A Herper’s Gear Bag

08 Mar

The topic came up of “a herper’s gear list” the other day, and I thought it might make a nice post. So, what goes in a good gear bag? There are a lot of options there, and different situations call for different gear; but here are my thoughts on the matter.

The “Bare Bones” of herping gear:
         Can you herp with less? Absolutely. But these items are still a good idea to keep around

-A hand light
I suggest either the Fenix TK40/Tk41 for a light with good throw/things far off; or the TK45 for mid to close range

-A Headlamp (Go with the Fenix HP11)

I know not everyone is a ‘hat person’ but I find them necessary to keep the glare from my headlamp out of my eyes
-Extra Flashlight (excessive, maybe – but someone’s going to forget one)

-A Camera (See camera equipment suggestions below)

-Rain Jacket (for stalking amphibians during their “happy time.”)

-A good pair of boots (or whatever footwear your pursuit calls for)

-Bug Jacket (leave the bug spray at home – it can poison amphibians if you touch them)

-Snake Bags

-Ziplock Bags (for amphibians)

-First Aid Kit

-Field Guide of local herps

Handling and Catch Gear
Where applicable, of course. Keep this stuff out of state/national parks if you’d like to keep them

-Snake Hook or Field Hook (I recommend a Stump Ripper)

-Dip Net (Good for aquatic herps, especially amphibians)

-Gloves (For flipping tin)

Camera Equipment
“If there’s no picture, it didn’t happen.”

-Camera Body

-Lenses (I usually bring a macro, stock lens and long lens everywhere)

-External Flash

-Flash Diffuser

-Off-camera hot shoe (for experimentation with lighting)

-Small spray bottle (to clean off those dirty herps)


-Remote shutter (for group pics, etc.)

Citizen Science
            Many choose to have their recreation go towards better understanding of the animals they love. The North American Field Herping Association(NAFHA) offers a chance to do this through their herp database where members can log their sightings for conservation purposes. NAFHA is nice because it does not release locality information without your permission.

-A weather station (such as those made by Kestrel)

-Field Notebook (or a nice storage clipboard. I’d recommend Rite-In-The-Rain brand notebooks or paper for… writing in the rain)

-Pencil/Space Pen (Pencils are cheap; but space pens are cool. Both can write under water, upside down, etc.)

-Temperature Gun

-GPS Unit

-Binoculars (Good for turtles and lizards)

Weekend Trips
Many herpers mix herping with camping. Why not? It adds to the camaraderie, fun, and might just convince your wife/girlfriend to come along.


-Sleeping bag


-Cooler (Good for storing herps to keep em’ from overheating)



This list will, hopefully, be evolving with my exploits. Feel free to comment and add your two cents on the contents

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Posted by on 08/03/2012 in Equipment Reviews


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