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Swag Carrying Devices - What Do You Use?


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I have been using a small fanny pack for geocaching and it's getting crowded in there. I also often cahce with a friend or my kids and i have some of those FRS radios and they kept getting forgotten cause they're not in the bag - they don't fit.

I looked at backpacks last night, briefly, and everything seems huge.

 

So what do you all use to carry all the miscellaneous stuff?

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Depending on where/what we are caching, I either carry a backpack, stuff things in my pocket, or a laptop-like bag. If we need to go for a hike it'll be the backpack so I can carry water, swag, and snacks for the family. if I don't need all that it'll just be the smaller bag of filling my pockets.

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Oh that figures. :)

 

I had a link to a site that sells backpacks with your Caching name and/or logo on them, and now I can't find it.

 

Does anyone know what the site is?

 

I'll keep looking. I know I wasn't seeing things.

Tried searching was unable to find did find a mod for a backpack from one of my favorite modding sites on how to turn your backpack into a boombox though.

As for what we carry our swag in either our backpacks or we bring along some light weight coats that have a ton of pockets one pocket for our sig items another for our Found It and Dnf Pins and a seperate pocket for Found It geocoins and DNF geocoins that way we don't get them mixed up.

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I use a Mountainsmith Approach II. Great pack, but on the large side (about 2,600 ci). The current version is the Approach 3.0. Very similar to the II. Its more for long hikes or if you carry all the family's gear.

 

If you're looking for something smaller, look at the Mountainsmith Vert 12 (950 ci), Mountainsmith Tailwater (1,000 ci), Chute (1,100 ci), Gregory Nano (1,000 ci), Osprey Stratos 12 (700 ci), Osprey Stratos 18 (1,100 ci), or a Marmot Lassen, (1,500 ci). Most, if not all of these are hydration system compatble and all are high quality pack makers.

 

A good budget pack is the LL Bean Bigelow. (1,300 - 1,500 ci). It is also hydration compatible.

 

My personal preference is for a pack that is both hydration system compatible and has side water bottle pockets. For long hikes I go with the hydration bladder/hose setup and if I'm just running out for a short jaunt, a water bottle takes a second to fill and pack and it is reachable without taking the pack off.

Edited by briansnat
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I use a standard size backpack containing: swag (CDs, cassettes, guitar picks, etc), flashlight, pens, compass, bug spray, sun block, baby wipes (for when the little A's are along), and anything else I feel I might need for the trip.

 

Wouldn't dream of trying to stuff everything in a fanny pack.

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I use a large fanny pack for most caches that are 2 miles or less in hiking value.

I keep a stocked, small backpack in the trunk for longer hikes and for hiding. It will hold 2, 50 cal ammo boxes if it needs to.

 

I also take the backpack with an extra, filled ammo box if I think there will be a new and un-planned hiding spot on a find or for cache maintenance.

 

I noticed a lot of strange looks from muggles while hiking a suburban park for 5 hides when wearing the backpack. Switched to the fanny pack and went un-noticed.

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So I guess it matters how far you hike?

most caches here are under 1/4 mile from the car.

 

Today was one of our longest hikes yet - 3 miles, maybe a bit less. did 5 caches, all in the woods and we did get thirsty. I take my kids 95% of the time, ages 5 and 2.5 - have not needed anthing other than maybe a drink out there. today is near 90.

 

Does a pack get hot on your back after a while?

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So what do you all use to carry all the miscellaneous stuff?

 

I use a small backpack that used to zip onto a bigger piece of rolling luggage (until that zipper broke). It carries my GPSr (when I'm not holding it), my PDA, a pen, kleenex, and my digicam in the front pocket; my bag of trade stuff, spare batteries (AA and AAA), compass (when I'm not holding it), spare ziplocs (cache repair), pad of paper, wetnaps, bug repellent, sunscreen, and a small sharpie.

 

The pack is smaller than the pack I used to carry books for college. It's probably the size that an elementary school student might have.

Edited by 0ccam
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I use a large fanny back that has a pouch on each side for a 16oz Nalgene bottle (it's important to stay hydrated in this Texas heat).

 

Mine is an Eddie Bauer model fanny pack that I found at Target. It is definitely big enough to manage an FRS radio or a couple in addition to my GPS unit, compass and other various paraphenalia that cannot be left behind. The nice thing was that it came with the Nalgene bottles.

 

Sometimes it's not quite big enough, but I've just switched to cargo pants with plenty of oversized pockets to manage the overflow.

