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I get bored easily(not really bored... more like distracted... or bored...) so I have to come up with something interesting.

Anyone wear a vest while birding? If so, any thoughts/comments on the types of vests you prefer?  Fishing? hunting? birding? Best material, design, fabric, etc?  I've been looking at some for a few reasons... and I'm almost wanting to just make my own. HA. 
First... the reason(s). 1. More pockets are always handy while birding. 2. I sometimes keep a small notebook for checklists in my shirt pocket. I lost a few birds from a few lists(BEFORE I got to submit them to eBird) due to sweat getting on the notebook... yay...  3. Something to decorate or really at least put pins/patches on. My kids(some of them anyway) and I are planning on participating in a program called Wings Over Arkansas where you submit all the birds you've ever seen in the state and some other info and, you get pins mailed to you for free.  The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission also has a program that I still have to figure out, specifically, how to participate in part of it to get free patches.

anyway... so, for several reasons, I've been considering something for a while. I've gotten opinions from others not too long ago... there are a variety of options out there, I just can't figure out what I want yet. I'm a bit picky about things. I'm not vain in the sense that I care what other people think of how I look... but, I'm picky when it comes to what looks right or wrong on me. Something might look fine to others but hurt my eyes/brain. HA.   Because of pickiness, uncertainty, and other factors, decision making is a BIG pain in the neck for me. The other year I lost my pocket knife and I spent 2 or 3 days on Amazon comparing a TON of them before buying one. Drove myself mad.
So, I might hate some suggestions but, getting more ideas is always a good idea... You might aid in my slow descent into madness or, you might help me out. Only one way to find out.

One of these days I need to find a site where I can upload a picture of my head and virtually try on different styles of hat... but that's a discussion for another day.

And by the power that's vested in me, I now pronounce you free to bird...

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I'm glad you started this since I've been wanting to ask about this myself.

I have a vest I was given several years ago and almost immediately forgot.  I remembered it a few months ago and have taken it out a  couple of times since.  But I bird light and usually for less than four hours, so I don't have much to put in the plentiful pockets.  I have my binos on a harness, the camera is on monopod that doubles as a walking stick, the phone for eBird, and maybe a couple of 1-gallon Zip-Locs for the binos and camera if the weather looks iffy.

In short, I haven't figured out a way to get any value out of the garment.  I'm wide open for suggestions.  It hangs in the garage next to the free backpack I received at a NASCAR race eight or nine years ago and have never used once.

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As it turns out, I bird about like @Charlie Spencer, except no monopod and a plastic grocery store bag instead of Ziploc. If it's hot or on longer hikes I carry a bottle of water on an Aquaclip. So no help on the vest, but you might find some inspiration by reading Katy No Pocket: https://www.amazon.com/Katy-No-Pocket-Sandpiper-Emmy-Payne/dp/0395137179#reader_0395137179 :classic_smile:

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The Zip-Locs are a recent upgrade from grocery bags.

I also have a visor.  It stays in the car but I almost never remember to take it out or put it on.  I actively dislike headgear; most make my head sweat.

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27 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

The Zip-Locs are a recent upgrade from grocery bags.

I also have a visor.  It stays in the car but I almost never remember to take it out or put it on.  I actively dislike headgear; most make my head sweat.

Agreed on the headgear. I'm not much of a hat person.

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honestly I don't like wearing hats a lot myself but when I'm birding...  I end up with sun problems. I wear a duck commander(I'm not a hunter though) baseball style hat just to have something protecting my scalp. sometime in the last year or two I had a spot removed from the top of my head that turned out to be skin cancer... not a typically problematic one but, just the same... blech. So, I HAVE to protect the top of my head. And, lowers the light to my eyes. Bright light sure makes me squint.

Anyway, I'll keep thinking on the vest...  Hopefully I can make a decision before it gets TOO warm out. I know a lot of people prefer using the eBird app but I still prefer a notebook. For me, it's easier... not easier to get checklists submitted but, I just like it... and it's easier, in warm weather, to carry it around in my shirt rather than pants pockets. So would a phone actually.

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As HamRHead can attest, I bird with a light backpack that is purple. I usually don't do light treks, though. My pack has all my snacks and water, plastic bags, my phone, etc. Then I have my camera and binos. 

I also usually wear a hat. 

So, if you're ever birding in Georgia, and you see a chick with a ponytail, purple pack, and a light blue hat, come say hi! I have snacks! 😂 (Although I'm also super awkward and shy in person.)

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23 hours ago, millipede said:

I'm almost wanting to just make my own. HA. 

That's exactly what I did. My current one is the second version; I didn't like the first one so I knew what to do differently the second time around!

It's cotton sheeting, lightweight but with enough body to hold its shape. It's a green jungle print with birds; I cut the pockets so they each have a full bird on them. It's loose-fitting but has elastic at the waist so it won't flop all over. Front closes with three snap clasps (like the ones on backpacks) but with a gap, again to allow for airflow. Plenty of pockets, inside for money and valuables, and outside for phone, iPod, snacks, notebook and pen, etc. Back has a large pocket that can hold two 2-liter bottles of water or a camelback. The water provides a counterweight to keep the vest from riding up in the back when the front is full of stuff. I found the right position for the back pocket so I can reach it to get water bottles in or out without taking it off; I am thinking about a flap because if I bend over too far the bottles fall out, but that would complicate taking them out with the vest on.  It has rings on the shoulders, one of which has a combination compass/thermometer/whistle attached to it. The other one is to clip my camera up out of the way when necessary. I use small carabiner clips for this.

I don't wear it for quick jaunts around the neighborhood, but for day-long birding excursions I do, and usually don't use a purse or backpack. I can put all the essentials in and it's cooler than a full backpack, and easier to get stuff in and out of than a backpack. I don't usually carry field guides into the field anymore, but one pocket is large enough for one if I do. If I'm out for a marathon session, like a Christmas Bird Count, and I am taking full meals, I have a small shoulder bag I use for that. I often bird in very hot areas so cool is important, but the vest will fit over a jacket when needed. 

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