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Ultralight Geocaching


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:anibad:

I'm a fairly new cacher, and lhave spent some time reading through the numerous posts on "the perfect pack" for geocaching. There are some pretty sweet packs described here (briansnat, for example). I would venture to say that 95% of the caches in my area of NE Iowa, caches are within a miles walk from parking. Do I really need waterproof matches, first aid kit (other than maybe a bandage), flashlight, space blanket, rain jacket (even on a beautiful day, with no rain in the forcast?), etc. Perhaps we could start an "Ultralight Geocaching" sect, where one would take their GPSr, Palm Pilot (or whatever), a peice of swag in your pocket, and perhaps a water bottle. I'm in. I am ultralight cacher man! So, why do you take all of your gear? Are your hikes really that intense? Do you like comfort? Do you like heavy backpacks?

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:anibad:

I'm a fairly new cacher, and lhave spent some time reading through the numerous posts on "the perfect pack" for geocaching. There are some pretty sweet packs described here (briansnat, for example). I would venture to say that 95% of the caches in my area of NE Iowa, caches are within a miles walk from parking. Do I really need waterproof matches, first aid kit (other than maybe a bandage), flashlight, space blanket, rain jacket (even on a beautiful day, with no rain in the forcast?), etc. Perhaps we could start an "Ultralight Geocaching" sect, where one would take their GPSr, Palm Pilot (or whatever), a peice of swag in your pocket, and perhaps a water bottle. I'm in. I am ultralight cacher man! So, why do you take all of your gear? Are your hikes really that intense? Do you like comfort? Do you like heavy backpacks?

 

I generally get a bearing from my truck, then I sprint naked through the woods in one direction counting my paces instead of bringing a gps. I gnaw my initials into the log sheet with my teeth if theres no pen(cil) and then run back tot he truck.

 

But seriously, some people like to be prepared. One mile is a long way if you are injured, or lost.

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In most of my outdoor activities, I am guilty of over-preparedness (I was a Boy Scout). I agree that most caching situations require little if any survival gear. Typically, when I don’t over pack, I under pack severely; I don’t take anything but my GPSr and a writing utensil.

 

It’s nice to know you have everything you might need in any given situation, but it would also be nice to know that everyone sneaking around in the bushes is harmless and not a terrorist or bad guy. The atmosphere in the world today is very charged; there seems to be a mad rush to possess control over our situations.

 

My theory is that this over packing you allude to in your OP is symptomatic and exclusive mostly to Americans who can acquire and afford all the little gimmicks that are available to outdoor recreation enthusiasts.

 

You’re right. It’s sometimes comical to watch people prepare for a two mile hike in the wilderness. :rolleyes::anibad:

 

Edit: But there was that 3-hour cruise! B)

Edited by sept1c_tank
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I generally carry a lot of stuff in my pack just because I only use the pack for geocaching, and it is easier to leave the same set of basic supplies in it all the time and consistently know what I have with me rather than having to repack what I think I might need every time I go out.

 

That said though, if it is a short cache and dash, I will sometimes leave the pack in the car. And for some urban caching, I just bring the GPSr, a pen and my little moleskine notebook w/ cache notes.

 

I also try to replenish any supplies I used for minor cache maintenance or CITO (chiefly pens, ziploc bags and trash bags) immediately upon return from a caching trip, so that I'm restocked for the next outing as well.

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I think the point is to have all that stuff available to you in the cachemobile. If it's cloudy and windy, the raingear goes into my pack. If the terrain is challenging, I will carry more of a first aid kit. If it's dense tree cover, there's no way I'll leave my compass in the car. If darkness is approaching, add two light sources.

 

So, sometimes everything I need will fit in my pants pockets. Next I add a Camelback pack that also holds basic outdoors supplies, and raingear. That is typically fine for a roundtrip of a mile or two. For a longer hike where more gear is needed, I add a fishing vest with lots of pockets, freeing up the Camelback for things like extra socks, a lunch, and a hamster.

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Great thought process. I tend to agree with you. I guess I also need to keep in mind that I'm in rural Iowa, a safe place, with straight forward terain (no, Iowa is not completely flat with nothing but fields of corn and soy). I just can't figure why somebody would want to carry all of the extra weight... I carry enough around my midsection!

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I think the point is to have all that stuff available to you in the cachemobile.

