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Williamrock

Hey guys! Equipment check!

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Williamrock

Hey guys ! What are some of  The tools and equipment you guys take when you go fossil hunting for the weekend? Favorite containers to store you're finds in the field ? Rucksacks ? Shovels ? Picks? 

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Williamrock

My phone posted way to many times lol how do I delete?

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Fossildude19

I took care of it for you.  ;) 

 

It depends where you are looking, and what you are looking for. 

I would never bring a screen to hunt for Devonian trilobites, but I would to sift streams for shark teeth, etc. 
Regards, 

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Pseudogygites

I usually bring a hammer, pickaxe, chisel, or another large rock to split shale or dig for fossils. My favourite storage containers include my backpack, ziplock bags, or in my pocket. I would not advise storing your fossils in your pocket, though. Finding fossils in the laundry can be a bit annoying...

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Troodon

Just like fishing....your lure/bait all depends on what you're going after...:D

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Williamrock

We usually hunt Florida water ways

 

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Kane

You may be spoiled for choice given how many Florida river hunters we have here. Just off the top of my head, perhaps @jcbshark and @Shellseeker will see this and provide some helpful advice on this (among several others!).

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jcbshark

I like a 1/2 inch sifter if I’m on the peace where gravel tends to run larger but in other spots I’ll opt for 1/4 inch. All my sifter are 18x24 made out of pine 1x4 with pool noodles ty wrapped all around. I personally like a shovel with a tapered tip, I think it’s less likely to break some stuff but you still need to dig gently if there is such a thing lol. To pocket my finds I use a gallon ziplock for regular stuff but any quality pieces go in my large plastic coffee can with hand towels in it to take up space and cushion fragile stuff:)

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Shellseeker

Over time,  every piece of equipment gets optimized.

1) You need a kayak to get far enough away from the common access points. I have an XT-Scrambler 11.5 foot sit on top Kayak. The basic requirement is I must carry the unloaded Kayak 100 feet (it weighs 45 lbs). Sit_on_top to carry sieve and shovel.  Sit_in Kayaks are inferior in carrying gear.

2) You MUST carry life jacket and whistle. Fines are significant  -- $90 per instance . The jacket/whistle go in Kayak hatch.

3) Florida fossil permit costs $5..  renew yearly. I seal mine in plastic. It goes into a waterproof bag along with cellphone, wallet, car keys, band aids, neosporin, pocket knife, measuring tape.

4) Another waterproof bag with Food (boiled eggs, cheese triangles, and sliced soppressata in 1 plastic container, grapes and cheese in a second, cooked chicken wings/legs in a 3rd. 2 plastic bottles of water..  All in kayak hatch. My hunting days are LONG and calorie consuming.

5) Round Point Shovel Perforated Blade, I replace the handle with a 6 or 7 foot version..  (Deeper is better).

6) 2x3 foot sieve, with pool noodles for flotation, attached 12 pound weight (hold in current).

7) 5 foot metal probe with "T" handle, attached plastic recovery marker.

8) Scuba boots and bicycle racing glove on left hand.

9) black swim shorts, scuba rash guard, 5mm Shorty wetsuit. Baseball cap

10) plastic collection bag, strapped around my waist with plastic tie_down.

 

That is about it. I try to lighten the load whenever possible. i.e a walkin location means no kayak, or a shortened 4 hour day means no food. 

 

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Harry Pristis

 

When hunting limerock pits, I often carried a pickeroon.  I recovered the head from a river bottom, and re-hafted it.  This is a big-boy tool for excavating the moderately-indurated limerock or opening a crevice holding those elusive vertebrate fossils.

 

 

hammers.JPG

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KimTexan
8 minutes ago, Harry Pristis said:

 

When hunting limerock pits, I often carried carried a pickeroon.  I recovered the head from a river bottom, and re-hafted it.  This is a big-boy tool for excavating the moderately-indurated limerock or opening a crevice holding those elusive vertebrate fossils.

 

 

hammers.JPG

A pikeroon, I have never heard of that, but I need one, because what I have isn’t doing the job. If you’ve ever noticed the Estwing rock picks say the pick is for prying only, not for hitting rock. LOL. Does anyone actually follow that rule?

I noticed today @Uncle Siphuncle has these cool chisel type tool set with hand guards (love it!) and a little sledge hammer that he uses.

