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Suggestions on what to include in a GC backpack


Tim1968
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Hey everyone, First off happy new year to all. This is my first post but I have been lurking around reading lots of posts for a few weeks now. I have tried doing a search on this topic but i always seem to be below 5 charcters and the search doesnt work (made me think of a few 4 character words...lol) then i tried a google search but keep coming up with ads to buy a pack so I figured I would post up a new thread. I got into caching late last year and I decided to get myself some caching related gifts for xmas. One of which was a pretty nifty backpack. So my question to everyone here is....what would you guys include in a pack for short hikes/cache hunting? so far I have flash lights, small first aid kit, a pocketknife/multitool and my gps and a pen. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanks in advance guys! -Tim

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Mine has a spot for the 100oz camelbak so I have plenty of water on board. Spotting mirror and a silva 15 compass with matches cliff or power bars. Also toilet paper is a good thing with ib profen. You might want to include a extra id card so if problems develop the rescue crew can identify you if wallet is missing plus any alllerges that can cause problems.

Edited by rambrush
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:)

A Harbor Frieght Stop.....

 

Tweezers

 

Magnet-Tool extendable

 

Mechanical Fingers

 

Mechanic's-Mirror

 

A Spool of Twine / Cord (one never knows)

 

A Roll of Electrician's Tape (again one never knows)

 

Staples / Wal-Mart / 99 Cent Store

 

A Few Log Books (to replace full or wet one's)

 

A Assorment of Baggies (different sizes) to use as reqired

 

A Few Pens / Penciles (to leave or replace, where one has gone missing....or)

 

Assorment of "Swag" (yes there are a few traders left out there)

 

If Room Allows, Perhaps a ready made cache, to place if you happen across a choice spot that is calling for one.

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thanks all for the great suggestions! i am going to add them to my pack tonight. I have already come across 2 caches that the log was totally soaked, i just ripped a sliver off of a buisness card in my wallet and left my sig on that. what are the offical rules on replacing the log in someone elses cache? i was still rather new and didnt want to step on anyone's toes. I did make note of it on my log entry on the cache webpage. and on another occasion i spliced a new piece of paper to a nano cache's scroll luckly i had some tape in my truck, guess thats going into the pack too. thanks again everyone! happy caching

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Great suggestions above but I did not see:

 

ibupofen, Benadryl, afterbyte.. In you first aid kit make sure you have butterfly bandage, band aids and spool of gause.

 

Was a Long time BSA ASM, SM, etc. Most often had to deal with cuts, scrapes, burns (which you should not have), sprains, insect and bee stings.

 

This also depends on how far you are away from vehicle or help. I keep a good first aid kit in my vehicle.

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I had made a list of my own and have added all the suggestions that appear here thus far:

 

GPS

Flashlight

Whistle

Headlights

Plastic Bags (for CITO)

Small Zip lock bags (for logs)

Pencil, Pen, Marker (extra pencils for caches)

Notepad (extras for logs)

Insect Repellent

Binoculars

FRS Radios

Items for trade (swag)

Extra batteries (AAA,AA)

Water, snacks, 1st aid (butterfly bandage, band-aids, gauze, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Afterbite)

Sunscreen

Pocket knife, multi-tool

Gloves

Extra Log Sheets

Compass, Map

Matches

Toilet Paper

Tweezers

Extendable Magnet Tool

Mechanical Fingers

Mechanic's Mirror

Spool of Twine/Cord

Electrician's Tape

Ready Made Cache

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I had made a list of my own and have added all the suggestions that appear here thus far:

 

GPS

Flashlight

Whistle

Headlights

Plastic Bags (for CITO)

Small Zip lock bags (for logs)

Pencil, Pen, Marker (extra pencils for caches)

Notepad (extras for logs)

Insect Repellent

Binoculars

FRS Radios

Items for trade (swag)

Extra batteries (AAA,AA)

Water, snacks, 1st aid (butterfly bandage, band-aids, gauze, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Afterbite)

Sunscreen

Pocket knife, multi-tool

Gloves

Extra Log Sheets

Compass, Map

Matches

Toilet Paper

Tweezers

Extendable Magnet Tool

Mechanical Fingers

Mechanic's Mirror

Spool of Twine/Cord

Electrician's Tape

Ready Made Cache

 

And a good back surgeon with that load. :P

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Here is the text of an article I wrote a few years ago that was published in the online geocaching mag. It's a bit long, but has quite a bit of good info.

 

Pack Heavy, Pack Light

You CAN Carry It All!