 

When I pack for an extended trip, I attempt to parcel everything. I put one small package (things I would want for a break) into a larger package (things I would want for a stroll) into another package (things I would want for a day hike) in to another (things for an overnighter), etc.

 

Then, as Keystone illustrated, I have everything I need for most situations I will encounter. But the problem still lies in the discipline needed to choose the appropriate package.

 

...things like extra socks, a lunch, and a hamster.

 

The hamster is for a snack later? B):anibad:

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:anibad:

I'm a fairly new cacher, and lhave spent some time reading through the numerous posts on "the perfect pack" for geocaching. There are some pretty sweet packs described here (briansnat, for example). I would venture to say that 95% of the caches in my area of NE Iowa, caches are within a miles walk from parking. Do I really need waterproof matches, first aid kit (other than maybe a bandage), flashlight, space blanket, rain jacket (even on a beautiful day, with no rain in the forcast?), etc. Perhaps we could start an "Ultralight Geocaching" sect, where one would take their GPSr, Palm Pilot (or whatever), a peice of swag in your pocket, and perhaps a water bottle. I'm in. I am ultralight cacher man! So, why do you take all of your gear? Are your hikes really that intense? Do you like comfort? Do you like heavy backpacks?

 

I don't know, sometimes you just want to be prepared... just to go for a long walk in my neighbourhood I might need: GPS, Camera, Phone, Gum, Lip Balm, Kleenex, Dog, Dog Leash, Scoop Bags, Water Bottle Coffee Money, Sunglasses, Housekey. Of course, I AM a girl!! This is more than I can carry in my hand!

 

Depends on how long I think I might be. 10 minutes, 3 hours, 8 hours??

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Depends on the terrian and time of year but if it is under a mile, I generally just grab my fanny pack that has trade goods, compass, spare batteries, first aid kit, cache repair kit, various emergency items and some water bottles (I'll have to get a picture of it). I'll even grab that for a long walk in a city park. If it is basically within sight of the vehicle - I'll just grab my PDA, trade goods, a pen, my GPSr and run.

 

For anything over a mile, out in the country - I'll always grab my full daypack with everything - just in case.

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It's definitely about terrain. Some caches we just carry small binder with the sigitems in it. Others require a bit more preparedness. It's not unusual at all to have to hike two miles in, a mile to get through the multis and two back out around the northeast on some caches. Add that we're doing this in January or February in subzero conditions on occasion and it gets a little gusty climbing over icefalls, caves, etc. So just pack for the situation. I usually have a small swagbag (military map bag) that I toss into my camelbak ethos that's prepacked with rough gear and we're on our way. Some of the caches we bagged in New Hampshire around New Years you wouldn't think of trying without crampons or iceaxes unless you like falling down a lot :anibad: Worst case scenario: you're getting an even better workout carrying the extra weight B)

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Do I really need waterproof matches, first aid kit (other than maybe a bandage), flashlight, space blanket, rain jacket (even on a beautiful day, with no rain in the forcast?), etc

 

Yes. If you are venturing into the woods, you should always be prepared to spend a night. You can get lost, break a leg, blow out a knee, get stuck under a shifting boulder, you name it. In the summer being prepared may only mean a wool sweater or fleece pullover and a garbage bag for an emergency poncho. In the winter it means you carry a lot more.

 

I live in northern NJ and in most areas you're no more than 2-3 miles from a road, though if you walk in the wrong direction, you might not hit a road for a lot farther than that. But even if you're only 2 miles away from a road nobody is going to hear you screaming for help.

 

A few years ago an experienced NJ outdoorsman died of hypothermia during a solo cross country ski outing. He apparently fell into a stream, didn't have a change of clothes and once his body temperature dropped, confusion set in. I know the general area where he was and he was probably no more than 3 miles from a road. Had he a dry change of clothing in his pack he may be alive today.

 

Also, people get lost and have to spend the night, or part of it waiting for rescue. It usually turns out well because they luck out and the weather stays good, but if the temps dip at night and/or rain moves in, having the right equipment may be a matter of life and death. It doesn't matter if you're only a mile from your car if you can't get there.

Edited by briansnat
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Partly I think this comes down to how comfortable one is out in the bush. I'm an avid hiker and spent much of my childhood tromping through the woods on my own. I therby tend to get rid of anything that I think is needless weight. Most geocaches I've gone for have been within a mile or two, so nothing more is needed than my GPSr and a writing utensil.

