Everyone's favorite topic! Gear. I'm going at this gear list a little bit different. First of all, most everything on this list is under $25 and your not going to find it at your local photo store. I have listed 5 items that I bring along with me on every shoot (weather depending).
Blind can be a very effective way to get close to your subject without changing the animals behavior. Chad and I have been using a blind for several years now. I can say that it works! Another benefit for a blind is that it keeps you out of the elements allowing you to shoot long in to the day. I have been inside a blind in bone chilling cold weather and mid summer downpour. If you don't have the cash to buy a dedicated blind your car can double as an effective blind.
One other type of blind that you can pick up for $15 is a piece of burlap camo. The great thing about burlap is; it's highly portable and light weight. I have used mine mostly along side ponds where I can lay on my stomach and pull the burlap over my body. I put my camera on a tripod to keep the burlap off my head to give me some movement.
Anyone that has spent anytime in the field knows that your body can get tired carrying all your gear around. A portable chair to bring along and help give you a little rest while shooting will save wear and tear on your body and keep you fresh. The chair that I use that I have linked to in this post is $25. It folds flat for easy storage and light weight so your more willing to bring it along with you.
One of the most important pieces of equipment that Chad and I use is what we affectionately call an ass mat. This is a small piece of foam that I bring anytime I'm shooting outside especially in the winter months. It is a small barrier between you and the frozen/cold/wet ground. I can tell you the times that I forgot my ass mat at home my outing was significantly shortened.
Hand warmers are simply necessary in cold weather climates. These cheap little warmers are a must to give you a little shot of warmth while shooting. My advice is to buy a box of these and keep it in the car!
I hope these items can help you stay out in the field longer. All links are to a Minnesota based company called Gander Mountain. I have no affiliation with Gander Mountain what so ever. You should be able to find any of the items listed above at any outdoor store. On Twitter, follow @ChrisKlapheke the owner of Outdoor Photo Gear or @OPGear on Twitter. Chris is a great guy with a great company that has wonderful customer service for outdoor photo related gear. outdoorphotogear.com