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Tools of the Trade?


MrsSnuffy07
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Hello fellow cachers,

 

I'm a newbie, just started last week. I am curious to what some of you more seasoned cachers carry with you besides your GPS, a pen, and some swag. I am putting together a bag to keep in my car at all times in case the opportunity arises to geocache. So far I have all the mentioned above plus a box of ziplock sammy bags. Just saw tweezers mentioned in another topic, so I will add those. Thanks for any and all suggestions! Happy Caching!

MrsSnuffy07

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Add to that kit, mechanic's mirror, mechanic's magnet, a magnetic compass, mini-flashlight, spare batteries... it's a pretty long list.

 

Better yet, rather than a kit for the car, get a smaller backpack (a school book backpack would be fine). As time goes along, you will discover that you need other things to include in that kit. Leaving it in the car only means that you gotta trek back to the car to retrieve it when you find out (1/2 mile into the woods) that you need it.

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what you carry depends a lot on what type of caching you're doing. For most urban hides, what you already have is probably fine, although we usually carry a couple of blank logs along and we always have duct tape and extra containers in the trunk of the car (mostly for placing our own hides but we've used those to replace destroyed or badly damaged containers that we find too). Tweezers or a small surgical hemostat is worth having as is a small pocket knife of the swiss variety. If you're doing any kind of hiking in the woods or up into the hills, you might want to consider taking along some water and maybe a snack or two besides a compass, extra batteries, flashlight etc. If you have room, a small first aid kit is worth a million dollars if you need it. Just remember to think about the load.. what you carry in, you have to carry out again so try not to be too extravagant. You don't want to wear yourself out carrying a lot of unnecessary stuff.

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Don't forget a 9V battery besides the spare ones for your GPS. Some caches/stages require those. I also carry a small codebook with me for when I come across an encrypted waypoint. It includes morse, signal flags, braille, resistor colours and much more. One more thing we use a lot is a photocamera to photograph waypoint instructions or bonus letters. It can be very annoying to arrive at the next stage and don't remember the information you need.

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With the amount of micro's out there you need a telescoping mirror....I've tried many but the Ullman HT-S2 ( Amazon $11.00) is the best...its a 3" round mirror that telescopes out over 2 feet but closes small enough to fit in a pocket or belt pouch.....I use it for well over 50% of my finds, saves your back and knees. Also in my pouch is a high intensity flashlight, very small leatherman pliers,tweezers, and a telescoping magnet.

You'll need a hiking stick,hat,hiking boots, long pants, and bug spray. A Sharpie signs almost any log and my pocket screwdriver serves as a small probe. On my belt hangs a 1 foot piece of 1/4" SS rod with a bend on one end....its for rooting around where you really don't want to put your fingers and dragging out ammo cans and lifting rocks..... I chew gum which has retrieved at least 6 caches.

I've cached coast to coast, mountain, dessert, swamp, etc and the above is all I've ever needed.

Of the above, the mirror, hiking stick,and probe are what I use constantly.

 

Note : special caches will require a canoe or other equipment.

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Urban caching I carry a Nite Ize Pocket-its in a cargo pocket on my pants. It contains a mechanics mirror, tweezers, 2 pens, pen light, and two dental picks. Rural caching the Nite Ize goes along with a Maxpedition gear slinger pack containing duct tape, extra batteries, extra logs, small zip lock bags, swag, first aid kit, water bottle, camera,550 cord, sanitizer, and gloves. The slinger pack is always in the geo truck along with chore boots, walking sticks for wife and me, and spare clothes.

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Note pads, pen, sharpie and dry erase marker, gps, extra batteries, first aid kit, cell phone, leatherman surge, flashlight, water or Gatorade and if I'm not in the city some snacks. And a basic outdoor 72 hour kit. Actually everything but the GPS is on me at all times... Forgot I have an ammo can and some LnL's in my car along with jacket and camping chair.

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Add to that kit, mechanic's mirror, mechanic's magnet, a magnetic compass, mini-flashlight, spare batteries... it's a pretty long list.

 

Better yet, rather than a kit for the car, get a smaller backpack (a school book backpack would be fine). As time goes along, you will discover that you need other things to include in that kit. Leaving it in the car only means that you gotta trek back to the car to retrieve it when you find out (1/2 mile into the woods) that you need it.

I have a mini flashlight, but will have to get the magnet and the mirror. Thanks for the suggestions

Edited by MrsSnuffy07
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Don't forget a 9V battery besides the spare ones for your GPS. Some caches/stages require those. I also carry a small codebook with me for when I come across an encrypted waypoint. It includes morse, signal flags, braille, resistor colours and much more. One more thing we use a lot is a photocamera to photograph waypoint instructions or bonus letters. It can be very annoying to arrive at the next stage and don't remember the information you need.