 

I have a large fanny pack in which I have a some swag, a notepad, writing utensils, spare batteries, a compass, a head lamp, and my leatherman. This is all I really need for anything within five miles.

 

On a recent trek, I deliberately took the long way into a cache for a hard 8 mile hike and took nothing more than this fanny pack with a bottle of water stuffed inside.

 

Less is more in my book.

Edited by Ichabod
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I have a backpack for longer walks which is already packed up with everything. I add water, food, and my gpsr and cell phone and off I go, if I am in an area unfamilar to me I just put this pack in the trunk of my car. Usually I take the mountainsmith lumbar pack which is much smaller. Again I have it already loaded with smaller items. I just add perishables, water the gps and the cell phone and Im ready to go.

If Im up in the mountains, I can just add the things I need for that area.I have a zippy full of trade items so I can put that in whatever pack Im using.

Most of what I carry is inexpensive enough to have two of what I need. This way I dont even have to think about which pack to take.

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While I do have a youth style teardrop backpack just for caching, I generally carry no more than what I always carry in my pockets and such. The pack is for cache goodies and stuff.

 

Often I feel like I'm a lot more suspicious carrying a pack in small parks and such. I figure people must think I'm awfully strange to be carrying a pack on a 1/2 mile trail where everybody else is wearing jogging clothes.

 

Whereas anything can happen, even on a short hike, the odds are pretty slim. Since a cellphone is part of my "utility belt" and there are few places where it don't work, I feel pretty confident with just my normal day to day "standard equipment".

 

Most of what I'm concerned about (heart attack, ferinstance) wouldn't matter if I had a full pack anyway- except to make a heart attack more likely.

 

Hey nobody's said the g word yet. :anibad:

Edited by Confucius' Cat
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I enjoy taking "stuff" along, but only when I'm wearing my jeans with just the right pockets.

GPS attaches to hammer loop, so it dangles just above the ground when it falls

1L Nalgene bottle attached via a carabiner to a belt loop

small flashlight attached to another belt loop with mini-carabiner

camera in a special pocket on my thigh

cache information sheets in back pocket

TB's and pen in front pockets

 

When the conditions are different I add a strong flashlight, knife, rain poncho, gloves, etc. I've never reached a cache unprepared. It may sound like a lot, but it doesn't really add up to much, especially without a backpack. Sometimes I cache with nothing but GPS (or even without it, if I can remember the map)

Edited by alexrudd
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When I cache during lunchtime I'm usually not going to be far from the car and carry just a small sling bag with the essentials in it.

 

If I'm going out for a half-day to whole-day hike, then I bring my larger daypack because I'll probably be away from the car for 4-18 hours.

 

My daypack is my default pack most of the time because it already has just about everything in it. I get annoyed having to swap things back and forth between bags, so I default to my daypack alot. Since I can compress the daypack it isn't all that large when it's not full up. Also, I don't usually do urban caching so I don't look all that out of place in the places where I wear it.

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:anibad:

Are your hikes really that intense? Do you like comfort? Do you like heavy backpacks?

 

YES ! and Brian has summed it up, being prepared can save your life. And I as a volunteer with the USFS carry stuff for myself as well as the unprepared ding bat that I may encounter on the trail. And sometimes I may spend a day or two in the hills before I even come out so I have food, bivy shelter, etc. etc. etc.

 

But when doing in town caches all I pack is the GPS and a local map. I know where all the good watering holes are when I get back to the car.

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Having a bad experience when I was younger, of ending up on the wrong trail in 110 degree heat for several hours, and running out of water, I tend to head out knowingly overpacked, but I'd rather have a heavy pack than no water. I often have two liters and something to eat with me even for a hike of only a couple miles. Much of my other gear is stuff that's always in my pack anyway.

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Even for a very short hike it is worth carrying a few small items that can help you if you get into trouble.

 

A whistle weighs almost nothing but it is far easier to blow a whistle than it is to shout for help.

 

A few large plastic trash/leaf bags will fit easily into a pocket: you can stuff them with leaves to provide insulation from the cold ground, use them for a sun shelter, use them for emergency rain gear, or just to trash out an area. Leaf bags aren't enough to get you through a night in really bad weather, but are better than nothing in ordinary conditions.

