Field equipment

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Smokeyr67
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Field equipment

Unread post by Smokeyr67 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:27 pm

Hi guys,

I've got a few weeks off coming up and I'll be spending my time on a property out near Dalby looking for a big fella and his family thats been heard and seen over the past years.

I'm trying to make sure I've got everything I'll need (I hate forgetting stuff)

I'm ok with my camping gear, it's the "Yowie hunter" specific gear that I need help with.

I'll be taking the following

5 trail cams, wire to mount them, spare batteries and memory cards.

My DSLR (18mp, video capable) with the following lenses;
24-70 f2.8
70-200 f2.8
90 mm f2.8 macro.

A monopod, and short tripod.
Spare batteries and memory card.

A go pro with handle bar mount (will be riding my bike on the property) chest and head mounts,, spare battery and memory cards

A ruler (30cm steel) and a tape measure.

Cam net, hessian for shrouds.

fishing line for "trip" wires.

dental floss in the hope of getting some hair samples. (is there a better option?)

Light wire for setting up bait stations (will shoot a pig and use it for bait, and if anyone has suggestions for vegetable baits I'm all ears)

My tablet so I can record any data.

Ziplock bags for any samples.

Cable ties.





Is there anything else you would suggest?


Smokey

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Rusty2
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by Rusty2 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 7:35 pm

Hey man good luck with it .

Are you taking an audio recorder ? This is the one I'd be suggesting . http://www.dicksmith.com.au/digital-voi ... dsau-a8725

If used with lithium batteries and a 16gb micro sd card it will record cd quality audio for 100 hours straight . Best to leave it running the whole time ..........

Smokeyr67
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by Smokeyr67 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:40 pm

Thanks Rusty, thats a bloody good idea:)

sinclairp
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by sinclairp » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:04 pm

Hi Smokeyr67,

Have you considered using a 'backtrail camera'? You mount it on your shoulder so it points behind you. Given that they often watch us carefully and they know where our eyes are looking, you're probably more likely to film them moving in the background behind you than you are if you're looking in their direction. Here's the youtube video where I got this idea from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4U59W2WIYg

Hope this is helpful. Best of luck fella.

Smokeyr67
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by Smokeyr67 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:34 pm

sinclairp wrote:Hi Smokeyr67,

Have you considered using a 'backtrail camera'? You mount it on your shoulder so it points behind you. Given that they often watch us carefully and they know where our eyes are looking, you're probably more likely to film them moving in the background behind you than you are if you're looking in their direction. Here's the youtube video where I got this idea from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4U59W2WIYg

Hope this is helpful. Best of luck fella.
Another great idea, what I may do is mount the go pro backwards when I'm on the move.

I'm planning on constructing a few hides and moving between them, so I'l set it up to look behind me while I've gone to ground.

forestguy
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by forestguy » Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:38 pm

Tweezers & rubber gloves for the hair samples, with paper bags to put them in (which can then go in the Ziploc bags).

Plaster for prints, and maybe a rake to prepare the ground under where you hang the pig.
"What is reported is different to what is remembered which is different to what was seen which is different to what was present."

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yowiedan
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by yowiedan » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:34 pm

don't forget the toilet paper first thing I put into my back pack everytime.

forestguy
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by forestguy » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:01 am

True - although if you're only going for a couple of days you might consider popping a few loperamide and by-passing the need for a latrine hole... It's what I did while I was hiking the Inca Trail to Macha Picchu in Peru - didn't (steamer) for the 3 days on I was on the trail.
"What is reported is different to what is remembered which is different to what was seen which is different to what was present."

NoPolys
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by NoPolys » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:41 pm

Smokey;

Plastic ziplock style bags are awesome....... almost too awesome because what they do is trap all the moisture in a sample in the bag. This moisture and the instant micro-climate combine to create an amazing bloom of all the things that feed on that collected sample. The alternatives; paper bag only or paper bag inside a ziplock style bag with a moisture absorbing material seems to work well. The usual desiccant packages work.... but so does cat litter or rice packed into cut up cheap nylon stocking material. Bags taped shut for the field and upon return to whatever base camp you have, allow the bag to air dry as much as possible before placing the paper inside the plastic.

I know this sounds a bit more complex, but having opened plastic bags and being met with a smelly ooze, I wouldn't wish the experience on others.. (lol)

What FG says about tweezers and gloves is important too. Consider alcohol wipes for the gloves and tweezers before and after use. First time takes care of your trace material (including pathogens and DNA) second takes care the unknown's trace material.

Also, get photos before you touch "it" (I know, it's a big ask for me as well).

If you have enough dollars perhaps a couple audio recorders with one dedicated to doing audio field notes? If not, some good old fashioned paper and a pencil to quickly jot the 5 W's and H when you find something, have an unusual experience or at the end of the hike if nothing is found (a null result can be as important as the gold nugget!).

When setting up bait think about wire around / through hard stuff (like bones) more force required to remove it, more dwell time at that particular place should result in more opportunity for trace material to be left.

Good Luck out there and please share the pics and the may be's too!

