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Canon City Field School Equipment List

Equipment List and Packing for the Outbound Journey

Traveling for 40 - 45 days requires planning and organization. You'll experience the challenge of getting everyone's belongings packed on Day 1. Your training as a geologist also begins on Day 1 during the outbound journey to Canon City. Therefore, effectively packing and organizing your equipment and personal belongings is requisite for a successful and enjoyable trip out west. A similar approach is recommended for the return home. The following information provides a general equipment list and packing recommendations. 

Backpack (Travels with you in the vans)

This backpack can be used to carry personal items on the outbound journey, as well as when you're working in the field. This means that this should not be a backpacking backpack but something durable and smaller. It should be large enough to carry lunch, rain gear, clipboard, a first aid kit, and 4-5 liters of water.

Below are the suggested items to put in your backpack for the outbound journey:

  • Money, identification, wallet, etc.
  • Snacks, water bottles
  • Cell phone and car/wall charger
  • Rain gear
  • Writing utensils and field clipboard
  • All geology equipment (issued equipment and rock hammer, hand lens, grain size card)
  • Belt(s)
  • First-aid kit
  • Travel Items (pillow, books, headphones, etc.)
  • Computer (you will be issued one at Canon City but can bring your own)

Duffel Bag (Travels in the cargo truck)

This bag will be accessible each evening at the campsites en route to Canon City. You will not have access to these bags during the days while on the road. Some of these items could also go in your back pack i.e. hygiene items. 

  • All camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, tent footprint or tarp, sleeping bag liner, mess kit, etc.)
  • Flashlight or headlamp (you could also carry this in the van for late night arrivals to campsites)
  • Clothing and personal items for three nights (toothbrush, toilet paper, wipes, towel, soap, shampoo, etc.)
  • Towel and washcloth (bandana)
  • Hiking boots (some days you will be instructed to carry these in the van)
  • Extra water bottles
  • Flip-flops or comfy camp shoes

Large Duffel Bag or Suitcase (Travels in the cargo truck in deep storage)

This bag will not be accessible until arrival in Canon City. Therefore, only pack items that you'll want access to once you arrive to the dormitories. 

  • Clothing for entire trip (bring clothes for desert heat and mountain snow conditions - dress in layers)
  • Personal items not required for outbound trip to Canon City
  • School supplies (colored pencils, pens, protractor, etc.)
  • Class books and notes 
  • Fun items (frisbees, footballs, etc.)


The above descriptions are just suggestions in order to make the transportation and access to your belongings smooth and hassle-free. The goal here is to maximize the space in travel vehicles and for you to have the proper access to your belongings when needed. Every time you travel, all bags will be need to be unloaded before you have access to your belongings. Try to keep all your belongings (especially camping gear) consolidated. The less bags you have to keep track of, the easier and faster it will be to unpack and setup your campsite.

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