Today I have been doing something that I find very exciting, and that is packing for my three week excavation in Ardnamurchan, Scotland. This year I am lucky enough to be participating in Dr. Oliver Harris’, one of my many favourite lecturers at the University of Leicester, ongoing research dig at Ardnamurchan. However, it occurred to me during my excited packing that each year I go on an excavation I really have to think about what I need to pack and thought that it would be nice to have a list. So I am making one for me, and for you!
- Tent (obviously only if your accommodation is camping, you would just look silly turning up at actual accomodation with a tent)
- Camp bed and sleeping bag – I would recommend a camp bed, they come very cheap, as it keeps you off the floor (unlike many airbeds) and thus warmer
- Digging equipment, including trowel, measuring tape, 4H pen, pencil, and line-level.
- Digging clothes – waterproof jacket and trousers (especially if your dig is in Britain as it is known to rain), waterproof digging boots (preferably steel-toe-capped), gloves (if you are prone to blisters on your hands), and a sunhat
- Sun cream and after sun (because yes it is sunny sometimes too)
- Other toiletries – shampoo etc.
- Torch, as most camp sites are not lit at night and finding your tent in the dark can be rather challenging
- Water bottle – being hydrated is a must
- Backpack – for carrying your own digging equipment, water and sun cream and other essentials you may need to site
- Flip-flops – these are my digging saviours, after a long day in boots I love to change into footwear where my feet can breathe (they are also really easy to get on and off if you don’t want to bring dirty shoes into your tent)
- Pyjamas and underwear (because yes I have forgotten them in the past)
- Non-digging clothes – for your day/s off!
- Medication, if needed (such as hayfever tablets, painkillers etc.)
- Extras – kneeling mat or knee pads
This list of essentials might give those who are yet to experience a three week dig an idea of just how unique and awesome the experience is and if you get the chance I would definitely recommend that you snap it up and have the best three weeks of your life. I am extremely excited that it is the digging time of year again (can you tell?) and I cannot wait to share with you how my three weeks in Ardnamurchan go once I am back!