Nopolys
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan-

"There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who can infer concepts from incomplete information." -unknown-

Smokeyr67
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by Smokeyr67 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 10:42 pm

forestguy wrote:Tweezers & rubber gloves for the hair samples, with paper bags to put them in (which can then go in the Ziploc bags).

Plaster for prints, and maybe a rake to prepare the ground under where you hang the pig.
Great thought, I'll take some envelopes, and I have tweezers in my med kit.

Regarding the plaster, would it be best to reinforce it with something like fly wire?

Smokeyr67
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by Smokeyr67 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:02 pm

NoPolys wrote:Smokey;

Plastic ziplock style bags are awesome....... almost too awesome because what they do is trap all the moisture in a sample in the bag. This moisture and the instant micro-climate combine to create an amazing bloom of all the things that feed on that collected sample. The alternatives; paper bag only or paper bag inside a ziplock style bag with a moisture absorbing material seems to work well. The usual desiccant packages work.... but so does cat litter or rice packed into cut up cheap nylon stocking material. Bags taped shut for the field and upon return to whatever base camp you have, allow the bag to air dry as much as possible before placing the paper inside the plastic.

I know this sounds a bit more complex, but having opened plastic bags and being met with a smelly ooze, I wouldn't wish the experience on others.. (lol)

What FG says about tweezers and gloves is important too. Consider alcohol wipes for the gloves and tweezers before and after use. First time takes care of your trace material (including pathogens and DNA) second takes care the unknown's trace material.

Also, get photos before you touch "it" (I know, it's a big ask for me as well).

If you have enough dollars perhaps a couple audio recorders with one dedicated to doing audio field notes? If not, some good old fashioned paper and a pencil to quickly jot the 5 W's and H when you find something, have an unusual experience or at the end of the hike if nothing is found (a null result can be as important as the gold nugget!).

When setting up bait think about wire around / through hard stuff (like bones) more force required to remove it, more dwell time at that particular place should result in more opportunity for trace material to be left.

Good Luck out there and please share the pics and the may be's too!

Nopolys

G'Day Nopolys,

Thanks for the tip on the ziplocks, I'll just use envelopes instead. Woould a dessicant sachet be a good or bad thing to put in with the sample?

When I'm in the bush I bathe with alchohol wipes, so I'll have them, but I'll throw in some latex gloves, thanks for the tip.


I'm taking the camera gear for photo evidence, so I will be taking photo's before touching anything:)


Good idea with the baits, I'll drill them when I butcher them and wire them up with some decent wire when I hang them.
I'll use the offal as a stink bait, if nothing else it'll help me check the fox and cat numbers:)


Smokey

Smokeyr67
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by Smokeyr67 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:10 pm

yowiedan wrote:don't forget the toilet paper first thing I put into my back pack everytime.
I use wet ones when in the bush (actually unscented coles brand baby wipes, way better than TP:))

NoPolys
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Re: Field equipment

Unread post by NoPolys » Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:19 am

Smokey;

Paper typically allows moisture to get out so the desiccant in my experience isn't necessary. That said it would also probably not be a good thing to try troweling soupy stuff into a paper container (lol) . I have found for me that a roll of cooking parchment paper that I can use to collect the sample, folding it into a bindle style wrap, then putting it into a larger paper bag allows me to find the small stuff in a container lots easier without spilling it on the floor.... it happens, please don't ask how I know this! Envelopes would be a great alternative, just make certain they aren't the plasticised paper and all of the seams are totally closed. Small stuff in an envelope in the pack can get a lot of movement going and small stuff has been known to work its way through those edge places that didn't get sealed.

As an aside, one of the folks on this site has picked up large amounts of leaves and general bush litter from suspected areas and has found hairs this way as well. An empty trash bag (previously cleaned out) doesn't take up a lot of space and can come in handy.

On the plaster casting issue, This is an interesting challenge. I'm old, and mostly lazy, plaster is very heavy, the material to mix and pot an imprint can be extensive by the time you figure in the dams (you really don't want casts that are "too" thin they will break when lifted) the mixing container(s) etc, make it almost a separate load into the location. I've found pre-measuring the plaster material (this is a whole discussion on it's own.... but don't use straight plaster of paris) and putting the material into a large ziplock bag so you have enough for one large casting per bag a good logistical option. If you can carry the weight you can take two or three sets this way and they will pack easier than a complete bag or box of casting material. Water is also important, if you won't have any close, it means you have to carry it in. As far as re-enforcement, don't use wood or ferrous metal, they tend to rust out or break over time. Consider using plasterboard (gyprock) joint tape, light, strong and can be cut to size easily and is made to be used with a variety of plasters. There are a couple other important issues with print casting that also are important if you want to produce a reasonable facsimile of what you saw on the ground. If casting interests you I can PM more detailed information, as can others on the site.

Having plaster at your base camp in case you find a trackway is a sometimes a lot easier on you than an overflowing pack. Most tracks will last the few hours it takes to trek back and return. If there is a fear the tracks will dry out too much, cover them with some fresh stripped foliage (said in my most ecologically sensitive voice) until you return.

Good Luck !!

Nopolys
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan-

"There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who can infer concepts from incomplete information." -unknown-

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