For taphophiles and tombstone tourists, the key to any successful graveyard or cemetery adventure is making sure you are well prepared for your visit.
Below are the essentials I keep in my cemetery kit. Feel free to modify this list to suit your personal needs.
Backpack: Of course this should go without saying, but you need something to hold all these essentials in, so go ahead and buy yourself a lightweight backpack with good shoulder support and preferably with lots of storage room.
Water and Snack: If you're anything like me, your graveyard excursions often last a lot longer than intended, so you will want to have water and snack on hand.
Proper Footwear and Long Pants: The last thing you want in a cemetery is a a broken toe from a loose headstone or to have poison ivy brush up against your bare legs. At the very least wear running shoes, but something with a bit more protection - like a hiking boot - is ideal.
Gloves: If you come across a headstone that needs to be cleared of debris, having a pair of gloves can really come in handy. Protecting your hands is also important for picking up any litter you come across.
Sunscreen & Bug Spray: This goes without saying but your skin should be thoroughly protected from the sun's harmful rays. Bug spray or tick repellent is also a good idea to have if the graveyard is overgrown.
Plastic Bag: You should always leave a cemetery cleaner than you found it. If there are no garbage bins on site, having something to collect litter in is a good idea.
Soft Bristle Brush: A soft brush can help you clear away dirt from a headstone. Be sure to only remove things like loose leaves and sticks. Removing roots or lichen can compromise the integrity of the stone. A brush with hard bristles can damage or scratch older headstones.
Small Spade: If you are planting flowers (or collecting graveyard dirt) a mini spade is your best friend.
Please do not dig in a graveyard or cemetery without permission. Many cemeteries have flower planting guidelines on their websites or posted in the office.
Resealable Poly Bags: If you are collecting graveyard dirt, use small poly bags with the name of the grave occupant and their location written on them.
Again, I do not recommend digging in a graveyard without permission.
Offerings: Always, always, always bring an appropriate amount of offerings for both the people you are visiting and for the graveyard guardian (a spirit who is generally found around the gate). Offerings can be anything, but most people bring coins, shells, small trinkets or flowers.
Map and Rules: Almost all cemeteries and graveyards these days have a website where you find a PDF map and a list of rules. If you are visiting an older graveyard that is no longer in use you can probably find a map or land survey in the local archives.
Notebook and Pen: I like to keep a small notebook with me for recording details of headstones, interesting epitaphs, results of any divination I do, or to make notes about flora and fauna.
Memento Mori Oracle: I love to do cemetery divination. Having the Memento Mori Oracle with me is perfect because it is designed with spirit communication in mind.
Spiritual Protection: Cemeteries and graveyards are generally safe places, but it is always a good idea to wear or carry a talisman. I wear a special necklace but if you don't have a designated jewelry item, carrying a piece of black tourmaline or other gemstone in your pocket is great for energetic protection.
EVP Recorder: This is the one piece of ghost-hunting equipment I carry everywhere. You never know when the opportunity for a scientific Seance will arise.
So there you have it, my cemetery kit essentials. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you have in your kit.