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Collecting kits
12-22-2015, 12:52 PM,
Collecting kits
I'm most likely getting a beach-suitable wagon for Christmas, so I have space to take things on beach-going expeditions other than just what I can fit in my pockets. Whenever my family goes to the beach, they set up a shaded base and then I run off with a tiny plastic tank and a camera to catch things to look at. Which means I only have my pockets to put things in, and I usually end up being stabbed by shells.
So I'm thinking I should probably have:
Ruler that measures in mm for when I find live things to photograph and ID later
Waterproof camera (already have this, works really well)
A few small assorted plastic boxes to be sure delicate stuff doesn't get broken
Maybe some sort of stuffing to pad said boxes so shells don't rattle- is polyester stuffing OK for temporary usage? Not for everything, of course, most shells are durable enough to sit with other shells- just for fragile things like sand dollars and those ultra-thin white shells that break if you even touch them wrong, which I haven't managed to ID because I can't find an intact one.
A few Ziplock bags for dead stuff (either mucky shells or jarred specimens) that stinks otherwise
Trowel (mostly for digging for sand-dwellers)
Bucket or small tank (standard equipment, great for rinsing sargassum to find critters)
Maybe a basic Gulf of Mexico shell guide (any good ones for Texas coast? Specifically, I need something that'll tell me if that pretty snail is about to bite me. I know about jellyfish and Man-O-Wars, but I don't know if we have any toxic snails)

Also, what kit would everyone suggest for scuba diving and finding shells? I can't carry that much, of course, but I'm thinking just the camera, a collection bag, and maybe a couple of tiny plastic boxes that I can keep in the bag in case something tiny turns up.

I won't be collecting live critters in either circumstance. Nothing against people who responsibly collect live things, but I don't like killing things, even snails. So I won't be needing anything to hold live animals. If I ever go on a collecting trip for aquarium stock, I'll be taking a different kit entirely.

And hey, what's everyone else's standard shell-collecting kit? Might get some ideas.

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