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Do You Have A Geocaching Backpack?


bonnjer
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I just bought a cheap little sling back pack to carry a couple of things when going out cache hunting. I was wondering if anyone else has a backpack that they'd use and recommend. Just another one of those simple questions that might help other newbs in the process. Thanks!

 

Jeremy

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I have a medium-sized fanny pack that contains a water bottle, my camera, my Palm, swag, knife, matches, mirror, tweezers, compass, bandaids, and other miscellaneous caching stuff.

 

I prefer the fanny pack to a backpack because its just too hot here now to wear a backpack . . . :laughing:

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I've used and abused a backpack made by this company for seven years and it has shown absolutely no sign of giving up yet. I would buy another one if this one would just wear out.

 

I also have used one of their 2-bottle fanny packs for the same number of years with complete satisfaction.

 

Edit: Add fanny pack info

Edited by Pablo Mac
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I use a fanny pack most of the time. I added shoulder straps to it , after finding a fat gut and no hips would not keep it up. The fanny pack uses the buddy lock sistem for smaller pouches. That lets them be taken off easly.

On really hot, long caches I use a JanSport backpack/hydro back. I can un-hook the puches with my first aid kit, camera, ect. from the fanny pack and put them into the back pack. Both have swag in them at all times.

I have found for me just one water bottle is not enough most of the time, so the 3 liter hydro back is realy handy. It is heavy to start with ,but, lightens as the day goes. The only "problem" is my normal caching partner no longer carrys water.

For short fast caches just a trade item or 2 in a pocket is all I use.

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I have a $10 wally world special. I mostly do 1 mile or less distance caches with my 2 daughters (6&8). I pack trade items, small first aid kit, limited cache repair kit (pencils, pens, pencil sharpeners, log books, baggies), batteries and usually something to drink. I have 3 seperate compartements to help organize the stuff. My previous pack was a $6 special that had only one compartment and I had trouble finding the items I wanted as they were all mixed together - Thus the upgrade :laughing: .

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Most of the stuff I need to take with me (PDA, Flashlights, bug stuff, etc) is in a daypack. This particular pack has a waist strap and water bottle pockets (both a necessity!) but for hunting micros I use a belt pack with a mirror, magnet, flashlight, tweezers and a pen for the logs. I always have more fun when I wear the daypack into the woods, but the belt pack fits in better around town. Besides, for most urban micros the car is only 20 steps away and a daypack is overkill. :laughing:

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I found one with booze in it near a cache! Looks like teens were hiding their party supplies. Threw out the booze (cheap whiskey) and now it's mine.

Used it today to lug a 20 lb rock that has a cache in the bottom 400 feet up and a half mile in.

Edited by Wacka
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I keep a hydro pack loaded with swag, first aid kit, headlamp, flashlight, glo-sticks, ( I explore storm sewers and abandoned buildings for cache sites a lot ) extra ziplock bags, pens, pads, pencils,energy bars, any Tb's I have, GPS, Spare batteries,etc.

 

I have a back-up bag with spare clothes, stocking cap, leather work gloves, bottled water, more trade swag, micro canisters, etc. I can trade items into my carry bag if I think I'll need them.

 

Both stay in my Jeep for whenever the moment may arise to hunt a cache or prospective site.

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I have a snall pack the works as a Fanny pack or a shoulder bag that I use most of the time, It has room for trade items, pencils flashlight, batteries, replacement logs, my pock PC and an extra GPS.

 

I also have a medium sized back pack with a built in water bag that I use for longer hikes, I also use it in the winter because it has room to also carry rainwear. it even has a pouch one of the shoulder straps to carry my ham radio, THe day pack is also easier to carry while using my Mountain Bike.

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I use a Kelty Fanny style pack. It is different in the sense that it has an inner frame component. It is also equiped with a single shoulder sling so I do not have to fasten it around my waist and a handle if it is just a quick carry to a cache. Two water carry pouches. It holds everything I need for caching plus plenty of room for a nice lunch and munchies for the dog. Plenty of clip on areas for peripherals (soft sided dog water dish) and jangly trinkets to let the wildlife know (mtn. lions...) that I am in the area. Actually, I am not certain if stealth or noise is the best way to go for mtn. lions. Bears, yeah, be noisy. Mtn. lions, here kitty, kitty, kitty! Luckily, no close ups on the big cats yet. Knock on wood!

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Team Flashncache uses a North Face Yavapai pack. I think it was designed for use with a laptop or notebook; as there is a padded compartment in the main cargo area. Really a fantasically durable pack! I don't know how much it costs, since I got it with one of my "rewards" programs (one credit card or another) but really like it and would recommend it highly.

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I use a Camelbak Daystar. Straps are designed for women, holds and insulates a 70oz bladder, and has about 800cc cargo room -- just enough for 10 essentials plus swag and other geocaching ecoutrements without any added bulk -- very compact. The kids each have their own Camelbaks, too, although theirs only hold the bladder, no other cargo room. (We sometimes stick snacks in with the bladder, keeps them nice and cool.)

