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What Should I Take?


Stairchicken
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The answer might depend on what kind of gpsr you are getting. At a minimum you will need a pen to sign the logs. Beyond that it might depend on where you are planning to go, if a hike is involved, if your unit is paperless (containing the cache description, hint, and recent logs), if you are a premium member, if you will need a camera for any of the caches, what mapping you might have, and the like.

 

For me, I prepare for caching like any other activity. A hike will be different than a drive. A drive will be different than if I am walking around a city.

 

If you are new to this I would start by looking up caches in an area you might enjoy, identifying easier hides, larger containers, and caches that seem to be other people's favorites. Read the logs. Learn what other people's experience has been like and plan accordingly. Bring the cache information with you. Then see how it goes.

Edited by mulvaney
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What Mulvaney said.

 

Plus

 

You might want to put two or three small swap/swag items in your pocket. Not all geocachers bother with the whole "trade up or even" thing but it is one aspect of the geocaching game to be aware of. (Some caches don't have trade items and most will have nothing you want in any case!)

 

Many cachers will add a small item to a cache box even if they take nothing. Families caching with children appreciate finding something in the box. Items such as foreign coins, small erasers, mini bouncy balls etc are cheap and fun.

 

MrsB

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I was wondering more of along the lines of what would be good items to have on my person.

 

As has been suggested: A pen, small items if you want to trade, the cache description in case the coordinates are not enough for you to make the find, and whatever you will need for the type of area you will be visiting (water, snacks, flashlight, maps, etc).

 

If you are wondering about items for trading, it is very personal. A cacher in my area always leaves small frogs. I generally do not trade, but I sometimes take old baseball cards of my favorite team (Giants!). Others will grab whatever trinket might be in their "junk drawer." As long as you trade "up or even" then you can bring anything you want. But in any event, something you can easily carry that will fit into the type of cache you are going to be finding.

 

Some people bring certain tools with them. A friend fashioned a long fork so that he can reach into areas and pull out a container -- he keeps it in his car for certain caches that are stuck outside of reach, but there is no need to bring that on a hike. Every once in a while, I encounter a cache with a metal lid that is very rusty and hard to open and wish that I had a pocket knife or something with me that could make it easier. But by and large I have not had to worry about any of this kind of thing.

 

In short, depending on what you are doing and what is stored in your gpsr, you can travel very light. Most often I take only a pen (although I have been known to forget that) and a "paperless" gpsr (so that I have the cache descriptions and hints). I usually carry a cell phone or camera (a picture can be required for some virtuals and I enjoy taking them in any event).

 

Make sure you have what you will need to find the cache, bring a pen to sign the log, bring something if you should want to trade, and then use common sense for what you will need for the type of trip you will be making -- at various times, I carry everything from food and water, spare batteries, a hiking stick, or a tire repair kit for my mountain bike. A friend packs a whistle in case of an emergency in the woods.

 

The cache description, terrain/difficulty rating, and logs often let you know if anything more will be needed and help you plan accordingly.

Edited by mulvaney
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Bring along a spare set of batteries for your GPSr. Nothing more heartbreaking then running out of juice just when GZ is only 60' away.

 

Good point. I use rechargeable batteries and make sure they are fully charged before heading out. But spare batteries are essential for a longer trip or "just in case." Get to know your gpsr and plan accordingly. A few quick caches will be different than a long hike or an all day drive navigating to various caches.

Edited by mulvaney
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What Mulvaney said.

 

Plus

 

You might want to put two or three small swap/swag items in your pocket. Not all geocachers bother with the whole "trade up or even" thing but it is one aspect of the geocaching game to be aware of. (Some caches don't have trade items and most will have nothing you want in any case!)

 

Many cachers will add a small item to a cache box even if they take nothing. Families caching with children appreciate finding something in the box. Items such as foreign coins, small erasers, mini bouncy balls etc are cheap and fun.

 

MrsB

 

Ditto... my kids go NUTS when we find a cache with stuff in it. :) A trip to the local Dollar General got us nicely stocked up for many future outings. :)

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Alot of people carry a caching bag of some sort

In mine I have gps, pen, spare batteries, flashlight, bug spray, a multitool, swag, notebook, spare pen, some specialize retrival tools,

cito kit(grocery bag stuffed into a film canister) a few micro cach containers with blank log inside in case I see a good hiding spot while Im out

small first aid kit(mostly just bandaids), bottle of water

Just throw in whatever you think could be useful and add or subtract as needed

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I try not to go anywhere with out my little "space pen" it's great, beyond the writing upside down and stuff it's small and just fits in my pocket. I've signed 90% of my cache logs with it. It's my favorite TOTT.

 

When I plan a cache trip I bring a lot of what was mentioned above but I also bring a small cache log or paper that can be one. Some of the logs are full and others are too wet to write on or need more pages so I'll add to them.

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Other than my GPSr, I take a pen. That's it.

I check the battery level when I leave, and as they are good for about 20 hours, no need to carry spares as long as I have more than 1 bar.

No snacks, as I'm not venturing off into the great unknown, so little chance of starving to death.

I probably should take along my Contigo water bottle for sudden thirst, but I don't.

Swag, spare logs, plastic baggies, first aid thingys, etc--nope.

I'm just out there to enjoy myself.

In a similar post, one response noted that some cachers equate caching with moving--I found that a rather hilarious comment :laughing:

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I've put together a small kit that I take with me each time I go geocaching.

 

The kit contains:-

Spare batteries

Spare pencil

Replacement logs in varying sizes

A horseshoe nail (ideal for removing tight logs from small caches)

A mini flashlight

A small multi-tool (pliers, knife blade etc)

A whistle (in case of emergencies)

 

I also take a couple of ready made micro caches just in case I come across a good location thats not been 'cached yet'...

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I probably carry too much, but then everyone calls me the "Boy Scout"

 

My Kit includes:

 

Urban:

Space Pen

Note Paper - Even with a paperless GPSr you will want to write stuff down at times

Spare Batteries

Multitool

Tweezers - to pull out logs on nanos

Small flashlight - I try to look in dark places before putting my fingers in there

Small Wooden Dowel - for poking in bushes and removing spiderwebs

Small Mirror that fits in my palm - for looking under things like benches without being obvious

Mirror on an Expandable Pole - When I'm too lazy to bend over (and I'm short so it helps looking on top of things too)

 

If I'm going for bigger game (aka, in the woods):

Gloves - Moving rocks, reaching in/under things were "crawlies" may live

Walking stick - for walking and poking

Bigger flashlight

Water and High Energy Snacks

Swag - I rarely trade but I will restock a cache if it looks empty

 

Also in my car I keep a Cache Repair Kit with things like tape, glue, string, and blank logs for when a cache needs a little TLC.

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I was wondering more of along the lines of what would be good items to have on my person.

 

I wear a bag around my waist (bum bag) in it I have my GPS notebook pen and pencil, a pair of thin rubber gloves, a container of soap you can use without water, a set of small tools to extract small log books out of their containers, I keep meaning to put in plasters as well !, plus items to put in to caches.

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