 

Water weighs a lot, but is worth its weight. Having enough for yourself and any 4-footed pals you bring along is essential.

 

A tiny LED flashlight weighs next to nothing but can make a big difference.

 

Having a good means of communication is also a darn good idea.

 

I like to carry a decent first aid kit but I'm not sure there is much point in carrying the ultralight variety (you can live without a band-aid). But having a 24-hour supply of any medications you have to take is essential. And if you have really poor vision, a spare pair of glasses is essential.

 

So, an ultralight "pack" for a 1-2 mile hike along a well-marked trail in decent weather would be: a whistle, a few large (33-gallon+) trarsh/leaf bags, a LED light, phone/radio, (medication-if needed), (glasses-if needed) and water. Everything but the water can be stuffed into your pockets.

Edited by Muggle Finder
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Everyone has such well thought out plans for packing. I believe our mantra is "gear geek am I." Maybe I just wish I lived in the mountains were a well rounded pack for changing weather, dramatic trails and long treks are the norm. Or, as one mentioned, where it is 110 degrees. Where I'm from, we don't have those extremes. To me, less is more. Briansnat, I understand your philosophy, and you are probably thinking, "Someday I'll run across Kensho on a trail dead from underpacking." What I can tell you is that if you tell someone (wife or husband) where you are going to geocache, you ought to be ok in my neck of the woods. parks are small, and often crowded. I spent time in the great Colorado wilderness, and it truly is a different story there. Sometimes I forget how diverse and BIG of a country we live in.

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Having a bad experience when I was younger, of ending up on the wrong trail in 110 degree heat for several hours, and running out of water, I tend to head out knowingly overpacked, but I'd rather have a heavy pack than no water. I often have two liters and something to eat with me even for a hike of only a couple miles. Much of my other gear is stuff that's always in my pack anyway.

 

Yup... I remember running into the same problem, not once, but twice. The 2nd time only because I didn't think I'd find water to use my purifier with. A lesson learned not to ever leave that behind again. I also remember the looks of the folks that helped me out the first time; they knew I knew better and still failed to properly prepare. I'll not go on any hike unprepared anymore. I'd rather go in overprepared and overpacked for a 3 mile hike rather than struggling to get back out without the proper gear to help me along if I find myself in trouble.

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I always carry an emergency kit with me, Found one at wallmart that had a nice selection of equipment, light weight and has a convient case. It's always in my pack, just a simple Jansport backpack. Now if I'm hiking long distances in the woods the kit is in my cargo pocket and I have a full frame pack but thats another thread. I would rather carry the extra pound and a half and not need it than need it and not have it. Like the others have said a lot can go wrong on a mile hike.

 

survival kit.

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And if you have really poor vision, a spare pair of glasses is essential.

The couple of times I've gone night caching I've used one of those straps for my glasses that keeps them secure on my face (the kind you'd wear if playing sports and had to keep your glasses from falling off).

 

Having brush rip my glasses off my face and flinging them who-knows-where in the dark was not something I wanted to have happen, especially if I was out caching by myself.

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There's no harm in carrying extra weight on a short, easy hike, and there can be a lot of benefit in terms of incidental exercise. Stripping your pack to the lightweight essentials is more important for a long hike rather than a short one.

 

Worrying about excess pack weight on a 2-mile hike is like circling the parking lot at the gym for a spot close to the door. What? Don't want to walk an extra 60 yards on your way to the treadmill? <_<

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There's certainly a line between preparedness and overkill, but generally my theory is I'd rather have it and not need it then need it and not have it.

 

You never know what's going to happen, even on short hikes on clear sunny days. I usually don't pack for Armageddon, but I do tend to at least take my first aid kit, flashlight, and some snacks and drinks in my regular daypack.

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I've found the perfect bag for caching is a lumbar bag. If you dont know what they are, it's really just a cool fanny pack. you get all different sizes, and they are really comfortable and ride low so they dont get caught on branches like backpakcs. check out mountain hardwear they make some great bags.

 

as far as supplies i only bring:

SWAG

batteries

cache sheet

leatherman

handy sacks (its a little 2" x 2" bag that holds 10 trash bags, great for CITO, get em at the grocery store by the garbage bags)

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I've found the perfect bag for caching is a lumbar bag.

