For my first field mapping, I went with 22 other students and two academics to a small village called Adorf which is part of the borough Diemelsee, Hesse, Germany. In the run-up to the field trip, I was not sure about what to expect but several other students told me that field mapping had been their best field trip ever. So, I was eager to find out on my own.
This field trip was scheduled for twelve days. After the day of arrival, we got an overview of the region's geology and stratigraphy. Then we were devided into groups of three students. Each group got a mapping area of around three up to four square kilometers. This actually was quite a 'surprise' because our academics had told us that we had to map an area of about two square kilometers. However, we didn't feel like it was too much area in the given time frame.
I teamed up with the two other geophysicists in our grade and we complemented one another well enough to be one of the two groups that completed their maps two days before the end of the field trip. At the beginning, we had some problems to name the rocks and to relate them to one of the given mapping units, but thanks to the help of the academics, who accompanied us twice, we soon got better and our daily mapping routine became more efficient.
The countryside around Adorf is part of a rural German region called Sauerland which is the north-easternmost part of the Rhenish Massif (Rheinisches Schiefergebirge). This means that we mainly mapped sedimentary rocks of the Upper Devonian and Lower Carboniferous: shales, siliceous limestones and cherts et cetera. The strata are folded with a strike which goes ENE (70°). The hills are anticlines and the valleys are synclines which is pretty easy to map after you have found out.