- Binoculars: a must. I have a pair of Nikon Monarch 7 (10×42) and really love them. Economical, light, sharp view. Here’s a nice site from Audubon about choosing binocs (lhttps://www.audubon.org/gear/binocular-guide).
- Chest strap: this allows me to carry my binocs hands-free and keeps me from getting a sore neck as I used to when I used the neck strap they came with.
- Hip pack: a must to carry my water bottle and keep my hands free. I use my mom’s old pack when I’m birding in the summer, and something larger when I need space for a jacket. in the fall or winter. REI sells a decent selection (https://www.rei.com/) but never say no to a hand-me-down!
- Water and Snack: Though birding rarely burns a ton of calories, it does build up my thirst and appetite. A water bottle is a must, and any kind will really do. After trying many different bars, I’ve more or less settled on Cliff Nut Butter bars (https://shop.clifbar.com/collections). They hold up well in my pack, don’t melt, and give me a good boost. I’m sure there are tons of opinions about bars out there; just sharing what works for me!
- A fellow birder: Birding is so much better when you do it with a friend!
So that’s my list. Assembled, it looks like this: