I call my storm chasing vehicle ‘The Pod’. The reason I call it that is due to its small size. It’s similar to a weather pod that is sometimes placed ahead of an approaching tornado to gather weather information. My “Pod” is actually a 2010 Honda Fit. There’s nothing special about it other than it has a cool wrap on it showing a thunderstorm with a tornado and includes some sponsor information. Inside the car, I carry the equipment needed when I’m out chasing storms.
Most of the time I chase solo but there are times when I have a couple of partners or guests chase with me. There is plenty of room to accommodate our equipment and the extra people. Plus…as an added bonus it gets really good gas mileage. One disadvantage to having a car this small is it cannot navigate some of the dirt roads that I sometime need to take while chasing so i stick to the pavement in most cases. This can make a difference between getting close to a storm or viewing from a distance.
Some of the camera/equipment I use while storm chasing includes:
HP 15.6 Laptop
Canon Vixia HD Camcorder
Canon 80D DSLR Camera
3 Go Pro Cameras
Blackmagic Design Intensity Shuttle
Magwell HDMI converter
Logitech C920 Web Cam
Logitech C930 Web Cam
DJI Phantom 2 vision plus drone
4 camera cases
2 fully stocked first aid kits (I am a medical first responder)
Other equipment used to support the camera equipment and helping me navigate and provide necessary power include:
1000 watt power inverter
Garmin GPS unit w/dash cam
AT&T hot spot modem
Apple iPhone 7plus cell phone
Microsoft GPS puck
GlobalSat Br-355 GPS receiver (2)
Wheel Witness HD Dash Cam
Filmtools Gripper camera mounts
2 camera tripods
NOAA Weather Radio
Davis Vantage Vue wireless weather station
Whelen Engineering Amber LED light bar
All the equipment fits into to large storage boxes that fit in the back of the car.
My equipment list is always changing and depends on what the chase set up is. If it's one within an hour or so of central Arkansas, I may just take a couple of cameras and a laptop. If it's a two, three or more day across the Southern or Central Plains, then I load up.
I'm always cycling through new and old equipment especially cellular data receiving equipment as that is my most important piece of equipment when looking for data or streaming live video. I also keep a good road atlas on hand just in case the electronic gear malfunctions.
The items that I want most that I did not mention is a HAM radio and some sort of scanner to keep up with emergency information. I've also thought about using Baron's Threat Net satellite radar which seems more reliable in the fringe areas of the country where cellular service is spotty.