I have a large, old Mountainsmith lumbar pack that I used to use when it was just my wife and I trekking through the local state park for the day. It worked great for that, assuming we didn't need to carry extra clothes and other bulky items like that.

 

It still fits in nicely between using my small sling bag and my daypack. I don't use it as often though because everything is already packed into my daypack and I'm too lazy to transfer things between bags, plus we have two children nowadays so there's more stuff to carry even for a casual outing.

 

Can't wait to start having them carry their own stuff! Our dog already has her own saddlebags and carries her own water/food: My Dog Honey

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East of Seattle, a favorite terrain trap for lost hikers is the Pratt River drainage. Most years one or two of the folks that misplace their trail in the alpine lakes area wind up in the Pratt. They spend One and a half to Two and a half days, depending on their speed, walking down the drainage. I wouldn't call off-trail hikers who carry enough to be comfortable overnight "overpacked."

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Partly I think this comes down to how comfortable one is out in the bush. I'm an avid hiker and spent much of my childhood tromping through the woods on my own. I therby tend to get rid of anything that I think is needless weight. Most geocaches I've gone for have been within a mile or two, so nothing more is needed than my GPSr and a writing utensil. ..... snip... Less is more in my book.

 

Agree here. In my opinion lots of geocachers go way over prepared. I do have a large fanny pack in the car but 99% of the stuff stays there unless I am out for the whole afternoon. I carry a pen, a trinket or two for trade, a map, a compass, and a print out of the page. I may add a mini mag light once in awhile if I suspect I will be searching for a micro slipped into a dark spot. In the summer a pint of water is good, in the winter a pair of gloves. Guess my backpacking days in the 70s taught me to go light and move fast. Now I am old enough that the fast part is long gone but carrying a bunch of extra stuff just doesn't appeal to me.

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Partly I think this comes down to how comfortable one is out in the bush. I'm an avid hiker and spent much of my childhood tromping through the woods on my own. I therby tend to get rid of anything that I think is needless weight. Most geocaches I've gone for have been within a mile or two, so nothing more is needed than my GPSr and a writing utensil. ..... snip... Less is more in my book.

 

This all depends upon the cache. If I'm hiking back a coule of miles or more to a cache, I like to take a lumbar/fanny pack that I have with me. For daytime hikes I carry a poncho, AA LED flashlight, water, small first aid kit, FRS/GMRS radio (especially if caching with friends). For longer caches/hikes I have an REI daypack that I pack full of more survival gear. Also take along my trust Buck 182. For night caches I have my LED modified Mag3D as well as my new LEDBeam 3C flashlights to take along. For quickies, it is my GPSr, a pen, and a goodie to leave behind.

 

I also grew up climbing, especially during my childhood in Hawaii. Cannot remember how many times we'd climb all day to the top of the Koolaus only to find ourselves at the summit at sunset, without any water or warm clothing (altitude ~ 5000'), having to stumble back down the trail as best we could. Or the times we'd hike across razor-sharp spines with 1000' drops on either side of us. Or the time we hiked into/out of Haleakala (from the rim, down into the caldera, back up the far side rim, then back again) with only a canteen of water. 10,000', sunset, many changes in altitude/temperature, etc. Or the time I badly sprained my ankle on a solo hike in the Koolaus... I know I am most likely overcompensating, but jeez, how I survived... ? ;)

 

Here in MD it is easy to simply wander off into the woods. No need for a 3 season/5day pack for simple caching. But for the caches like the Psycho Backcountry series ( http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...ea-923f322cc5ab ) I think it is good to plan to take a few basic survival items along for the trek (hope to do this one this Spring).

Edited by jiminpotomac
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Here in MD it is easy to simply wander off into the woods.

 

Yeah, and look what happened to those people in The Blair Witch Project! Had they been better prepared with appropriate Protective Talismans or Exorcism/Purification Rituals they might've been OK. I keep the essentials with my first-aid gear.

 

ROFL!!! Just did the "Blair Witch" cache a few weeks ago with a couple of buddies AT NIGHT. Fun stuff.

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Partly I think this comes down to how comfortable one is out in the bush. I'm an avid hiker and spent much of my childhood tromping through the woods on my own. I therby tend to get rid of anything that I think is needless weight. Most geocaches I've gone for have been within a mile or two, so nothing more is needed than my GPSr and a writing utensil. ..... snip... Less is more in my book.

