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What Is In Your Pack?

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This has probably been discussed before but I was just wondering what other geocache enthusiasts carry with them.


Here is my list (in no particular order):



Geocache locations and descriptions

Trade Items


Extra Batteries (for all my gidgets and gadgets)

2-way radio (we sometimes travel in teams)

Pens and Pencils

Note Pad

First Aid Kit


2 - 12 hour high intensity glow sticks

Toilet Paper (and blue bags for removing waste)

Trowel for Cat Holes

1 or 2 trash bags

Drinking Water

Small rain parka

Dry Sock and foot powder

50 foot of 3mm cord



There are probably other items but I cannot think of them at this point. Believe it or not, that will all fit into an easy to wear and carry Guide Model Fanny Pack. If we have teams we will divide the items for an easier carry.

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My gear is similar to briansnat's above, except that I rarely have to carry any cold-weather gear. My additions are:

  • Hand sanitizer wipes
  • Pre-moistened towelettes with bug repellent and sunscreen
  • Needle-nosed pliers (for spine/thorn removal)
  • Ace bandage
  • Duct tape
  • Several cotton bandannas

I've trimmed down my first-aid kit by eliminating all of the small bandages and minor-wound-care stuff in favor of only larger dressings. I have never bothered to treat any minor cut in the field beyond just washing it out and maybe swabbing it with one of the sanitizer wipes.


In addition to my pack, I carry a good-sized pouch on my belt for easy access to items like my camera, notebook, map, compass, snacks, etc.

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Here's a good list.


ps. anyone who thinks there is something missing, feel free to add it.

Rubber gloves and calculator?

just relax and breathe easy while we figure out the payment schedule on this exam... :laughing:


My list (and backpack) expands and contracts based on the season, terrain, difficulty, and duration of my outing.



Edited by NFA
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Yes TP is a must, but I also bring handi-wipes , and a hand spade (you know like the garden ones) and I also take plastic bags. Ziploc, and trash bags, and rope. Usually parachute cord( incase a shoe sting breaks or need to secure something, and 50 feet of climbing rope. not for climbing, but I just think you never know when you may need some rope.

I also make sure that I have some money, about $20.00 and some change in case I break down on the way there and have no signal on cel maybe get to a payphone.

I guess we all have a little boyscout blood running through us. I always feel the need to be prepared and follow the creedo "I'd rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it"

How many have a road safety kit in their cachemobile?

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I generally have a daypack in the back of my WJ with a small first aid kit, a couple of pens, a couple of compasses, a couple of AA maglights, two FRS radios, stamp and stamp pad, a couple of small notebooks, a leatherman, trade items, some CITO micros, a couple bottles of water, a cheap rain poncho, and a ton of batteries. There's likely some other junk in there too.


I also have a larger first aid kit in the Jeep, along with a hiking stick, another leatherman in a case with a collection of bits, my cane, two GPSrs, a small duffle with a complete change of clothes and a jacket, and an ammo can full of cache repair supplies.


With all this stuff, I most often only leave the car with a bottle of water, my pda, a celphone, a compass, a pen, and the GPSrs (I only use my geko out of the car, but I don't want someone to steal the Quest.)

Edited by sbell111
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I seem to mainly being doing small, close to town caches and here's what I added to my pack.


Wet ones

Tissues (to wipe off the wet one's wetness)

Ziploc baggies

2-3 rubber bands

A nice bag to keep my trades items in

Water bottle

A notebook

A pen (which I always keep one in my bag it's saved me many a time)


I think thats only the essentionals.

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It looks like all of the basics have been covered. There are however, two things I won't go in the woods without that I haven't seen listed.


They are:


1) a good, sturdy knife. I personally carry a 1960's vintage Air Force Survival knife, but any heavy bladed "survival" type knife of moderate quality should suffice. It's a probe, it's walking stick maker, a toothpick, an emergency marshmallo roasting stick, it's a lot of things. It's not real heavy or awkward to carry though [1].




2) a pair of wire cutters heavy enough to cut barbed wire.


Now, before anyone gets the wrong idea, I don't use them to make my own gates in other peoples fences. Aside from being illegal, it's plain wrong. There are however, sufficent amounts of loose, rusty strands of barbed wire (pron: "bob-war" in AL) from old, abandoned fences lurking in the local woods waiting to entangle an unwary passerby (namely me). I've had to cut myself out several times. The first time was with a Small (3.5 inch handle) Gerber multi-tool. It worked, barely and the cutter wasn't the same since. They come in handy for briars as well.


[1] <shameless plug> The original sheath was leather and after almost 40 years of service, ready for retirement. I replaced it with a Spec-Ops brand "Super Sheath" from either Brigade Quartermasters (www.actiongear.com) out of Kenesaw, GA, or Ranger Joe's (www.rangerjoes.com) in Columbus and Hinesville, GA. (I might have bought one from each, I forget) and was so impressed that I bought another one for my other large knife.

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All the above (including the survival knife) plus a compact Gerber hand axe/knife (knife stores in the handle). Also take along my headlight and a 3-D cell maglite, and a small assortment of 'biners, rope, etc (just in case).


Used to hike a LOT when younger, and I guess I too always want to be prepared in case the worst happens...

