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Placerville, California

El Dorado County



Field Trips
Collecting Tips - Field Trip Guidelines
by Barbara Terrill, El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society

Please try to follow these simple suggestions to make our field trips fun and smooth running for you, the participants, and for the field trip leaders. These guidelines apply to all outings:

  1. Be on-time to the designated meeting place and ready to go.
  2. Sign-in on the sign-in sheet so we know that you have joined us.
  3. Sign the appropriate waiver form.
  4. Listen to all instructions given by the field trip leaders.
  5. Field trip leaders typically use walkie-talkies, CB's and cellular phones. If you have one, too, be sure to check with the field trip leaders to see what channel is being used and/or exchange cell phone numbers.
  6. When in convoy, follow the vehicle immediately in front of you and keep an eye on the vehicle immediately behind you, do not pass the vehicle in front of you. If you no longer see the vehicle behind you, stop and wait; there could be a problem and they might not have a walkie-talkie/cellular phone that can reach the leaders. By doing this, the chance of having a large "break" in the convoy can be minimized.
  7. Walkie-talkies CB's and cellular phones should be primarily used for emergency communications or travel assistance, not for unnecessary "chatter."
  8. Once at our collecting site, a sample of what to find and where to find it should be made available by the field trip leader. It is your responsibility to listen to the field trip leader and view the collecting material.
  9. If there is more than one site to visit in the day, all persons must be accounted for prior to departing to the next location.
  10. Remember to keep your field trip leader informed as to all matters of importance.
  11. Rely upon your field trip leader's directions and guidance; they are more familiar with the territory.
  12. If you are going to leave the group to make a "side trip" or to explore a surrounding area, be sure to notify your field trip leader.
  13. If you are leaving the group early, let your field trip leaders know.

Some etiquette and safety tips:

  1. Do not litter! Pick up all of your cans, bottles and lunch sacks. Always leave the place cleaner than when you arrived.
  2. Please inform your field trip leader if you intend to take dogs or cats with you.
  3. Be sure to bury any toilet tissue.
  4. Try to stay on existing roads when traveling, and park to the side of the road so others can get around your vehicle to pass if necessary.
  5. Always follow the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies' Code of Ethics.

Equipment Checklist - What to take on your next field trip.


  • Hat/Head covering with large brim
  • Boots/Sturdy footwear
  • Insect repellant/tick spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Food, Water, Drinks
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towel
  • Change of clothing (long-sleeve shirt & long pants)
  • First-aid/snake bite kit
  • Handiwipes


  • Extra Gas
  • Spare tire and jack
  • Shovel, axe
  • Tool Box
  • Maps, GPS, Compass
  • Extra water
  • Rope and tow strap
  • Tire repair kit
  • Knife

FOR COLLECTING: (Some items are optional, depending on the rock being collected).

  • Protective eye wear/goggles
  • Gloves
  • Kneepads
  • 5-gallon buckets, tote bags, backpacks (for carrying rocks)
  • Small plastic containers for delicate specimens (film containers work great!)
  • Old paint brush, toothbrush for cleaning specimens
  • Magnifying glass and/or loupe
  • Spray - type water bottle
  • Paper towels, newspaper and plastic bags
  • Magnet; MOHS test kit; hydrochloric acid
  • Ultraviolet light
  • Knife
  • Small or collapsible shovel
  • Rock pick(s), garden claws, and long screwdrivers
  • Small & large sledge hammers
  • Pry bars and gads
  • Various chisel sizes


  • Metal Detector, gold pan
  • Binoculars
  • Mirror
  • Walkie-talkies
  • Tent/shelter

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