 

-----

Kevin Harris for Team Harris

Caching Adventures

Edited by teamharris
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I use a Military Camelbak Desert Camo MOTHERLODE Hydration backpack. Plenty of room in it and got it really cheap on Ebay for $80.00.

 

Just to say to Camelbak! (and Maxpedition)

 

Camelbaks are *great* if you don't mind spending the money. I've got the MOTHERLODE's next smaller sibling the TALON. The 3 liter bladder will keep water cold for a long time (about 5 hours) if you fill it with ice first. Plus, the pack is pretty rugged and has loops for attaching additional stuff (MOLLE compatable type if necessary). The only thing I don't like about the integrated bladder is that if you drink a lot of water (like I do), refilling it with the pack loaded down can be a handle until you work out a system for yourself. But, since I'm a closet gear freak (ok - I'm not any more) I'll bring along a water bottle and drink that first before getting into the pack water. Anymore, during the summer when I cache, it's from the car, so water and refilling the bladder is rarely ever an issue.

 

Camelbak makes several different sizes of hydration packs. Maxpedition makes several different kinds of packs as well, some of which are "hydration bladder compatable". Depending on how rugged you desire your gear to be these two brands might be right up your trail as both have pretty extensive product lines geared towards the military. Or, something cheap from Wal-Mart may work as just as well.

 

I'd suggest though, since you asked, have a "large/heavy" pack and a "small/light" pack. Have one for "lots of walking/lots of trading" caches and one for "not a lot of trading" caches. You know your situation better than anyone, so the physical size of the container is pretty much up to you and how much stuff you want to haul.

 

Note: The Camelbak products I've seen in outdoor/hiking stores (ie High Country Outfitters and Bass Pro Shop) are made with lighter (weight) materials and don't have some of the features as their military cousins

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So I guess it matters how far you hike?

most caches here are under 1/4 mile from the car.

 

Today was one of our longest hikes yet - 3 miles, maybe a bit less. did 5 caches, all in the woods and we did get thirsty. I take my kids 95% of the time, ages 5 and 2.5 - have not needed anthing other than maybe a drink out there. today is near 90.

 

Does a pack get hot on your back after a while?

Because a pack does get hot, I use a small fanny pack that I found at a Thrift Store. :)

 

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I added a Case Logic camera case to the belt so my camera is in front and easier to get to. My Palm is also in that case, along with four extra rechargeable batteries.

 

The pack holds a lot of stuff from tweezers (for those tiny logs) to a mirror (to look for clues) to a headlamp and flashlight, since I always seem to be out after dark, to a first aid kit and bandaids and matches and a leatherman and a compass and swag . . . and other stuff . . . :anibad:

 

It only has one holder for a water bottle, so for longer hikes, I put a second bottle in the main compartment.

 

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If I am placing caches, I use a Gregory day pack I got at Campmor. It will hold a large ammo can plus lots of other stuff. :)

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As a general point of internationalisation, the term "fanny pack" would have a considerably different meaning to geocachers in the UK, Australia, and other places. There, a "fanny" is not a euphamism for one backside, but the female genitalia.

 

In Australia, the general term for US "fanny packs" is "bum bag".

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As a general point of internationalisation, the term "fanny pack" would have a considerably different meaning to geocachers in the UK, Australia, and other places. There, a "fanny" is not a euphamism for one backside, but the female genitalia.

 

In Australia, the general term for US "fanny packs" is "bum bag".

I recently bought a fanny pack/bum bag. The label said it was a "waist pack." I guess that's the generic term. The thing works well for me. I can fit my camera, flashlight, spare GPSr, and Palm with room to spare. That's all I need for the type of caches I go for.
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We got a standard size backpack at Walmart that had room for the hydration bag. The backpack was $14.99 and the 2 Liter hydration bladder was 9.99. The backpack has a standard big pocket, two front pockets, a side pocket, and a side pouch for a water bottle. We take the back pack in the car to all of the caches that we do--anything htat's 1/4 mile or more we take the bag with us to the cache--sometimes we don't take the bladder, but it was the best $25.00 we've spent on caching!

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I use an army issue alice pack. Go to cheaperthandirt.com and look. (I get my ammo cans here too) Alice packs have lots of little compartments you can add or subtract from the base bag. You can get a frame also. Much nicer than your everyday school backpack. I find it very functional and things don't shift. Cost is around 35$ for base pack without the frame. Worth the money as they are very durable. Check local Army Navy store if you have one close.

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