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I have a geocache backpack filled with swag (adult and kid), sig items, gloves, a towel(for drying out damp containers), zip lock bags(to keep things dry), log books(in case one is full or missing), pen, geocache containers(in case one needs replaced), bug spray, baby wipes, flashlight, gps, pda, snacks, cell phone etc. When we go geocaching we go for the day because of where we live and gas prices (we have to drive to other towns). I have a smaller bag also if I am not going to very many, or they are all mircos...etc.

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I use a backpack. Lots easier to carry my caching notebook (soon to be upgraded to a laptop WOOHOO!), water, goodies, first aid kit, bug juice, etc.

 

Sometimes, I'll take a 6 foot Staff Of Poking with me, sometimes just a two foot Stick Of Poking. The stick fits very nicely between the backpack and my back, freeing my hands up completely.

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For ages we used a day pack, but it tends to attract a bit too much attention while urban caching. So, now we have slimmed down to a fanny pack or bum bag whatever ya wanna call it. A few swaps, palm, torch and ready to go. If we know we can do bigger swaps, then we either carry them or break out the day pack again.

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In the course of my work, I use number of backpacks, fannypacks, shoulderbags and vests to transport equipment into the field. The system I choose for any given assignment is determined by the SIZE & WEIGHT of the equipment load, the DISTANCE that it must be carried, and the TIME available to cover the distance.

 

My geocaching kit is comprised of less than ten pounds of fairly compact gear. Most of the caches in my area are within one mile of parking areas. Life is short. My goal is to locate that cache NOW and get on to the next one. Conventional packs and bags are not neccessary nor desirable

 

I wear a BLACK BELT from Kinesis Photo Gear. It allows equipment pouches to be securely attached anywhere along its length. Once attached, the pouches do not slide around the belt - they remain in stationary - even if the belt is removed.

http://www.kinesisgear.com/images/B108InfoBig.jpg

 

Attached to the belt are two double AK47 magazine pouches. This gives me four 63 cubic inch storage compartments that are vertically divided, padded, covered and secured with snaps and velcro.

http://www.majorsurplusnsurvival.com/Merch...ategory_Code=23

 

What fits?

 

Garmin GPSMAP 76C

Nikon Coolpix 990 camera

Palm IIIxe

Maglite AA flashlight

eight spare AA batteries

Brunton Eclipse compass

Leatherman PST multitool

notebook and two ballpoint pens

interchangable blade screwdriver

12' tape measure [just a prop]

0.5 litre waterbottle and 6oz cup

24" leash to control my dog if necessary

geocaching swag [coins, cards, stickers]

 

The system is comfortable to wear and all the gear can be instantly accessed and replaced. It is lightweight, low-profile and allows the operator to move quickly thru most any terrain without snagging. It leaves the hands free for operating equipment, climbing, defense, etc. It can also be worn while seated in a vehicle or riding a bicycle, making for rapid movement to & from the objective site.

 

Add a hard hat and blend in with all the other building contractor and utility worker types who roam suburban environs during daylight hours.

Edited by MLP-76C
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I use, instead, a fishing vest. Put a Geocaching.com patch on it.

I have all those small pockets for all kinds of things. Inside the large pouch in the back, I slide my Camel Back in. keeps my back cool.

By doing it this way, I keep the load equalized side to side. I can cary quite a bit.

One pocket for my digital camera, one for flashlight and expanding mirror for looking in holes. first aid kit, extra medicines, leatherman tool, wire for fixing caches. Texas Viking stickers, extra batteries, on my hiking staff, pepper spray

permanently fastened to it.

Cargo pants with laces on the bottom of the legs for tightening them, my "boonie" hat and I'm ready to go....

