Are you planning on going on a field adventure? That could involve a job that puts you in the field a lot or just trip filled with hiking.
I recommend packing light but have some options. Just because you work in the woods doesn’t mean you won’t want to wear a dress for four months. Definitely prioritize your work clothes though, you need to be comfortable on the job.
If you plan on hiking for a living, then you are going to need some reliable gear. (Try not to judge, comfort and reliability trumped looking cute)
Below is the exact field gear I brought with me:
I loved these! These are amazingly breathable but also long sleeves. So they offer sun protection without making you want to die. The long sleeves also make sure that you don’t accidentally brush something (like poison oak) while working your way into the woods.
Another plus is the pockets! You will appreciate these so much when you are trying to keep everything accessible to you (not just in your backpack.)
I did wear tank tanks underneath this though, just in case I couldn’t handle the heat or needed my shirt for something else (like to sit on at lunch).
Also, I know these are men’s. The women’s ones weren’t in stock at the time.
Tactical field pants (Columbia blood and guts)
Again, breathable fabric that lasts plus pockets. Live saver in the field.
You also have the option to zip off the bottom of these. Handy if you need to turn them into shorts. And the quick dry factor is great if you absolutely have to (or accidentally) take a refreshing dip in a mountain stream. Some of the guys on my crew wore jeans and were happy with that, but I couldn’t imagine wearing heavy and thick pants after wearing these. If you are going to go with jeans, make sure they have some room in them.
Also, make sure to pack a belt. You will likely lose some weight in the field (added perk!), just because you are hiking all day every day. I had to break down and buy a belt two weeks in because it was getting ridiculous.
Best. Shoes. Ever.
Seriously, I love these shoes. Comfortable and tough. Both essential qualities of good field boots. Enough said.
The shoes were amazing, but the socks made them even better. You need something that’’ be breathable and durable. These were it for me.
I did not wear these for my first field job, but now I absolutely cannot live without them! Probably because I work on the water for now though. If your job requires anything in the water (like boating), then you will love these glasses. Yes, they are pricey. I think they are 100% worth it though. If this is out of your price range, at least try to find something polarized. You will be amazed at the difference it makes.
Also, consider buying croakies. They are super cheap and will help to make sure you don’t lose these glasses in the field!
You need to carry things with you. The list includes plenty of water, lunch, snacks, compass, your phone, extra charger, first aid supplies, notebook and anything else you think you’ll need. Remember you are going into the woods every day, usually not on a trail. If you got separated or lost, then you’ll be happy you have this stuff with you. The backpack I carried was sturdy but not necessarily meant for the field as it was a “laptop backpack.” I liked to use the extra sleeve in the back that was meant for a laptop to store a paper map of the forest I was working in, just in case.
So, these clothes are expensive. But I think the level of comfort they provided was worth it. Also, I would consider it a one-time investment. These clothes really do last and can last multiple field seasons if you decide to keep doing similar jobs. I haven’t really bought anything to add to my collection of field clothes since that first summer.
Pick things that are comfortable! Some of the items above say “men’s”, but those were exactly what I wore just because the men’s options were more comfortable. No one is going to care what you look like in the middle of the field. If you are anything like me, then you will have sticks in your hair on top of the baggy men’s clothes. But the important part is that you are comfortable!
Also, keep your suitcase light but remember to pack for off days. You don’t want your only clothing options to be large fishing shirts and baggy pants. I brought 2dressess and a couple of t-shirt/shorts options so that I could feel more normal when I wasn’t actually in the woods.
What will you be packing for your adventure?