Don't Panic Geocast

Episode 2 - If you’re doing geology in pen, you’re just not doing geology right

January 30th, 2015

This week we discuss field tools - everything from clothing to pens and notebooks! Shannon panics due to Earth’s close encounter with an asteroid and John talks about the smell after rainstorms. We want to hear your feedback!

  • John has been playing more with radar during the northeast blizzard.
  • Shannon has been keeping an eye on asteroid 2004 BL86 as it passed near the Earth Monday. There are already a lot of neat radar images coming from this event.
  • Shannon is also planning her first class field trip for a field methods class.

Field Packs

  • People use everything, backpacks, fanny packs, etc.
  • John has a holster thing like SWAT teams. Looks a little like a weapon holster though, so be careful. (He also can’t find anyone that still sells them.)
  • Shannon uses a wait-pack.
  • John and Shannon use stretchy belts to hold their hammers.
  • Lots of folks use their hammer as a ruler in the field.


Field Clothing

  • Clothing tech revolutionized geology!
  • Drilling with quick-dry pants vs. carrying rainsuits that you sweat in anyway.
  • All drab colors! Consider wearing a safety vest!
  • Hat suggestions? Maybe we should go back to full academic dress?
  • Polarized sunglasses are a must. Just beware that they can alter the color of things!

Field Notebooks

  • Traditional Write-in-the-Rain/Field books. Shannon doesn’t like these because of pencil writing quality.
  • Extras in the back of different series of notebooks can be problematic
  • Notebook closures: Binder clip, rubberband, or elastic over notebook
  • If you’re really into this stuff, you would probably like the Pen Addict Podcast.
  • Do you attach your pen/pencil to your field book?
  • Pocket protectors, John has the stealth.

Writing Instruments

  • 0.5 mm pencils for writing in the field books
  • For sketching/musing Palomino Blackwing 602
  • Shannon misses the Zebra301 ultra


  • Bruntons are the standard, with really no substitue
  • Handlens are now available with led lights (and uv if you’re that into it)
  • iPads vs. regular topo map concerns
  • Battery life
  • Weather resistance
  • Overheating
  • GPS (integrated or separate)
  • Does it take too much away from basic navigation skill development?

Fun Paper Friday

Contact us:

Show - - @dontpanicgeo -

John Leeman - - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

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