C71E116B-CD5F-4B5E-BEF4-67A3F466F2F6.jpeg.3cff2f90559f35a3bf18a1b24fb820a0.jpeg

I am always looking for a better way to extract things from rock. I am a woman and don’t have the muscle I need half the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit my hand while holding a chisel or had to leave something behind because I can’t get it out of the marl, limestone or the Edwards Formation, which is nearly solid crystal. 

 

Personally I take a pack that can easily carry 50 pounds that fastens around my waste so it doesn’t slide every time I bend over.  I usually hike into somewhere, but sometimes a good road cut can keep me entertained for quite a while and I don’t have to carry much of anything on me.

I also carry another smaller, heavy duty canvas tool type bag to carry in my hand to put fossils in so I don’t have to take my pack off every time. 

I have zip locks both gallon and smaller, empty prescription bottles for small, delicate things I want to protect. I also carry plastic grocery sacks to put larger fossils in to keep the mud or dirt from getting my pack too dirty, I usually carry a small cloth bag and a hand towel size rag.  I can use it to wipe my hands or wrap a fossil in.  I often take a few paper towels for wrapping small fossils in. I always carry water or Gatorade. I take a snack or pack a lunch and leave it in my car. I’m usually out for 3-5 hours at a time. I always take gloves, rock hammer, hammer, chisel set, knife, a compact folding shovel.

I always have sunscreen in my car.

If it is snake season I have a snake bite kit. If you can use it in the first 1-2 min of a bite it helps. Thankfully I have never been bit in nearly 42 years of hiking.

Several people I know take a walking stick. One guy told me he has used it to fend off wild boars, move snakes and pull himself out of waist deep mud. I have been in waist deep mud, but thankfully wasn’t alone. I hope to never be in it alone, but I’ve come across many poisonous snakes and seen boar tracks while out hiking. So I’m thinking a walking stick will soon be added.

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Uncle Siphuncle

I recommend a knife.

245DC5B5-68FE-4987-ADA3-E4C0324FC0D9.jpeg

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Uncle Siphuncle

On the subject of chisels, the one in the pic above was a loare, as I was traveling.  Since economy of effort is important to me, I’ve grown fond of a narrow chisel (maybe 1/2” wide tip) plus aforementioned hand guard, backed by a hand sledge of 2.5-4 lbs.  The narrow chisel concentrates the impact, cutting deeper than a wide tip, for maximum cha-ching-per-swing.

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Ptychodus04

I would recommend a nice utility kilt. :D

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JohnBrewer
4 hours ago, Ptychodus04 said:

I would recommend a nice utility kilt. :D

Me too!

 

I’d add sunscreen and insect repellent to the list too. 

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Sagebrush Steve
18 hours ago, KimTexan said:

A pikeroon, I have never heard of that, but I need one, because what I have isn’t doing the job. If you’ve ever noticed the Estwing rock picks say the pick is for prying only, not for hitting rock. LOL. Does anyone actually follow that rule?

I noticed today @Uncle Siphuncle has these cool chisel type tool set with hand guards (love it!) and a little sledge hammer that he uses.

C71E116B-CD5F-4B5E-BEF4-67A3F466F2F6.jpeg.3cff2f90559f35a3bf18a1b24fb820a0.jpeg

I am always looking for a better way to extract things from rock. I am a woman and don’t have the muscle I need half the time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve hit my hand while holding a chisel or had to leave something behind because I can’t get it out of the marl, limestone or the Edwards Formation, which is nearly solid crystal. 

 

Harbor Freight has some cheap chisels with hand guards in various sizes.  I’ve used them for extracting trilobites from shale and been very happy with them.  Just remember they are cheap for a reason:

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/10-inch-flat-chisel-94347.html

https://www.harborfreight.com/4-inch-brick-chisel-95507.html

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FossilDAWG
15 hours ago, Uncle Siphuncle said:

I recommend a knife.

245DC5B5-68FE-4987-ADA3-E4C0324FC0D9.jpeg

No need to pack a lunch!

 

Don

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PaleoGuy

well, add a few more inches of sediments and add pressure with some patience, I see a vertebrate fossil in the making. I thought you were searching for fossils not planting the seeds for future finds... :-)

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