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Wow, everyone is so high-tech! :ph34r: I just use my old Eastpak backpack from college - one big pocket, and a couple smaller ones on the outside. The Garmin goes in the biggest outisde pocket with the compass and bug spray; pens and other little things go in the smallest outside pockets, and the main pocket holds a water bottle, snacks, a sweatshirt or rain gear, and all the swag! So far none of our hikes have been too far (we've only done a max of 2 terrain) and we've been able to fit everything into one backpack. As we get more adventurous we might have to look back at some of the suggestions here!

~~~

Emily

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I use a hydration pack that has a few extra pouches on it(bought it at Wal Mart for $30). the bladder holds 2 liters. i can hold my baggie of swag, my cell, wallet, sun screen, bug spray, PDA, snackage/granola bars. And I still have room for other items if need be. out here there isn't really a whole lot of places to hike so I usually pack everything and then when I get to my cache destination I will take out my swap stuffs and head in w/o my bag. While I was at Academy Sports this weekend I bought a new bite vavlve for it. Had to do a littler surgery to get the Camelback valve to fit on mine but it is good to go now. I use the same hydration pack when I go mountain biking.

Edited by wreckelite
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Man I've been lugging around my old army map case bag for 2 years now, its got all my army patches on it and a geocaching patch in the middle , I hate to get rid of it , but i like the idea of a olive green vest with a geocaching patch on it, because i dont have a po :ph34r: cket for the digital camera i carry. What i do carry is my GPSNAVsMap, a pocket pc PDA, a Kodak Digital camera, a bag of handmade buttons, a bottle of water and a cell phone, i dont have room for anything else.

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I have a Camelbak Cloudwalker for normal caching trips. 2L of water, plus swag, a huge raincoat in a tube, basic first aid kit, and snacks. I usually bring my camera too.

 

I also got a Kelty Moraine 3600 for longer treks. It’ll hold 4L of water, all of the other stuff, plus a change of clothes, 2 days of food and my homemade camping stove. I’m planning on getting a Hennesy hammock and a water filter, so I can ditch one of the water bladders.

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Briansnat -

 

(tones of awe) You gotta Mountainsmith...!

I like Mountainsmith packs, they are well thought out and durable. My main backpacking pack for years was a Mountainsmith Elite 5000. A real load monster and very comfortable. I eventually "upgraded", but still wish I had that pack, it was the best one I've ever owned.

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Fanny pack although I need to upgrade to include a water bottle or two. At first, I used a backpack but with the NE Texas heat, it didn't take long to dump it and use a fanny pack. Comfort, weight, use, it's difficult to beat.

 

:unsure:

where abouts are you from? I'm from abilene and can TOTALLY relate to the heat factor.

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CamelBak Cloud Walker here too. Works well, holds just enough stuff (keeping the temptation down for carrying too much). The 2L is generally enough for a day unless it's really hot... but in that case there are two side mesh pockets I'll put water bottles in for extra.

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Freebie Subaru backpack. Has mesh pockets on the sides (one for water bottle, one for plastic pick-up bags); little front organizer pocket for GPSr, extra pencils, zippy bags, dissicator packets, paper, and sig items; and main compartment for McToys (my son trades for other McToys), trade goods, snacks, Mom-can-you-carry-this, and other stuff.

 

Best of all it says SUBARU on it. Doing my part to promote automotive consumerism!

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The vast majority of the time I use my Marmot fanny pack (with water bottle holders) for the swag, gps, phone, compass, and a few first aid/safety things. It's big enough for a space blanket and small flashlight as well. My only complaint is that I have no waist and feel like this just emphasizes this fact (sorry, I'm a girl).

 

I was lucky enough to get a women's EMS hydration pack for $15 because the bladder leaked. Since I prefer bottles, this was a GREAT deal for me - plenty of room for basic gear and sized right for my short stature. I plan on using this more in colder weather, when the fanny pack was sometimes a pain to combine with a heavy coat, and couldn't carry my layers as I peeled them off.

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I have had two experiences where I wish I had packed some of those essentials mentioned in this thread. I told no one where I was going on either adventure...

 

On one late fall hike in a deserted area, I took off wearing nothing but shorts and a t-shirt and a cheap non-rainproof stuff jacket. A strong storm blew in, and I was quickly drenched. Temperatures dropped 20 degrees in an hour and I started shivering to the point that hypothermia was setting in. I was on a hilltop in thick brush over a mile from my car. I had my old dog with me, and she started to shiver too. Luckily we made it down, but not after alot of cuts, bruises, and those awful mind games and pain (the mind does weird things when you think you're gonna die after going for a geocache!)

 

The second incident took place in an urban park. Who thinks about packing gear when you're just going for a stroll with only an inch of snow in 25 degree weather? I was doing a multi, and slipped on the second waypoint. When I tried to stand up, I knew my ankle or leg was broken. The only other folks I saw in the park were two suspicious characters, and I was too scared to call for help, fearing they would come to my "rescue". I butt-crawled down the basalt knob and layed in the park, with nothing, absolutely nothing to attract attention. I could even see I-90 from my position, but I think if they even saw me, they just passed me off as a whino laying in the park. A small miracle happened when another geocacher showed up, and as soon as I saw him I did nothing but flash my GPS above my head, and he came directly to my rescue. If he hadn't have been there, I don't know how long I would have laid there in the freezing cold in that deserted URBAN park.

 

I think this is an excellent thread, and I hope others are wiser than I was and at least take a cell phone and some basic first aid items on ANY geocaching adventure (and if you go solo, tell someone where you are going). I also think one other essential, in respect for the GC hunt, is a cache-repair kit. (Yeah, those multi's on the first hike I mentioned were drenched and in need of repair). Here's a link to a fun little cache repair kit, including a small flashlight, a sharpie, camo tape, and other really cool stuff: Cache Repair Kit

 

Happy Trails and Trials,

YA

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