What is in your field rucksack? A trip to Chilean Patagonia

What is in your field rucksack? A trip to  Chilean Patagonia

Inspired by a post on Lifehacker on what your average geologist carries in their rucksack/backpack, we’ve put together a few blog posts showcasing what a range of our EGU members carry in their bags whilst in the field!

Of course, fieldwork in Northern Europe vs. research in Australia is very different, think only of the weather! The same is true if you’ve been embarked on research in the Arctic vs. the Amazon, for instance.

The second bag we take a peek into belongs to Alejandro Dussaillant-Jones, a hydrologic engineer affiliated with the Centro de Investigacion en Ecosistemas de la Patagonia, who, for the past five years has been carrying out research about glacial lake outburst flood, hydrology and fluvial geomorphology in the Chilean Patagonia. Compared to that Zoe Mildon carried in her bag for field work in the Italian Alps, the contents of their bags sure looks different!

This bag belongs to: Alejandro Dussaillant, engineering hydrologist (CIEP, VATF Ltd.)

Field Work location: Baker & Colonia Rivers, NPI, Chilean Patagonia

Duration of field work: 2 weeks (years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)

What was the aim of the research?: To study outburst floods from Lake Cachet II to the Colonia and Baker Rivers, with a particular focus on outburst wave impacts on catastrophic flooding, sediment erosion/deposition, and floodplain vegetation. Lake Cachet II is particularly interesting as it has a habit of draining very rapidly; sometimes just overnight!

The one item I couldn’t live without: UVF radios to keep in contact with team surveying, monitoring or boating with me!

Alejandro describes the contents of his bag as ‘minimal’ since he usually also has to carry surveying kit, flow meter(s), sensors, tree-corer, auger, sun hat, rain gear, sun lotion, anti-bug spray, sat-phone, etc… when carrying out fieldwork in the Chilean Patagonia.

If you’ve been on field work recently and would like the contents of your bag to feature on the blog, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact the EGU’s Communication Officer, Laura Roberts (

Avatar photo
Laura Roberts Artal is the Outreach and Dissemination Manager at The Water Innovation Hub (University of Sheffield). Laura also volunteers as the Associate Director of Communications for Geology for Global Development. She has also held a role in industry as Marketing Manager for PDS Ava (part of PDS Group). Laura was the Communications Officer at the European Geosciences Union from the summer of 2014 to the end of 2017. Laura is a geologist by training and holds a PhD in palaeomagnetism from the University of Liverpool. She tweets at @LauRob85.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>