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The cabin fever I’ve had the last couple months finally drove me mad. Inspired by the posts of @KimTexan, @FranzBernhard, @Al Tahan, and @Calico Jack. I decided to brave the snow and cold and attempt a new place that I had been contemplating visiting for several months now. This was not the easiest time to be hunting and probably not the safest thing to do as I haven’t seen a lot of the fossils in the formation, the entire outcrop may be under a foot of snow, and adding snow to any fossil trip is inherently more dangerous. But I tried to insure the highest chance of success and safety and I will now share my experience with this. I don’t claim to be a professional and I don’t claim this is safe, if you attempt to hike and hunt fossils in the snow you do so at your own risk. Since, I didn’t know what exactly the fossils looked like, I had only glimpsed at a couple specimens in a couple local museums. I took to the internet for any pictures I could find. I found this thread This website http://www.ammonoid.com/Manning.html This paper https://emp.byui.edu/STRICKLAND/fossil.pdf And various examples for sale that I won’t link here. I just basically looked at anything and everything from the formation to get a sense of what the fossils looked like. To make sure I was going to the right location I looked at geologic maps via the apps I have listed here I looked land ownership maps like this one https://platmap.trustlands.utah.gov/ and this one https://blm-egis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6f0da4c7931440a8a80bfe20eddd7550 And a couple other more site specific maps to double check. I also looked at a topographic map of the area with geologic maps overlaid https://geology.utah.gov/apps/intgeomap/index.html# Sattelite images from https://www.google.com/earth/ and roadmaps like this one https://www.google.com/maps I knew I may not have cellular reception so I brought a Garmin eTrex GPS as my field instrument along with extra batteries. I also brought a rugged Brunton compass in case my batteries all died. Some tips: Research how the area generally is during winter. Look up depths of snow in the area if available, any road closures, if available, where snow plows will plow in the event of a snow storm, take a look at the weather forecast, look up roads or trails you will use as escape routes during snow storms, etc. Having camped in the snow and have done a decent amount of winter sports like ice fishing, I know how to dress warm. Remember more layers is better. It’s better to have to remove layers than add some because you may not have any extra clothes to add. On the other hand, try not to break a sweat as that sweat will cool you down very quickly and may put you at risk of hypothermia. Make sure to bring And ALWAYS notify someone where you are going, when you are going, how long you will probably be, what you will be doing there, and if needed how you are getting there. FOR MORE TIPS refer to this handy guide by the Boy Scouts http://www.boyscouttrail.com/library/wintercampingtips.asp This article from Backpacker https://www.backpacker.com/skills/beginner/winter-camping And this article from Backcountry https://www.backcountry.com/explore/winter-camping-101-gear-tips-for-staying-warm
DeepTimeIsotopes posted a topic in Fossil Hunting TripsAnother snow storm has swept through here so how about we take a trip to Southern Utah in mid-June. I will be straightforward with you, I didn’t get many fossils from this trip but if you would like to hear my tale of woe read on! Let’s start out with the stratigraphy column. You’ll notice most of it is red. If you’ve read some of my other trip reports you’ll probably know what that means, no fossils to report from this area. My structural geologist buddies had a blast, though, so beware a lot structural and sedimentary geology ahead. I’ll save talking about the Wahweap Formation for the end.