Last year, The Carolina Cryptid Crew held a public expedition. Participants were chosen by random drawing, plus one that had an awesome submission. Many people asked then and have asked since, what one would bring on a Bigfoot Expedition. Well, there are several things I include in my pack. All of these are not necessities, but will make your experience more enjoyable.
The things that you absolutely must have when on a Bigfoot Expedition is a flashlight (and I highly recommend a camera of some kind).
1. Correct Clothing and ShoesThis may not seem like a biggie to some, but believe me- it is. I've seen people show up to an expedition wearing shorts and flip flops- not a good idea. Not only will you be traipsing around where you can't see 2 feet in front of your face, but there is wildlife out there and lots of bugs (read: chiggers and ticks).
You are going to want to wear hiking boots (or at least good tennis shoes), jeans that you can move in, and a shirt you are comfortable in. You may want to bring along a raincoat. My general expedition uniform is jeans, hiking/ work boots (yes, they are pink), a tank top until it gets cold, a pretty pink camo hat, and a jacket for when it cools off.
Snake guards are always a good idea, as well as a non-scented bug repellant (wristbands work great) and sunscreen.
2. Safety GearAlong with snake guards, bug repellant, and sunscreen, there are other safety items you may want to consider bringing along. These items include a powerful stun gun, knife, first aid kit, flashlight, hunting vest and snake bite kit.
A survival kit with water purifier is also a good idea. Included in this should be flares, a thermal blanket, and meal bars.
Personal water filter, 25,000,000-volt stun gun with flashlight, adjustable beam light
In all honestly, it doesn't matter what kind of camera unless you are a serious bigfooter. Our team uses a combination of trail cameras, bell+howell night vision camera, cell phones, Kodak Easyshare, Kodak Easyshare Sport, GoPro Hero 3, MeCam, and several other digital cameras and camcorders. You just want to make sure you can get a photo if you find evidence or of the big guy himself.
You could always invest in a thermal imaging camera, but they can cost into the thousands.
4. Monopod or Selfie Stick
This is pretty essential with a camera. They can help you get a better angle, but they serve a more fundamental role as well. With a monopod or selfie stick, your photos and videos will be more stable because the handle will allow the movement of your body to dissipate before it gets to the camera. If you choose not to use one, I highly recommend using a glove, it can help minimize static noise.
Alexan FlexPro Selfie Stick
This may seem an odd thing to include, but trust me. I have a GoPro Hero 3 with added IR. In the woods, I use an additional IR light to get a better range on my photos. This meansI have the camera, extra light, and 2 batteries. That doesn't include my phone, flashlight, voice recorder, or any other gear I may carry. So, I use a mount that I attach to my monopod, hot shoe adapters, and velcro to have my set up all smooth (I'll share that another time). This set up is directly determined by your gear and your pereerences.
You may want to even consider something like a phone lasso that will allow you to put your phone on a lanyard (or anything else with a smooth surface.) I have one on my phone that I keep attached to a wristlet. Then, on an evestigation, I'll switch it to a lanyard. It is always ready to go when I need it. You could also put a voice recorder on it.
6. Voice Recorder
This is a pretty importaant one. There have been nights that we have been at the research area and heard howls all night long. Then, there are nights we may hear 2. There are many options for voice recorders, including apps. I suggest a freestanding one though, it s much simpler. You can get a very involved one like from Sony or Olumpus, or a more simpler one. I prefer this one touch recorder from Uqique. Just turn it on and it starts recording. Great for catching calls.
7. Walkie Talkie
This is one of hose essential things that the team you will be with will most likely have, we do. However, if you are going with a friend (or starting a team), I wanted to include this. If you and your friend get seperated, this is a great thing to have! You don't have to have the best one, just enough diistance to reach eachother.
8. Evidence Collection
You are going to want something to collect evidence with. While you do not have to have all of this, these are some of the items in mine. Paper bags, ziplock bags, vials, tweezers, disposable gloves, alcohol wipes, surveyor's tape, tape measure, lighted magnifying glass, distance meter, UV light and a notepad to write it all down with and number. Don't forget plaster, water, and something to miz it in.
I have tweezers, surveyors tape, tape measure, and baggies in my pack I carry along. Then, I have a tool box with the rest of this stuff in it.
9. Something To Carry Your Gear With
While some items can be left at base camp, some can be worn on your person (or monopod), there are still going to be things you need to have with you and not in your hands. So, you need something to carry it with.
There are many options available, including utility vests, backpacks, waist packs, sling packs, and more. I personally use a variety of options. I use a small backpack and a waist pack. I also have a larger backpack I keep at base base camp with speakers, extra gear, and all that fun stuff we sometimes use in it- just in case. I've been keeping my eye out for a couple different size camera backpacks because they have easier access and padding for equipment and a utility vest for my husband. If you have recommendations, I'd love to hear them.
10. The Right Attitude
I saved the biggest for last. I'm not going to tell you what attitude is right because essentially, it is about what is in your heart.
I'm not setting out to prove that bigfoot (or ghosts) exist to the world- I already know they are real. I am doing 2 things I am trying to get people to open their mind to the possibility of something existing that they cannot see, and I'm looking for an explanation to what I've seen- that's all. If they do ever get proven to exist, I will work to have them protected. I do not want to see them killed, although I fear that a body is the only way to prove what I've seen exists.