Primatologist’s Field Gear Guide For TBS

Written by: K. Ellis

Prior to each long field season, I send out an email to my research assistants covering the clothing items and gear that they will need for a successful trip to the Amazon. To save myself time looking for that email over and over again I decided to keep a modified version of it posted here. Keep in mind that this post is tailored specifically to our field site (the Tiputini Biodiversity Station), a remote field site in Amazonian Ecuador with some key amenities (i.e., laundry is done at least once a week and we generally have access to electricity for several hours each day).

Necessary Field Items

  • Day Pack. If you already have a day pack that you don’t mind getting covered in mold and monkey poop, bring that…We really only need our packs to carry our food, water and telemetry equipment. I currently use a 24 liter pack and that seems to fit everything well. I also prefer packs that are able to accommodate water bladders (e.g., camelback, platypus) so that I can drink whenever I want and don’t have to stop to grab my water bottle.
  • Water bladder or water bottles that can hold at least 2 liters of water (this seems to be the average amount of water people go through in a day when following the monkeys).
  • Rubber boots. These can be purchased in Ecuador if so desired, however, there are often boots of various sizes that we can loan from the station for field work.
    • In-soles (optional) if you tend to get achy feet.
  • Binoculars. Waterproof binoculars, with 8 to 10X magnification and 40 to 50 mm forward barrel diameter are preferred.

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