A 9v hmmm would have never thought of that. I ALWAYS carry my camera wherever I go (even when not geocaching) :) Thanks for the ideas

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With the amount of micro's out there you need a telescoping mirror....I've tried many but the Ullman HT-S2 ( Amazon $11.00) is the best...its a 3" round mirror that telescopes out over 2 feet but closes small enough to fit in a pocket or belt pouch.....I use it for well over 50% of my finds, saves your back and knees. Also in my pouch is a high intensity flashlight, very small leatherman pliers,tweezers, and a telescoping magnet.

You'll need a hiking stick,hat,hiking boots, long pants, and bug spray. A Sharpie signs almost any log and my pocket screwdriver serves as a small probe. On my belt hangs a 1 foot piece of 1/4" SS rod with a bend on one end....its for rooting around where you really don't want to put your fingers and dragging out ammo cans and lifting rocks..... I chew gum which has retrieved at least 6 caches.

I've cached coast to coast, mountain, dessert, swamp, etc and the above is all I've ever needed.

Of the above, the mirror, hiking stick,and probe are what I use constantly.

 

Note : special caches will require a canoe or other equipment.

LOL GUM that is a terrific idea! Thanks will definitely get the mirror and pliers

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If you are just finding the cache and logging the find all you need is your gpsr, a pencil or pen and a bottle of water. I like to trade swag and move travel bugs as well as help out fellow cachers so I carry a little more in my bag. Two lock and lock containers one for swag one for travel bugs. 3 sizes of zip lock bags for various logs that may be getting wet. a few extra pencils and pens, a few log books and log sheets (for micro and nano caches) electrical tape, rubber bands..... You get the idea. A few other things to consider are, First aid kit, bug spray, cell phone. I went to Walmart and picked up a Field line Pro series bag for around $16.00. It carries everything I need and fits comfortably around my shoulder.

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Most of the things I carry in my caching pack (a small pencil case) have already been mentioned but I also carry a pencil sharpener for sharpening pencils in caches, of course this could also be done with a small knife if you are carrying one. I see alot of blunt/broken pencils in caches.

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No question about it - all of the seasoned professionals above have listed a splendid collection of geocaching tools!

 

If anyone adds any more to the list, you'll need either a horse, donkey, shopping cart or butler to carry your supplies. That could make it harder to be stealthy. Of course, the latest philosophy is to NOT be stealthy - walk in boldly with your clipboard (add that to the list) and do your thing like you own the world.

 

So let's add the clipboard, rope ladder (good one seen in the forums but i've improved on it), and gardening gloves.

 

Oh, and how could I forget the all-important UV light?!

:rolleyes::D;)

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This is a great post, as a newbie myself I was looking for the "10 essentials for geocaching"

 

1 GPSr

2 extra bateries

3 pen/pencil

4 magnet

5 inspection mirror

6 compass/map

7 flashlight/headlamp

8 swag

9 gloves

10 ?

 

It goes without saying that we need water and snacks. So what did I miss from the previuos posts.

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This is a great post, as a newbie myself I was looking for the "10 essentials for geocaching"

 

1 GPSr

2 extra bateries

3 pen/pencil

4 magnet

5 inspection mirror

6 compass/map

7 flashlight/headlamp

8 swag

9 gloves

10 ?

 

It goes without saying that we need water and snacks. So what did I miss from the previuos posts.

TWEEZERS, needed to pull out Micros sometimes

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Yep. Definitely tweezers. After the GPSr, pen and "puller tool" (more about that in a second), tweezers was the next thing I added to the tool set. I've had to use 'em a couple of times already to get log rolls out of micros and nanos.

 

If you do a lot of rural caches, you might want to have some kind of hooked object. I don't like sticking my hand into dead tree trunks to pull out cache containers - black widows and (in our area) brown recluse aren't worth the find! So I use some kind of hooked object to reach in there for me to slide it out.

 

I also wanted my hooked object to be sturdy - not a plastic or bamboo backscratcher - because sometimes you have to do some scraping. Yes, I know that one should not have to do any scraping to retrieve a cache theoreticaly. But practically I have found several situations where the container was in muck or worse.

 

I had been using what is called a nail puller (like a very small crowbar); but there was several "psychological" issues with it: If anyone saw me with it, they might get the wrong idea. Looks too much like I'm carrying a weapon. If a cop saw me getting out of the car with it, he might think I had it for road rage or something. It was just too much.

 

So today I took a tent peg, the kind that is like a giant nail with a plastic T shaped end, one side of which is hooked; and I cut it at about 6.5 inches. It is light enough that it could not really be mistaken for some kind of weapon, but it is sturdy enough to hook and slide a container, or do a little scraping when necessary. Since I only added it to my kit today, I'll have to see how it works out.

 

I also added one of those simple pegs that's like a thick, thick wire bent into a hooked end. It is even lighter and may do the trick in most cases. (Since I don't have experience with either of them as a GC tool yet, I'm carrying both for now.)

 

I'd be interested in hearing what other folks use for their tool to reach in and slide a container out.