 

By 4x4van

 

A couple of years ago, I discovered geocaching, and after our first find, my two youngest kids (Sabrina and Anthony, then 9 & 11) and I were "hooked". But as our "find" count increased, so did the difficulty level of many of our cache excursions. While I thought nothing as a kid of spending the entire day hiking in the canyons near my home with only a BB gun and a pocket knife, as a parent, my primary job is keeping my own kids safe, and I wanted to be prepared for any contingency that might occur on the trail. I also felt that it was a good lesson to my kids to leave nothing to chance when venturing into the great outdoors. The question was, how could I carry supplies sufficient for a possible unplanned overnight stay in the wilderness (possibly while injured), while still maintaining a pack that's light enough and convenient enough for even a short one-hour hike?

 

Fortunately, today's backpacking technology makes it possible. The first item purchased was what is known as a "hydropack". These are relatively small backpacks with an internal "bladder" for water, and are available in many sizes and configurations. Mine is only 8"w x 16"h x 6"d, and my son's is slightly smaller. Each has multiple pockets, padded shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a two-liter, freezable water bladder with a hose and "bite valve" allowing you to drink without stopping or removing a cap. An inexpensive "ball" style compass attached to one shoulder strap and a GPS carry case on the other strap completes each pack. Shop around for prices and styles; ours are good quality and yet cost less than $30 each.

 

A first aid kit is a must for any long hike, and with careful planning, a small but full-featured kit can be assembled. While mine only measures about 3.5" in diameter x 5" long, it includes an instant icepack, Ace bandage, various sized band-aids, butterfly closures, gauze, adhesive tape, scissors, antiseptic, antibiotic cream, bugbite swabs, iodine swabs, alcohol pads, burn cream, poison ivy wipes, cotton balls/swabs, CPR mask, eyewash, smelling salts, Tylenol, Aspirin, Benadryll, chapstick, moleskin, and a snakebite kit. My son carries a bit smaller, less extensive kit as well.

 

If you do end up stranded and must spend the night, a few well thought out items can make a huge difference. A 99 cent rain poncho, a silver mylar survival blanket, a couple of cyalume light sticks, and disposable handwarmers make an overnight stay bearable, even in inclement weather. Add a decent compass, a signal mirror, a whistle, a small flashlight (today's LED lights are bright, long lasting, and inexpensive), waterproof matches, flint/magnesium fire starter, and some rope ( I carry 50 feet of 1/4" nylon) and you're set. I've also added a couple of straps to the bottom of our packs that allow us to easily carry a tightly rolled sweatshirt or jacket. You never know when the weather is going to take a sudden turn for the worse!

 

Of course, don't discount the value of simple creature comforts. I carry a small roll of toilet paper (roll it up and put it inside an empty cardboard toilet paper tube), a washrag, a hotel-sized bar of soap, bug repellent wipes, and sunscreen wipes, along with a good pocket knife, a leatherman-style multi-tool, a backpacker's cable-style saw, nylon cord and strap hardware (for pack repair), and of course some duct tape (wrapped around a pencil). Geocaching-specific items include ziplock bags, a trash bag (CITO!), a logbook and pencils, maps and cache notes, a credit card-style calculator, spare batteries, and of course SWAG. To finish it all off in a high-tech way, a pedometer, cell phone, camera and mini-tripod, and occasionally even two-way FRS radios. For munchies we usually carry some beef jerky, granola bars, and trail mix, along with a couple of extra bottles of water if it's particularly hot out or we are planning on a longer hike.

 

Overkill? Some would certainly say so, and hopefully I will never need 90% of what I carry. But, what if I do? I've known people who have spent an unplanned night in the wilderness without being prepared, and they were not a pretty sight when they came out the next day. And believe it or not, my pack weighs in at only about 12-13 pounds, including water, which makes it convenient as well as effective.

 

So, take it from me, with a little thought you can pack heavy while still packing light!

Edited by 4x4van
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For those that cache in the South West - especially Arizona, the space blanket can serve two purposes - the one it was intended for, the blanket - and an alternate emergency use - to wrap yourself up in if you disturb a hive of africanized bees. There are no European bees left in Arizona - they are all africanized now, so I have a space blanket tucked in the belt pouch of my Eberlestock hydration pack, especially whenever I'm caching East of the Salton Sea. It could literally save my life.

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Depending on where you live, a snakebite kit is not a bad idea.

 

My personal favorite is the mechanics extendable mirror. I REALLY don't like sticking my hand in places I can't see!

 

We also have 2 pair of surgical gloves in our first aid kit. They work well to dump cold water from a thermos into to put on a child's ouchie.

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My personal favorite is the mechanics extendable mirror. I REALLY don't like sticking my hand in places I can't see!

