Clothing, Equipment, & Supply List

Clothes appropriate for field work in a wide range of weather conditions

Field clothes, field boots, and field equipment, including geologic hammer and hand lens must be purchased before arriving in Bozeman.

Because of the highly variable temperature from morning to afternoon on a typical field day, a windbreaker over a sweater or sweatshirt is a more versatile field dress than a heavy jacket over just a t-shirt.

At least two pairs of hiking or work boots are strongly advised; sneakers are unsatisfactory for virtually all of the field work.

Rain gear that is compact enough to be easily carried in a simple day pack is a must. A hat or cap for protection against both rain and sun will be necessary
for your times away from the field. Comfortable and casual clothing is suitable.

Clothing list

  • T-shirts, long sleeved shirts, and a sweater or sweatshirt for dressing in layers (We typically work 6-day or 7-day We have several free washing machines, but you will be sharing them with about 60 other people, so plan accordingly.)
  • Field pants (at least two pairs of sturdy long pants are strongly recommended)
  • Hiking/work boots (two pairs recommended) – we will be hiking about 10 miles plus climbing up/down an average of 1,500’ vertical relief each day. Some areas have abundant prickly pear cactus. Please be sure to break-in your boots before you arrive.
  • Multiple pairs of socks (You might consider slightly thicker hiking socks during the day.)
  • Light weight “scree” gaiters (optional, but highly recommended because many of the  grasses will be in seed and get stuck in your boot laces and socks)
  • A wide-brimmed sun/rain hat
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants, easy to put on and take off (optional, but recommended)
  • Light weight jacket
  • Warm hat/cap and gloves (We can have had snow at IUGFS in July!)
  • Casual clothing for around camp
  • Bathing suit (optional, for swimming in the South Boulder River)
  • Water shoes (Teva or Keen sandals, old tennis shoes, etc.; highly recommended for everybody, required for the environmental concentration)
  • Flip flops or shower shoes (optional, but highly recommended)

Equipment and Field Supplies

(estimated costs noted; if you have any questions, please ask us!). We do not endorse any particular vendor, but some possibilities include your local hardware store, Amazon, Ebay, CGS Mule, ASC Scientific, Ward’s Science, Forestry Suppliers, and OIH designs.)

Field equipment, including geologic hammer and hand lens, will be needed on the caravan trip, so they must be purchased before arriving in Rapid City. Some other equipment, including: aerial photographs, stereoboard, and a Brunton compass, will be supplied by Indiana University for use during the course. Although we supply Bruntons to all who do not bring them, it will be more convenient for you if you are able to borrow one from your home department or bring your own for the course. Yes, Bruntons are the type of compass that must be used.

Students will be charged if loaned equipment is damaged or lost.

We will have limited shopping opportunities during the course, so you should plan to bring what you need. We will have some standard field and office supplies available for purchase at cost and you can get UPS orFedEx deliveries: c/o Judson Mead Geologic Field Station, 633 South Boulder Rd. Cardwell MT 5972

Course equipment list

  • A belt to hold your field gear (hammer, compass, notebook pouch). It could be one that will fit through your belt loops or a separate one for your gear ($5-25)
  • Geologic hammer (best options are a 24-30 oz pointed or chisel tip hammer typically $35-45) ideally with a belt holster ($10-50)
  • Safety glasses and/or shatter-proof sunglasses ($5-100)
  • Hand lens (10x is recommended) on a Lanyard ($10-50)
  • Personal first aid kit (you can resupply it from the first aid kits in the Lodge and Classroom buildings) ($10-50)
  • Your favorite blister prevention and treatment (e.g. mole skin, glacier gel, second skin) ($10)
  • Water bottles (you will need at least three liters of water in the field most days) ($5-25)
  • Daypack ($30-$100) large enough to hold:
    • 3-5 liters of H2Olunch
    • first aid kit
    • rain gear
    • extra clothing/socks
    • geology field gear
  • Watch (pocket or wrist, not your phone) ($10-50)
  • Pocketknife ($10-50)
  • At least six mechanical pencils (0.5 mm recommended) ($10)
  • Pens (black, blue, green and red; razor or ultra-fine line are recommended) ($20)
  • Erasable colored pencils (at least 24 colors) ($15)
  • Eraser(s) ($5)
  • 6-inch ruler and a small protractor (can be a single unit or two separate items). We find the transparent engineers’ rulers with subdivisions in both cm and inches (divided into tenths) to be particularly useful. ($5)
  • We will supply you with two steno notebooks and have extras available to purchase at cost. However, if you want to use your favorite field notebook, please bring at least four (due to turnaround time for grading).
  • Notebook case or field pouch ($20-50)
  • Calculator (or use an app on your phone)
  • Laptop computer (recommended, but optional)
  • When mapping, we will be using paired topographic maps and satellite images that will be printed on tabloid (11x17) sized pages. We will supply you with a letter-sized clipboard so that you can fold your maps and images. Although it will work, this arrangement can be a bit awkward because you can't see both the map and image at the same time. What many people prefer are hinged clipboards where you can tape the image to the inside of the cover or plexiglass mapboards (either professionally made ($20-60) or homemade ($10-20))– see link below for plans if you want to make your own:

Personal Items

  • Sleeping bag (optional, but highly recommended; required if you are taking the structural geology or sedimentary geology concentrations). Dorms are not heated. The nights can get down to 30°F (-16°C) and we will be asking you to keep the windows open as much as possible for clean air ventilation. If you choose not to bring a sleeping bag, please bring a good blanket.
  • Sheets for a long twin bed (or sleeping bag liners)
  • Pillow(s)
  • Towels and wash cloths
  • Personal health and hygiene supplies (soap, shampoo, washcloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb/brush, nail clippers, tweezers, sunscreen, any over the counter medications, and anything else you might need). For those who are flying, we can stop at a store on the way to the field station.
  • Other personal grooming items
  • An adequate supply of any prescription medications to last for the full duration of your course (five or six weeks)
  • Sunscreen and bug spray
  • Plastic container for your lunch sandwiches, etc.

We have free, unlimited use washing machines, driers, and clothes lines. We will also supply clothes
washing soap pods.