If losing things in the field were an Olympic sport, I would definitely win the gold medal.
This has been the summer of all things lost. Pretty much everything has been dropped in the forest and left behind, at some point or another.
Exhibit A: Things I Have Lost
-Prescription Glasses (Luckily, I have two pair. Look Ma, I’m prepared!)
– 3 bandanas
– Field Notebook
– 5 pencils
– 1 shirt
– Clipboard (Note: This happens when you hike around with your backpack unzipped. Don’t do this.)
Exhibit B: Things I Have Recovered
-GPS (Good thing it’s bright orange)
– 1 shirt
**Great story alert! For a while, I was bringing my iPhone into the field every day because of the convenience provided by some handy clinometer and compass apps. One afternoon on my hike back from a field site, I reached down to feel my pocket and realized my phone was missing. With a sense of panic, I turned around and retraced my steps back to the tree plantation where I had spent most of the day looking for sloths and measuring trees. After several hours searching through tall brush and scouring areas of trampled grass to no avail, I returned back to the Soltis Center just before dark.
Over the next few days, I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to track down a ridiculously expensive piece of metal. Meanwhile, I sent a message to my phone using the Find My iPhone app – “Perdió teléfono. Por favor, llámeme xxxx-xxxx. Recompensa $$$”. I was relying on this message because without cell service I was unable to call the phone, and even if I did have reception the phone was on silent.
Four days from when I first lost the phone, I received a call from a Tico who believed he had my phone and wanted to know if a reward was truly being offered. He had found it on the road, in almost the exact spot where I had first realized I was missing my phone several days before. The man came to the Center and we swapped phone for cash and that became: the day I got my $600 iPhone returned for a $100 fee. Pretty darn lucky.
While I would never be caught dead owning a camo-print piece of equipment or apparel, I did learn that it is helpful to have field gear in nauseating colors like hot pink or neon yellow. Having a bright orange GPS and an equally vibrant orange field notebook is probably the only reason I was able to locate them in the jungle. Despite the long list of things I have lost along the way, I have still managed to [somewhat] keep track of my mind.
All’s well that ends well.