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Things I bring:


GPSr (duh)

First aid (again, duh)

Water (need I say more?)

Camera (photographer)

Two-Way Radio ("Wilco Roger, I'm approaching the target. Over.") :)

Duct Tape (Cache Repair Adhesive Pliable Strip or C.R.A.P.S)


I'm quite new this and I am learning.


I have learn that you should always bring info on the cache no matter what. It would have helped on all those DNF's!


Multi-tool - went to a cache that was in a paint can and forgot the tool so I opened it after a while of prying with a pointy rock. :)


Some caches can be very difficult, so now I never leave home without my x-ray glasses!

Find it every time! :)



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Here is my winter assortment.  In the summer the down vest, gloves and wool hat would be replaced with a fleece pullover,  insect repellent and sunscreen.


<<<<image removed>>>>


You geocaching or climbing Mount Everest there?

You should always be prepared for the worst case. I make sure that I have enough clothing so that if I have to spend the night I'll survive.

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I also carry some candle ends, you know , the left overs from candles like the tapered one, cut to be about 1" to 1" 1/2 long. You can start a fire with a couple of them, even if the wood is damp. I pre-burn the ends so I have a decent wick to start with and it catches faster, then I wrap them in foil so I don't get my pack all waxy.


And yes, I have used them, mostly on camping trips.


Thank God I've never been in much trouble in the woods, but stuff happens and I'd hate to be "X" miles from a trailhead and my car and be in big trouble and think: "Shoot, if I'da brought [this or that], it woulda helped right now."

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A playtpus water bottle, collapsable dog drinking bowl, leash, trade items, compass, a couple of pens, cell phone, small flashlight, extra batteries, a granola bar or other snak, some spare change and hopefully in the very near future a PDA...alas it will have to wait til I win the lottery. HARUMPH!

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In my Hiking Vest, Fanny Pack or Backpack generally are as a minimum;

GPSr loaded with Topo Maps, Folstaff Collapsible Hiking Staff, Cell Phone and 2-way Radio, Leatherman Super Tool, Often a Personal Protection Item, PDA with Geocache Locations and Descriptions, Compass and Paper Maps, Printed Copy of Multiple Geocaches, Camera and Extra Fits All AA Batteries, Fox 40 Whistle and First Aid Kit, LED Flashlight, LED Headlamp and MiniMag, Trade and Sig Items, Pens and Pencils, Extra Logbooks and Note Pad, Zip Lock Bags, Large and Small, Toilet Paper and Hand Towels, Sun Screen and Insect Repellant, Trash Bags, Loaded CITO 35mm Cans, Rubber Gloves and Work Gloves, Drinking Water and Snacks, Lightweight Rain Gear, Dry Socks and 50 foot of Cord, Head Wear and Cotton Gloves, Space Blanket and Hand Warmers. Labrador is not a forgiving land.

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:D We're new at this, and we mostly do urban and suburban caches.  We take:



moist wipes




printed cache info


snacks for the kids & water


I'm going to add a first aid kit to the list now.


The suggestions that follow are my unsolicited opinion. You know your situation, I don't.


1. Unless you're caching at night, the flashlight can be replaced by one of those high-intensity, keychain sized LED's. If you do cache at night, giving the kids high-intensity yellow chem-lights to carry will make them visible for a long way[1].


2. You may want to consider a medium sized mirror on a collapable stick [2]. These make looking under/in/around/on top of things a lot easier and quicker.


3. My opinion on a first aid kit: Regardless of what else is in it, ensure you have some mole skin and atheletic tape [3]. Nothing kills a nice walk like a blistered or chafed foot. Also, an ice pack [4] (slap/squeeze the bag and it gets cold) to cool off the little ones in a hurry on a hot day.


4. Spare batteries. I strongly reccomend the Nickle Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargables if you're not already using them. If you're going to be serious about caching, you can't over-spend on these. I have 3 sets, two charged and ready, one in use. Mine have paid for themselves at least 100 times over by now. [5]


Anyhow, that's my $0.02 worth. I hope that you may find some of it useful.



[1] They're not expensive, they're a lot of fun to twirl and spin (adjust the cord lengh accordingly), and don't blind other people. (My kid was bad to shine his light in peoples faces when he was younger. A cheap, 2 D-cell light can be annoying. When it was my 4 D-cell Mag light, it really did a number on your eyes).


[2] Most, if not all auto-parts stores will have these in several sizes and price ranges. The 2"X3" version is small enough to be easily packed and large enough to be useful.


[3] As a general rule I tape my feet and never wear sandals. That's just my personal preference. Alabama's woods are covered up with briars and stump holes (among other nasty surprizes) along with a fair number of caches, so what starts out as a cache day in Birmingham can easily end up a tromp through the woods.


[4] That is, of course a regional thing. Your climate may vary.


[5] Your GPSr unit may want you to specify the type of battery (Alkaline/NiCad/NiMH). Consult the owners manual.

Edited by ranger-rob
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In addition to many of the items everyone else has listed, I always carry lots of cheap pencil sharpeners (you can buy cards of them at the Everythings a Dollar Store). Whenever I find a cache with a pencil and no sharpener, I leave one, usually don't even log that I left it. Maybe this counts as swag. I count it in the same category as replacing torn up baggies with the extra new ones I carry.

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