Hello again, Sasquatch fans of all ages… I hope everyone had a great week!
Last week I talked a bit about the basic list of tools needed for your own evidence collection kit. I want to stress that last week’s list was just the minimum of equipment needed. So, let’s build upon the list…
- Glasses: not the drinking type, but the wearing type. Lab technicians everywhere wear some sort of eye protection and you should too. Even if the particular sample you are dealing with has no potential to chip, come apart, splash or pose a threat to your vision in some other way, it’s a good habit to always wear safety glasses. If you think you will look like some sort of “nerd”, do a quick on-line search to find a style to fit your level of “coolness”. Consider wearing goggles over prescription glasses if need be.
- Facemask: imagine examining some dried scat that crumbles in your gloved Now imagine breathing in some of the fine scat “dust” that was created as the sample crumbled. Can you see where this is going? I’m fine with a N-95 mask. You pick your own level of protection.
- Scalpel: this is for sampling tissue. Buy a box of disposable scalpels or buy the scalpel knife handle and use disposable blades. X-ACTO™ knives work well also and are easy to clean and sterilize. Use the knife with the tweezers to remove fresh tissue.
- Collection tubes: The size I use is 16 x 150mm and they come with soft plastic caps. The caps snap into place and fit tight enough to be waterproof. This size works well because they are easy to sterilize and are big enough to hold my tweezers and sterile swabs. I do have to cut a bit of the shaft off the swab, but I can live with that.
- Magnifying glass or loupe: you get what you pay for here. Spend a few extra dollars, get something high quality, and high powered as your primary tool. I have a nice Bausch and Lomb magnifying glass complete with a scale bar in standard as well as metric that I used for examining crystals during avalanche research 25 years ago. I also have a cheap combination magnifying glass and LED light. The manufacturer calls it a “pocket microscope”. It has fallen apart twice and been repaired with duct tape, but that little LED light sure is nice for my middle-aged man eyes.
So this is a list of a few more tools that will make your evidence collection kit even better. In future posts, I will expand on other tools of the trade. Godspeed loyal readers.