 

Agree here. In my opinion lots of geocachers go way over prepared. I do have a large fanny pack in the car but 99% of the stuff stays there unless I am out for the whole afternoon. I carry a pen, a trinket or two for trade, a map, a compass, and a print out of the page. I may add a mini mag light once in awhile if I suspect I will be searching for a micro slipped into a dark spot. In the summer a pint of water is good, in the winter a pair of gloves. Guess my backpacking days in the 70s taught me to go light and move fast. Now I am old enough that the fast part is long gone but carrying a bunch of extra stuff just doesn't appeal to me.

 

Just a few weeks ago my wife and I were out for a decent hike (about 6 miles) to place a cache. The day started beautiful. Sunny and 50's so we took our time and enjoyed the great weather. Then about halfway through the hike the wind really picked up. Soon the temps dropped drastically and it started to rain, then sleet. We had been wearing nothing but lightweight fleece tops and thin hiking pants throughout the hike so my wife started to shiver. At that point we simply reached into our packs and each of us grabbed a thick fleece pullover and our packable rain parkas and my wife also added a vest she had along. We finished our hike just as sun set, comfortable and reasonably warm.

 

I remarked to my wife at the time that I could see how easily someone who wasn't as prepared as we were could have had a much different result.

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We take a backpack, not a $100 hikers pack, an $8.00 olive green standard issue backpack. We keep at least 2 of everything needed for upkeep (IE)notepads, pencils, ziplocs, etc. We also keep a stocked small cache for emergency situations. In the smaller pocket, we keep binoculars, waterproof matches, knife, first aid kit, and a fresh flashlight. If we're going on a daytrip, we'll throw some granola bars, and some bottled water in also. At best, fully loaded it weighs about 8-10 lbs. and we're prepared for anything. Now our future trip caching out west may change that..........

Where can I put this darn oxygen tank?

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What was that lady's name who hiked the entire AT with nothing but a sheet - ends tied semi-hobo style with some stuff inside? It was a few years back and i take it - she's some kind of legend

.

 

Everybody's got they're own way of doing things - I happen to think that my way of doing things is just about perfect (but i wouldn't toss it out there for y'all to kick around- rather have a root canal). Funny thing is - you might do things completeltly diffrent and your way is perfect too.

 

The important thing is - we're all geocaching!! (i mean - we are- right?)

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;)

I'm a fairly new cacher, and lhave spent some time reading through the numerous posts on "the perfect pack" for geocaching. There are some pretty sweet packs described here (briansnat, for example). I would venture to say that 95% of the caches in my area of NE Iowa, caches are within a miles walk from parking. Do I really need waterproof matches, first aid kit (other than maybe a bandage), flashlight, space blanket, rain jacket (even on a beautiful day, with no rain in the forcast?), etc. Perhaps we could start an "Ultralight Geocaching" sect, where one would take their GPSr, Palm Pilot (or whatever), a peice of swag in your pocket, and perhaps a water bottle. I'm in. I am ultralight cacher man! So, why do you take all of your gear? Are your hikes really that intense? Do you like comfort? Do you like heavy backpacks?

 

Here is an article that describes the "essentials". Never hurts to be prepared. Keeps you from becoming a special on the Discovery Channel. If you Google 10 essentials you get lots of sites with info.

 

I carry all of these in one small compartment of my backback. Takes up a very small amount of room and weighs next to nothing. You probably carry more weight in spare batteries and the change in your pocket. I also carry a $3 Ozark Trail rain poncho that covers me from head to knees, including my pack, and folds to a package about the size of a wallet, I've seen rain come pretty fast and hard and gotten wet one too many times to not have one with me. Rain won't ruin a hike unless you get wet. It can actually make a hike more interesting and memorable.

 

To put a barebones essentials kit together costs about $20, all of it can be found in the camping section of your local Wal-Mart. One thing that I didn't go cheap on is water purification. Tablets work but if you use them, carry single serve Crystal Light or something like it to take the edge off of the taste the tablets will give your water. I use a water filtration system I picked up for about $60. It is about the size of a soup can.

 

I have seen a few people put their kits in a wide mouth nagalene bottle to keep their stuff dry. I just have mine in a zip lock bag in my pack. I would rather carry the extra pound and never use it than have a need for something and not have it with me.

