels
・Sieve (to find aquatic animals from mud/sand flats).
I’d love to hear what you guys bring to the field.
My favourite probably isn’t a physical tool. Gallformers.org has taught me about SO many species I never would have thought about. Definitely my favourite.
As for a physical tool though, probably just a knife, as evidenced by it bugging me more than anything (besides the camera, but then I can’t iNat at all) when I forget to bring one.
I’m kind of the same way, but with https://orthsoc.org/sina/. This website is REALLY good for ID for insect songs, except for cicadas, which the cicada section of the website is under construction (luckily cicadas are usually pretty easy to ID.) It allows me to go through different species quick so I can listen to their songs so I can eventually get the one I heard. It is very helpful to know exactly what family you are looking for when trying to ID on this website because the amount of bugs on the website is huge so that’s why it’s best to limit it down.
I’ve been using my iPhone camera ever since I started. It doesn’t always give the best quality, but it usually works good enough. You really don’t need too much - unless you want to make iNaturalist a more professional activity.
I’m definitely considering purchasing some kind of macro lens for my phone soon, but it doesn’t really matter too much to me.
It depends on the kind of outing. If it’s a quick trip out or I’m combining it with trail running:
-clip-on macro lens
-clip-on ring light
For a longer/steeper hike into the mountains:
-clip-on macro lens
-clip-on ring light
-portable phone charger + cord
-water + other nutrition + electrolytes
-first aid kit
-binoculars (if I expect birds)
-DSLR w/macro lens
-lightweight tripod (if I expect to be doing up-close plant photos)
-Garmin inReach (if I’m going up into the mountains w/no cell service)
-map (if going into an unfamiliar area)
If I’m going tidepooling, I’ll bring a small towel and old trail running shoes, too. I live in Southern California so we’ve got a wide variety of environments; I customize the tools for what I figure I’ll be doing and seeing.
Recently my son gave me a trail camera as a present. I am loving it. Have captured pictures of species on my property I hadn’t seen before. I would like to be able to mount it in trees to get shots of aboreal mammals but I find that the movement of leaves in the wind triggers squillions of useless images. Does anyone know a fix for this? Thanks
I try to bring as little as possible. Right now it’s my Camera (canon powershot sx 540hs), batteries, fit bit, hiking pack for water, basic first aid kit, and snacks. I tend to go off trail more often than not so sometimes I take extra food in the event I get disoriented. Hasn’t happened yet but it’s only a matter of time.
My biggest gripe with my kit is my camera doesn’t have GPS tracking, so I have to take a picture with my phone for coordinates.
Often, I just take a camera, spare battery, camera, cane, plastic bags.
When I’m at all slightly serious, though, I take my backpack. Ist section: Water, clipboard and paper, plastic bags, camera, snacks. 2nd section: spare camera battery, calculator (for calculating proportions of perigynia), GPS unit, pens, pencils, flagging tape, glucose tablets, rulers, serrated kitchen knives in cardboard sheaths (for digging up grasses or sedges), small sharp scissors (for making fescue leaf cross sections), hand lens, fingernail clippers, often pruning clippers, maybe a trowel, snacks. 3rd section: kleenex (for tp), small plastic bags (to carry away used kleenex), personal items, eye drops.
Obviously, that’s too much stuff, but if I stop carrying something, pretty soon I find myself wishing I had it.
slipped on gravel going down a mountain trail and gashed open my arm
So… I’m no longer blase about first aid, especially now that I’m going for hours into more-remote territory and less-forgiving single-track. I put together the kit myself (w/Benadryl, fluid to wash out dirt, bandages and tape, poison oak cleaner, etc.)
But no need to go the whole 9 yards if I’m going to watch birds in a watershed or similarly tame activity. What comes with me depends on what’s likely.
@ram_k and others - I absolutely recommend this clip-on lens I bought on Amazon. It’s surprisingly robust. (The ring light that comes as an accessory with it is flimsy, but I didn’t buy it for that.) I turned a couple of classmates in my naturalist course on to this lens and they’ve loved it.