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I carry long nose pliers, extra batteries, logs, containers, gloves, a towel, TP, band-aids, mirror, GOOD flashlight, UV light, my signature items, and my .45 or .380 depending on where I'm going. Also my BIG hairpin with the bent tip to get small logs out. Trail bars and a couple of bottles of water. (beer is in the cooler in the back of the truck).

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Never would have thought of the sharpener- great idea! we started with a small fanny pack, moved to a shoulder bag, and now I want a back pack or sling with lots of pockets. Any suggestions on bags? :D

 

I use a Camelbak Transformer ( http://www.amazon.com/CamelBak-Transformer-TransFormer-Black/dp/B00147NRYE ). It is a hydration pack with tons of pockets to carry most anything you could need for a day of caching plus H2O!!!

 

I also carry a mini snake stick approx 18-24" long to fish caches out of stumps, poke around in debris, etc

Edited by ClanStan
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I am a newb as well. Although I have been caching off and on for a couple of years. Now I bring my 4.5yo daughter with me on hunts. So my kit (requirements have changed).

 

1. GPSr

2. Pens

3. Flashlight

4. Pocket Knife

5. Pocket mirror

6. Tweezers

7. Topo maps/Compass

8. Gloves/Gallon-Size Bags for CITO

9. Swag

10. Toilet paper/and a folding shovel (for when nature calls and there is no bathroom within a reasonable distance....that came in handy today as a mater of fact!)

11. First-aid kit and paracord

12. Trekking Pole

13. A day's worth of snacks and Water (this depends on my trekking distance).

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I am a newb as well. Although I have been caching off and on for a couple of years. Now I bring my 4.5yo daughter with me on hunts. So my kit (requirements have changed).

 

1. GPSr

2. Pens

3. Flashlight

4. Pocket Knife

5. Pocket mirror

6. Tweezers

7. Topo maps/Compass

8. Gloves/Gallon-Size Bags for CITO

9. Swag

10. Toilet paper/and a folding shovel (for when nature calls and there is no bathroom within a reasonable distance....that came in handy today as a mater of fact!)

11. First-aid kit and paracord

12. Trekking Pole

13. A day's worth of snacks and Water (this depends on my trekking distance).

I guess as an avid outdoorsman and scoutmaster I keep the 10 essentials for hiking. In a day pack.

 

Pocket knife

 

First aid kit

 

Extra clothing

 

Rain gear

 

Water bottle

 

Flash light

 

Food

 

Matches or fire starter

 

Sun protection

 

Map and compass

 

What I am putting together is just a small tool bag to add to my day pack for caching along the way. While I realize that some of the items are redundant an urban cache does not alway require 10 pounds of gear. The puller/poker/probe that many of you have suggested is a great idea. GZ of a cache over the weekend had me looking at a hole with 2 feet of snake skin hanging out of it. I found the cache about 6 feet away in a different stump hole.

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needle nose pliers, tweezers, a knife or two, mechanics mirror, magnet,pick set, my personal protection device (holstered) a bent tipped saftey pin for nanos, tooth pics for log rollers, first aid kit, hand sanitizer, spare baggies, soon to be added spare logs

Edited by sasqwatches
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Caching bag

GPS

Spare batteries (rechargeable)

Torch

Notepad

Pens

Pencils

Tissues

Telescopic magnetic grabber (incorporates a torch)

Spare logbook

Spare micro and nano log rolls

Various plastic bags.

Some swag

Micro/nano log roller

Penknife

Sachets of desiccant

 

If on a planned caching trip:

Printouts of any multis and puzzles I intend finding, in case I can't view them properly on my GPS

Printout of map and list of caches I intend finding generated using GeoPrinter

 

If out with the Geokids/family as a whole:

Plenty of swag for swops

Garmin Extrex with caches loaded on to it ()for the 6yo geokid to use)

Snacks and juice

Mini first aid kit

Hand sanitiser

Baby wipes

 

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I have a medium sized fishing tackle box that stays in my truck all the time. This tackle box has everything in it...misc different containers, logs, small bags, roll pins, tweezers,bug spray, tick tool, Poison Ivy wash/spray, magic marker, extra pens, magnet tool, mirror tool, batteries, flashlights, key chains, duct tape, loops, ty wraps, suntan lotion, gloves, sting stick, leatherman, yadda yadda yadda. Everything you'd need to maintain a cache.... which, is probably more than what you need to find a cache.

 

For basic/short trips..... GPS, phone, pen, flashlight, batteries. We don't do swag.

 

For longer hikes/walks away from the truck, we have all of the above plus camelbaks for hydration, appropriate shoes / clothes....and we'll grab anything out of the truck that we'll need for our day trip. Otherwise...everything lives in the truck.

 

We try to go prepared, yet ...don't want to carry too much to make it un-enjoyable.

 

We always prepare the day/night before with updated PQ's, print outs, etc and we know what we need to bring and what not to bring (for the most part).

 

But seriously - the more you cache, the more you'll develop your own list of needed supplies depending on where you cache and what types of caches you find. Every list is different....

Edited by Lieblweb
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