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Hi all, So normally, the weekend of 19-20-21 May I was gonna go with my family to Cap-Blanc-Nez (in France) with the WTKG, but unfortunately that excursion got canceled because, aside from me, only one other person applied! Luckily, as it is the place where my dad proposed to my mom (and therefore this area means a lot to them), and they would like to go back, we decided to go there next week (7-8-9 May)! We already booked a B&B in Wissant for the 3 nights. I am looking forward to it! So, as preparation for the upcoming trip, I am turning towards the most experienced fossil collectors I know: you guys on TFF! I've never hunted in Cap-Blanc-Nez before, so I am a complete amateur as to how the hunting there works. Hopefully some of you have been there already (or been to similar locations) and can give me tips. I have the following questions: What equipment/tools are needed? What are the best layers to find what fossils? What are the most effective hunting techniques? What specific beaches/areas are the most abundant fossil-wise? (Wissant is in between Cap-Blanc-Nez and the other nearby location Cap-Griz-Nez, so if you would more recommend the latter, let me know too!) What other tips do you have in general? I will, of course, make an extensive trip report here on TFF after the hunt is done Thanks in advance already! Best regards, Max
I am by no means an experienced outcropping and roadcut fossil hunter but I have been scrounging around a few spots the last month or so and thought I would pass on just a few things I have learned "the hard way". I'm sure none of these tips will be new news to any of you seasoned hunters but if I can help another noob not make the same mistakes I have, it's worth it! okay, here goes..... 1. When approaching the desired location, closely inspect the ground ahead of you and leading up to the outcropping. The 'debris slope' generally contains fossils from any fossil laden strata exposed above. I have actually stepped on and broken a really long crinoid stem because I was not paying attention on approach. 2. Start your search at the lowest level, that way, any debris you may discard on the ground as you search higher up won't be in your way later. 3. Before tapping, chiseling or hammering on ANYTHING, inspect the rock directly above you for loose debris and/or large rocks. Sure enough, the slightest tap can dislodge loose material above you and konk you on the noggin, land on your foot, (very painful!), scrape your shins and/or legs and smash your fingers, none of which enhance your collecting forays! 4. Be extra careful and inspect well for loose, cracked or crumbling overhangs that you may have to crawl under to retrieve that prized fossil you spotted. 5. Minimize your digging and rooting in loose layers under ANY overhanging rock. I hunt alone often and usually not many people around. A large boulder pinning you to the ground would not only be painful but possibly deadly! 6. Watch your step! Debris slopes that have grown over a bit with weeds and brush can be ankle twisting nightmares and if you fall, sharp rocks can and will scrape and cut hands, arms, knees and heads! 7. Let someone else know where you will be and what time to expect you back just in case one of the above were to happen. They might come look for you! 8. Dress appropriatly for the weather forecast. I was finding a lot of good stuff the other day and theres nothing more frustrating than hands that don't work right because they are cold! 9. Take a bottle or canteen of water. Just because it isn't hot out doesn't mean you won't get thirsty! It can sometimes be a long walk back to the truck especially if you've found the 'honey hole' and don't want to leave. 10. Carry a cell phone with you for emergency situations and I like to use mine for navigation, gps coordinates, elevations and photos also! Any tips or tricks you have learned over the years are sure to benefit someone so please, feel free to post them on this thread. I look forward to hearing some ideas! Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts! Most importantly, BE SAFE and be aware of your surroundings! Here's hoping you make that BIG find your next trip out! (Edit) Oh.. P.S... Wear your safety glasses! (If I know I will be chipping a lot, I even have a full face shield)