Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Question: What equipment do I need to get started?
Answer: Great question! Between the TV shows and some of the forums out there, a lot of investigators (both new and seasoned) can get caught up in all of the possible equipment. In fact, if you ask any investigator, they will likely have one or two little "toys" that they have their eyes on that they would love to purchase. This is called GAS in the music industry -- Gear Acquisition Syndrome! Hehehe.
The important thing to keep in mind, in my opinion, is to get the most bang out of your buck.
First, start with the free stuff. Did you say free??? Yes, I did, but its not what you might think. By free, I mean things that you do not have to pay additional money for. Lets say you already own a digital camera. It might not be a high end digital SLR, but it will be enough to take pictures of the place that you are investigating, catch a few (dust?) orbs, and ... well, you just never know! Do you have a video camera that you use to document your 1 year old's first steps? Does it have a "nightshot" mode? If it does, that has instantly become a ghost hunters video capture device by adding just a little tripod and some blank tapes. You see what I mean? Don't forget about other things that you might have around the house like flashlights and even an old tape recorder that could capture EVPs on a cassette tape! And finally, don't forget your PC. It may not capture evidence, but its invaluable for research, analysis of your evidence, and storing you evidence long term.
Now granted, most folks are not going to have an EMF meter or a thermocouple thermometer in their home, and that's what this next section is about... purchasing additional equipment.
By far, the biggest bang for your buck as an investigator will be purchasing a digital voice recorder. Why is that? Well, look at what it captures -- it captures your voice documenting your investigation as well as possible captured EVPs. When you have an EVP, you have a real piece of anomalous evidence!! When you capture an EMF fluctuation in your EMF meter, you have only captured an EMF fluctuation. A lot of things can cause and EMF fluctuation. Not so many can cause an EVP. I highly recommend getting a digital voice recorder that has a USB connection to your PC. This will pay for itself in the time it takes for you to transfer the audio to your PC for analysis. Another item to purchase is a head lamp. Now, you aren't going to win any fashion shows wearing one of these, but it frees up your hands. Why carry around a flashlight in your hand when you can have one of these on your head. Now you can carry a camera and your digital voice recorder in each hand. With a head lamp, get one that does a red light. This is an old astronomy trick. Astronomers need to keep their night vision to look through their telescopes, but they also need to look at star maps. They use red lights because it keeps your night vision. When investigating in the dark, its important to keep your night vision.
Other pieces of equipment that an intermediate investigator may use are thermocouple thermometers, EMF meters, higher end digital cameras, and higher end infrared cameras and DVRs.
But, in the end, to get started, get yourself the basics:
- a digital camera
- a head lamp with a red light option
- a digital voice recorder with a USB port
- a home computer to analyze and store evidence and visit our website!
Then slowly add other equipment as you get more experience:
- a home video camera with night shot and a tripod
- an emf meter
- a digital thermocouple thermometer
And finally, don't forget about your most important piece of equipment -- yourself. The human body is one of the most sensitive instruments out there. We can pick up on all sorts of things happening in our environment, if we just pay attention to what we are feeling.