This section is broken out into three levels: basic, recommended, and advanced requirements for chasing. We have evolved through these levels over time. Some may choose to start out at ‘advanced’ immediately. For many this is a function of time and financial commitments.
Reliable and well maintained vehicle. 4-wheel drive is not necessary, although front wheel drive and/or a vehicle with good gas mileage are preferred.
NOAA Weather Radio receiver.
Cell Phone – Digital and/or Analog.
Area maps, usually detailed enough to show smaller roads.
Attend yearly spotter seminars, hosted by the NWS.
Knowledge of what you are doing (driving, chasing, etc.) and the hazards that you might face.
Plenty of patience!
35mm or digital camera.
Digital voice recorder or tape. Useful for logging events during the chase.
Entry level video camera.
Attend advanced spotter seminars. These may be offered by universities and/or the NWS.
An extra person to navigate and watch the sky while you drive. Also useful for sharing the cost of fuel.
TV antenna and of course portable TV.
Blank surface maps to plot current conditions, SPC information, and RADAR data.
Latest available environmental data: model prognostics, surface parameters (CAPE, LI), and satellite images. Usually gathered when departing for the chase.
Amateur radio transceiver, requires passing an FCC test to transmit.
Cell phone with Internet (GPRS/GSM) capability or other means of remote Internet access.
Laptop with GPS mapping/tracking.
TV satellite receiver, useful for sitting out in BFE waiting for storms to develop.
Someone back home to feed you RADAR and/or weather information.
Another person (3 or more) to help out with sky watching and other duties.
Higher end 35mm or digital camera.
Pro-sumer video camera.
Power inverter for powering the computer and all the other equipment. Make sure not to overload the car’s battery or the inverter.
Handheld or mounted environmental sensors: anemometer, temperature, humidity, and/or pressure.
There is a plethora of other items that can be taken on a chase. We by no means have everything listed above or want such. We do, however, employ what we think is necessary to chase.