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I have seen a few people put their kits in a wide mouth nagalene bottle to keep their stuff dry. I just have mine in a zip lock bag in my pack. I would rather carry the extra pound and never use it than have a need for something and not have it with me.

 

LL Bean and Eddie Bauer now sell complete survival kits in a Nalgene bottle. They are about 20 bucks. My wife received one for Christmas from her parents and it's pretty well stocked.

 

I also thought they would make great, pre made caches. Just add a logbook and maybe a little camo tape.

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I have seen a few people put their kits in a wide mouth nagalene bottle to keep their stuff dry. I just have mine in a zip lock bag in my pack. I would rather carry the extra pound and never use it than have a need for something and not have it with me.

 

LL Bean and Eddie Bauer now sell complete survival kits in a Nalgene bottle. They are about 20 bucks. My wife received one for Christmas from her parents and it's pretty well stocked.

 

I also thought they would make great, pre made caches. Just add a logbook and maybe a little camo tape.

 

Very cool! Here is the LL Bean bottle for those interested. Would make a cool FTF prize as well.

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I was just reading something the other week where they mentioned that something like 90% of all search and rescue missions involve ultralight unprepared hikers within 3 miles of their start point.

 

The book also mentions that most SAR missions are resolved (one way or another; dead or alive) within 72hrs.

 

Think about that. 72 hours.

 

You don't need to worry about how to build a dead fall trap, skinning your kill, and cooking it over a fire.

You don't need to know how to tan the hide and make it into a coat.

You don't need to know how to power a radio with coconuts.

You don't even need food. The avg (translation: overweight) american can survive 4-6 weeks without food.

 

You will probably need water. Most people are 1-2qts dehydrated all the time, before they even start the hike.

You will need to maintain your core body temperature. That might require more clothing, a fire, or shelter from heat/cold/rain.

You will need ways to improve your odds of being found.

Edited by Mopar
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I was just reading something the other week where they mentioned that something like 90% of all search and rescue missions involve ultralight unprepared hikers within 3 miles of their start point.

 

The book also mentions that most SAR missions are resolved (one way or another; dead or alive) within 72hrs.

 

Think about that. 72 hours.

 

You don't need to worry about how to build a dead fall trap, skinning your kill, and cooking it over a fire.

You don't need to know how to tan the hide and make it into a coat.

You don't need to know how to power a radio with coconuts.

You don't even need food. The avg (translation: overweight) american can survive 4-6 weeks without food.

 

You will probably need water. Most people are 1-2qts dehydrated all the time, before they even start the hike.

You will need to maintain your core body temperature. That might require more clothing, a fire, or shelter from heat/cold/rain.

You will need ways to improve your odds of being found.

 

This says it all. Every time you're heading into the woods with a fanny pack containing a liter of Poland Spring and a power bar, you're taking a chance. Like the airbags in your car, you are unlikely to ever need everything you bring along, but that one time something happens you will be glad you are prepared.

 

Just a few months ago a mother and young daughter went for a quick day hike in a rugged area in northern NJ that is a popular geocaching spot. It was late summer. They were turned around and got lost (thanks in part to a map distributed by the Audubon Society that was deliberately printed upside down with north pointing south because "that's the way most people walk from the center" :unsure: ).

 

Despite the fact that it was summer, the pair was found by the SAR team the next morning suffering from hypothermia. The mother saved her little girls life by wrapping her in her sweater and curling up around her.

 

People don't realize that hyopthermia can set in even if the temps aren't all that cold. It doesn't have to be a 20 degree night. People have died from hypothermia in 60 degree weather.

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My geocachig bag goes with me every time I head out...if the cache ends up being 300 feet or less from my car (what I consider a "park-n-grab", I'll probably just grab the GPSr/pen/trade item and head out...any longer than that and I bring the backpack.

 

For anything longer, there's a chance that something could go wrong, and I would need some of the stuff in my backpack...they call them "unexpected" problems because you don't expect them before they happen.

 

I live and cache in the Adirondack Park of Upstate NY, and in my lifetime we have had frosts in every month of the year (including snowfall one July 4th), so I'll keep bringing the backpack and deal with the weight.

 

Jamie

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My job working for a conservation corps and doing wildland firefighting in the spring often requires me to carry a heavy pack or tools considerable distances. I also have to pass a pack or step test each year. The way I see it, I often carry items I probably won't need because having that extra weight when I hike helps condition me for work.

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