From my website I often get the request from newbie chasers / spotters to give them information about what equipment they need to get started. Alternatively they may ask what training they need. I'd like to post one such reply I created so that other startup chasers / spotters can have quick access to a list. Additionally I create this as a thread so that other chasers can add things I left out, or give their opinion of what is needed. Chasers please add your thoughts. Moderators please 'Sticky' and move to Equipment, or the Beginning Education Forum if you think it is more appropriate there. Following is my comments / list: ******************************************************** This is a bit long and what is required is always a debate amongst the chase community. Some chasers like to go barebones and some like to have all the equipment, bells, and whistles. I am somewhere in between the two but admit I like access to data. Here is a quick breakdown off the top of my head: Vehicle - You need something up to the task that is reliable, has decent ground clearance, possible off road ability, mud tires a plus, AWD / 4WD recommended, can be serviced easily with local parts, reliable, can hold and mount your equipment the way you want it set up, decent gas mileage (if that is important to you), and can carry your chase buddies and their equipment (if you need this ability). Also you might want a vehicle that you don't mind getting dinged with hail. If you heavily chase it isn't a matter of if you will encounter hail. It is a matter of WHEN you will encounter hail. Tow Rope- Even the best trail ratted vehicle can find its self getting stuck when chasing. For this reason you will need tow ropes. Even if you do not travel on dirt roads it is still a good idea to have tow ropes in case you slide off or are forced off a paved road and into a ditch. Laptop, or suitable modified desktop and monitor that is securely mounted to avoid airbags. Note: m all equipment must avoid airbag deployment zones Laptop Stand - such as Jotto Desk. I forget the brand I use. It seems to work...I could look it up. Ram mounts also makes similar devices. Cameras and Camcorders if you wish to document Dashcam mount - if you wish to mount and use a dashcam while you chase. Stickypod is one... Ram mounts are another. Cell phone - for calling in reports, getting help, talking to buddies, nowcasters, etc. Gps enable phone with various features such as IPhone is even better. Some folks tether the cell phone to their notebook for internet data whereas others use a separate USB or slot aircard for data. Cell Power Booster - optional but some chasers swear you have to have this for consistent data by wireless internet Cables/connectors - for all connections such as phones, aircards, antennas. Weatherband radio / scanner - for picking up NWS Warnings. This is somewhat optional if you have other means of getting this information (ex satellite, or cell data) but is a good redundant backup as well. Paper maps and Atlas (as primary or backup navigation) - Roads of Series are nice. Delorme also has a decent series along with their Road Atlas Internet connection - via cell, or wifi or USB wireless modem / aircard Flashlight Work Gloves- These can come in very, especially if you have to help move debris ff the road or are assisting with search and rescue in heavily damaged areas. Hail Goggles - in case you get caught in a core of large hail you must protect your eyes Helmet - in case you have to run in the hail. (This is optional - but nice to know you have) ANSI reflective traffic vest- This is a must have if you chase at night or in areas with poor visibility. It is also highly recommended if you have a vest when chasing in high traffic areas or roads that may have a lot of curves and blind hills. Emergency equipment / First Aid kit - to help others and yourself. All the general stuff is good such as spare tires, fix a flat, air pump, road flares, - some people carry defibrilators for lightning strike victims, and a mouth apparatus in case of need for emergency respiration - if you are into all that. Various antennas for your scanner, and cell phone(s) Power invertor - and I also like to use a power strip with it. Power Strip- with surge protection Rain X- Anti fog and water repel treatments are both highly suggested. Clear plastic film and tape in case your window gets broken and you need to repair so you can drive the vehicle and keep the rain out. Cig lighter splitter accessory - For plugging in devices for power, but you may wish to plug everything via AC into the power strip that is plugged into the invertor. Mobile Threatnet - also known as Wx Worx by Baron. This provides satellite full time radar and other products. Different service levels available. (This is another option, but is a reliable data source for radar). Streaming video account - via Severestreaming, or ChaserTv, or Tornadovideos.net, etc Meteorological software - such as Digital Atmosphere, GR3 (by Allisonhouse/Gibson Ridge). Navigational software - such as Street Atlas GPS - used for navigation, and broadcasting your position to others, and as input to your Navigational software such as Street Atlas above. GPS Splitter software - such as GPSGate that allows you to split your gps signal to be used by multiple software applications at the same time. Paper maps/ Atlus- It is always good to have a a paper back up to your GPS device in the event something goes wrong with your laptop or stand alone GPS unit. Internet Data Sources - They are numerous. This includes sites like the Storm Prediction Center, NWS, Weathertap, UCAR forecast models, etc. Emergency lights / Lightbars - I don't really believe in it, but some chasers / spotters fully believe in the need for all the lights so others can avoid them when driving in low visibility conditions. Also fog lights, etc. This is a debate in the chaser community. Full size spare tire- This is not a must have but is highly recommend, especially if you are on long distance chases. A donut is NOT a long term substitution for replacing a full sized tire. Slime (or other flat repair kits)/ Small air compressor- This can be a good quick fix if you happen to damage more than one tire and only have one spare. Most jump boxes that you can buy will also have a little air compressor in it. If you can afford one of these I would get it as the jump box is also a good piece of equipment to carry with you (see bellow). Empty gas can- Better safe than sorry. It is always a good idea to carry a small gas can you can have filled in case you misjudge distances between gas stations. Cash- Some gas stations in rural areas may not take cards and checks. There are also some times when you will find a station that normally can take a card but the storms in the area have brought down their card machines. Jump box/ jumper cables- For those times you forget to turn off your inverters or other car powered electronics. GMRS Radios - If you wish to convoy with other chasers or buddies then it's good to be able to talk without using a cell phone. Spotting / Chasing - knowledge to keep you safe and to help you find the right storm and the right place on the storm. (I know - not equipment but thought I'd throw it in). We chasers are always in classroom mode..we are always learning. Learn to fully understand storm structure, types, and behavior. Your life in the field will depend on it particularly as you become more skilled at finding that which you seek. Severe Weather Forecasting - Not equipment, but you may wish to learn to forecast severe weather for yourself. I really enjoy this aspect of chasing as it makes it a bigger puzzle to solve. The list I have (I probably left out some things). It seems like a lot, but there are lots more details, options, choices between each. Also not all of these things are necessarily required. It based on what you desire, and are comfortable with as well as how you want to chase and possibly how close you want to get. Note: Earlier this year I chased with just my Iphone and my notebook running Delorme Street Atlas. It was successful, but a bit tough. When I started back in '93 I only chased with a paper road map, my NOAA Weather radio, and a camera / camcorder.