 

Those are handy. I do the same kind of thing with my digital camera. If I can't see with my eyes, I take pics of where I think the cache is and then scroll through the pics on my camera and see if I can spot the cache in them. Then I know where to put my hand B)

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I had made a list of my own and have added all the suggestions that appear here thus far:

 

GPS

Flashlight

Whistle

Headlights

Plastic Bags (for CITO)

Small Zip lock bags (for logs)

Pencil, Pen, Marker (extra pencils for caches)

Notepad (extras for logs)

Insect Repellent

Binoculars

FRS Radios

Items for trade (swag)

Extra batteries (AAA,AA)

Water, snacks, 1st aid (butterfly bandage, band-aids, gauze, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Afterbite)

Sunscreen

Pocket knife, multi-tool

Gloves

Extra Log Sheets

Compass, Map

Matches

Toilet Paper

Tweezers

Extendable Magnet Tool

Mechanical Fingers

Mechanic's Mirror

Spool of Twine/Cord

Electrician's Tape

Ready Made Cache

 

And a good back surgeon with that load. :(

 

Where do you buy a extendable magnet tool, mechanical fingers and mechanics mirror???

Thanks

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Some of the things mentioned in this thread are excellent swag items, especially for more rural caches. Just make sure they are well-packaged. If you find a good deal on them you could stock up and use them as swag (e.g., first-aid kits, space blankets, emergency ponchos, hand sanitizer, gloves, clean dry socks). It's nice to have hand sanitizer along. At least in our area (east coast) logsheets/books are often moldy.

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[Where do you buy a extendable magnet tool, mechanical fingers and mechanics mirror???

Thanks

 

Any place selling mechanic's tools such as Sears, auto parts store, Snap-On/Mac/SK/etc. tool reps to name a few.

 

I picked up a cool set while i was at lowes the other week for $5, now i can put back the ones I stole from my garage.

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Wow! Apparently I am behind the game or too new to know what I am doing. I don't carry hardly any of this stuff. Where I cache, I am not hiking most of the time so I don't venture that far from the truck or a major road. I usually just carry my Out&Back GPS, an LED flashlight, and a pair of work gloves.

 

One of the things I thought was cool about geocaching was that I really didn't need much to participate. Unlike the shooting sports I like, you don't have to spend a fortune on equipment to get started. I never even thought about bringing a backpack along unless I am camping or hiking.

 

I will say the afterbite idea was a good one as we have yellow jackets and red wasps that both seem to like cache areas in the warmer months.

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For those that cache in the South West - especially Arizona, the space blanket can serve two purposes - the one it was intended for, the blanket - and an alternate emergency use - to wrap yourself up in if you disturb a hive of africanized bees. There are no European bees left in Arizona - they are all africanized now, so I have a space blanket tucked in the belt pouch of my Eberlestock hydration pack, especially whenever I'm caching East of the Salton Sea. It could literally save my life.

 

Spaceblankets are a must for any kind of outdoor pursuits, in addition to the above another way they can come in handy should the worst happen is as a signal if you need to be found. Lay it out on the ground with a rock at each corner and it'll reflect the sun for all the sky to see, place your torch (flashlight) in the centre at night, particularly if it has a flashing beacon setting.

 

You can also use them to hold water, and even collect water by catching ground condensation overnight (you need a tin/mug/bowl to place underneath).

 

For something that is so light and takes up so little room they are so versatile they are a must-have if there's any chance you could end up stuck somewhere.

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Something I never thought about, until the other day when I found my last cache, is a portable/emergency source of power for your cell phone. I pulled out my cell phone to take a picture and it promptly shut down because of a low battery. I know I should have checked it before I left. I actually did and "thought" I had enough charge to do that "short" cache trip. I was wrong. As usual........

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Something I never thought about, until the other day when I found my last cache, is a portable/emergency source of power for your cell phone. I pulled out my cell phone to take a picture and it promptly shut down because of a low battery. I know I should have checked it before I left. I actually did and "thought" I had enough charge to do that "short" cache trip. I was wrong. As usual........

 

That is a great example of why it's a good idea to keep and use a supply of 'trip plans'... Fill in the details of your proposed venture and leave with a reliable friend... also cancel the plan when you get home...

 

All the other things (the survival ones) are nice, but if no one knows where to look or what to look for... it's a bit moot. This of course is aimed at more serious ventures, but we spend a lot of time looking for people who are just going out for a bit... and don't come back... it's a BIG world out there... and little things can and will come and bite you when you least expect them... I was out just last monday, and got caught by dark... not all that serious, since I had my lights and a pack with survival needs, but consider that I was back (6k) in the local mountains, skiing. I left the info with my roommate and went out... the Local SAR would have known the right places/area to look... and I was right on time that day, just met someone else and chatted a bit... the last 20 minutes took an hour and a half. It can happen. Caching is supposed to be as safe as possible, and FUN.

One source of Canadian Trip Plans... but the information is fairly standard...

http://www.adventuresmart.ca/trip_safety/planning/index.php.

 

Doug

Edited by 7rxc
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Water! It's heavy, but it's necessary. Reminds me of my days section hiking the AT. I'd go out for a week at a time. (Yes. I did hike half the AT!) I got my backpack down to about 25#. But, there was that day I didn't have enough water on that thousand foot climb up to Bear Den Hostel! Drank over a liter when I got there!

Always bring enough water!

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