Equipment Sources and Tips

Initial Publication Date: March 25, 2004
The advice and information in these pages was written based on the experiences of the Carleton College Geology Department (more info) , where field work at all levels has been emphasized for more than forty years. We welcome additional tips and discussion.

Basic Equipment | Specialized Equipment | Soil Description Kit | Water Quality Testing Equipment

These pages describe versatile field equipment and supplies that will be useful for a variety of field labs (and indoor labs as well), which will be helpful to keep within your department. You can ask your bookstore to stock some of the equipment so that students can purchase it as part of the course materials or you can maintain supplies within the department. You'll probably want the department to maintain the more specialized field equipment, including water-quality and soil kits. These pages provide the basics for stocking your supply closet.

Unless otherwise specified, the equipment described on these pages is available from a variety of sources, including hardware stores, scientific equipment suppliers, gardening suppliers. You should be able to find multiple sources by entering as much detail as possible in an internet search engine. Pictures of some of the equipment are linked to specific parts of these pages.

Equipment Lists

A handlens with an attached lanyard
  • Basic equipment - compasses, hand lenses, hammers, shovels, tape measures, sample bags, markers, drawing pads, field notebooks, rulers, protractors, graph paper, writing implements, clipboards, and acid bottles. Learn more here.

  • Specialized equipment - includes augers and surveying equipment. Learn more here.

  • Water quality testing equipment - transparency tubes, dip nets, Hester-Dendy invertebrate samplers, water chemistry tests. Page is under construction. Learn more here.

  • Soil description equipment - soil color (Munsell) books, soil pH kits, knives, tape, profile description cards, laminated handouts, etc. Learn more here.