Chase Kit suggestions from the vets

There is some excellent information on the board regarding various items that chasers need/use, and I thought it might be a good idea for us less experienced chasers if the veterans would put together their thoughts on what makes up a chase kit. Specific models of equipment are not required as the board is full of great reference material, but rather a generic approach. To keep things simple for reference, a possible post format would be under three categories, with each item assigned one of three priorties:

Categories
[Technology]
[Recording]
[Misc]

Priority
Essential
Recommended
Bonus

Example post format:

[Technology]
Cell Phone (Essential)
Laptop (Recommended)
Satellite Internet access (Bonus)

[Recording and Measurement]
Digital Vidcam (Essential)

[Misc]
First Aid Kit (Essential)

Thanx for the input guys/gals, I look forward to reading your insights/suggestions.


Be well, TR
 
Im not a vet I have been chasing two years now..
i have seen what they use in the field though and have had opportunity to use it first hand.. Im purchasing these items myself and have acquired some already?

Scanner for Freq and NWS
XM Sattelite Mobile threatnet
Laptop for xm Satellite and Wifi
GPS and Streetatlas
Binoculars
StillCamera/video camera

most of this can be kept in a nice nylon attache..

laptop mount/camera mount
nice extras
 
I'm not a veteran by any means - but here are a few of my items. Keep in mind my chase season is all year, all weather phenomena. It is hard for me to rank the importance of these, as I consider these all pretty much essentials as I use them on almost every chase trip. Being without these would make for some very uncomfortable/inconvenient/awkward situations on long chase trips should the situation arise. I wouldn't say all of this is extremely neccessary, but definately helpful.

Electrical/electronics/communications gear:
- Laptop with WIFI, GPS and WxWorx (spring and summer only)
- Scanner (primarily for NWR) with external antenna
- Cell phone
- CB radio (car-to-car comm)
- Still, video and digital cameras
- Extra batteries and chargers for the above
- AC inverter to power the above
- Power strip to plug in the above
- USB cardreader for digital camera
- Velcro strips to secure the above to dash or other parts of interior
- Cable ties and wire terminal strips to organize wiring.

Safety/problem avoidance gear:
- Battery jump-starter pack
- Spare keys for vehicle (kept in pocket at ALL TIMES)
- Hydraulic jack for quick tire changing
- Insect repellant
- Tow strap, two 2-ton come-alongs (cable pullers) and strong rope
- AAA Plus membership. Worth every penny.
- Basic first aid kit
- Gloves and ski cap (winter)
- Changes of clothes and extra shoes
- Supply of essential OTC medications (Pepto Bismol, Ibuprofen tablets, etc). These have saved the day on several chases!
- Prepaid calling card (for no cell service areas)

Misc.:
- Flashlights (Maglite).
- Homemade cardboard window privacy panels for vehicle camping
- Pillow, sleeping bag and blanket. Comes in handy at bad hotels.
- Tools (screwdrivers, pliers, etc.)
- Rope, wire and duct/masking/electrical tape
- Road Atlas for USA, OK, TX, MO. Still use these from time to time even with GPS.
- Canvas folding chair.
- Small cooler

Photography:
- Rain protection for video camera
- At least 8 rolls of slide film
- At least 30 MiniDV tapes (Plains vacation), at least 8 extra tapes any other time
- Tripods/quick releases for all cameras
- Homemade dashcam mount
- Kitchen timer (for long exposures)
- Large windproof golf umbrellas. Can be stuck in pickup bed siderails for hands-free camera/tripod rain protection.
- Lint-free lens rag

Security:
- Heavy-duty cables and locks to secure tripods and camera cases
- Large lockable camera case, cabled and locked to the seat.
- Professionally-installed alarm system.

Probably more than you wanted to know! I may think of others later......
 
Mine usually changes every year, depending on what I lacked or needed the year before... but this is my basic:

TECHNOLOGY/ELECTRONICS/COMMUNICATION:

- Cell phone & charger
- Laptop (recently purchased a WiFi card for next season)
- GPS
- XM Wx Worx
- Scanner
- Canon Digital Rebel camera with accessories.
- JVC DV Camcorder
- USB card reader for digital camera
- Extra batteries
- AC inveter to power on my equipment
- 2 Scanners. 1 monitors law enforcement and skywarn spotters and the other monitors NOAA Weather Radio.
- Portable TV audio reciever (I bought this when I worked in TV for reporters to use as IFB's when doing live shots in order to hear the anchors and what's going on).
- Kestrel 3000 weather station
- Mini Digital tape recorder

SAFETY

- Battery jumper pack.
- Spare keys that I have on me at all times.
- First aid kit.
- Flash lights
- Binoculars
- I also carry a thick notebook filled with info including skywarn reporting #'s, spotter frequencies, county maps and regional maps and state maps with county listing and a ton of other items.
- Jacket and extra clothing/

THINGS FOR NEXT YEAR

- I'm planning to get my ham radio license so I'll toss in ham radio.
- Mobile mesonet

And probably some other misc items.

AND MOST IMPORTANLY.......

Make sure I have my credit card and ATM card and I even carry $100 in cash on me in case credit card systems go down or something.
 
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