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garyo1954

Bare necessities

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Bought a back pack today for caching. So what goes in it?
When you go out caching, what are the bare essentials you won't leave home without?

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I have a fishing box with my essentials:

Paper, pens, tweezers, baggies, scissors, more tweezers, snacks, water, extra batteries, more tweezers, trades, flashlights.

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Pen & notebook.  (So I can take notes to write a meaningful log.)
That's all.

You did say bare necessities. That's my base kit.

If it's an actual hike, I'd add a pack with clothing and stuff.

 

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13 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

Pen & notebook.  (So I can take notes to write a meaningful log.)
That's all.

You did say bare necessities. That's my base kit.

If it's an actual hike, I'd add a pack with clothing and stuff.

 

You got me there. I did say bare....guess that was leaving things a bit lean.
Maybe I should have said what do you take that is most useful?

For example one blog I was reading the guy took a single chopstick for poking and prodding.

 

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25 minutes ago, garyo1954 said:


Maybe I should have said what do you take that is most useful?

For example one blog I was reading the guy took a single chopstick for poking and prodding.

 

 

Boots and a 60 inch hiking staff for poking and prodding, but I cache in snake country. :)

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34 minutes ago, garyo1954 said:


For example one blog I was reading the guy took a single chopstick for poking and prodding.

 

That's a great idea. I have lots of chopsticks so I'm going to put one in my fishing box.

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19 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

 

Boots and a 60 inch hiking staff for poking and prodding, but I cache in snake country. :)

Definitely thinking of getting a hiking stick. Just up the road a woman killed a couple of copperheads a week or so ago. I can see where going where few travel could make a stick a good investment.

 

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1 hour ago, garyo1954 said:

Definitely thinking of getting a hiking stick. Just up the road a woman killed a couple of copperheads a week or so ago. I can see where going where few travel could make a stick a good investment.

 

 

I'd never consider killing a snake because I encroached upon it's home. :( A hiking staff for geocaching is used for locating tupperware or ammo cans by the sound when poked.

Edited by Manville Possum
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For a simple, less than five mile walk, a notepad, assorted writing instruments, mini first aid kit,  matches, surefire,  spare batteries, a snack, a couple unactivated geocoins, and a couple Rite in Rain strips (in tiny baggies) fit in a little point n shoot camera bag.  Water in a 30oz carrier and shoulder strap.  My every day carry (bare essentials) lately.

Now that we don't do roadside/urban stuff much anymore, assorted tweezers, grabbers, and other gizmos were replaced with one Russell field pair for the rare tick, a tiny bison tube with baby aspirin, and a whistle, all on a break-away cord on my neck.  Every day as well.

More than five miles, it'd depend on what we're doing (need rope? tents?), but will add an emer. bivy bag, real food, larger first aid kit, and extra water every time to a LW or UL pack.

 

 

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1 hour ago, garyo1954 said:

When you go out caching, what are the bare essentials you won't leave home without?

Part of my "everyday carry": Leatherman Micra, shortie gel pen, Fisher Space Pen, smartphone (with geocaching app), USB battery charger for smartphone, paper notepad

My "essential geocaching stuff" (which I almost always have): ultra-fine Sharpie, hand sanitizer, log sheets (with cache note) printed on weatherproof paper, assorted O-rings, small role of duct tape, personal signature tokens, small trade items (to trade for others' personal signature items)

My "optional geocaching stuff" (which I have used for some caches, but don't usually take with me): eXplorist 310 (with PQ data), extra batteries for eXplorist 310, telescoping magnetic grabber, telescoping fruit picking pole, 6-foot stepladder, magnetic compass, printed geocache listings, paper maps, larger trade items, trackables (ones I am moving, or my own that I am launching), nametag (for events), laptop, LED headlamp, LED flashlight, hiking stick (trackable)

I have also borrowed UV lights. And I take other supplies/equipment appropriate for the trip (e.g., food, water, sun protection, drybag).

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Now we're talking!

First aid kit was my top of the list.
Writing things and notebooks.
Didn't think of Duct tape but that goes in.
Spare batteries as well.
Matches/firestarter
Telescopic grabber with magnetic tip
Tweezers and grabbers
Hand sanitizer.....never thought of that.
Flashlight always come in handy.
Knife? or hatchet?

I did print out a listing of the PQ and maps of the areas, but then I wondered if it wouldn't be better to download maps to a tablet and use that instead? I won't be using a phone. Not only do I hate phones, I'm useless with one. My son and daughter-in-law finally convinced me to get a smart phones last year and right now I'd have a hard time making a call on it.

 

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16 minutes ago, garyo1954 said:

Knife? or hatchet?

Except when working at the hoosegow, I've had a knife in my pocket or on a belt since I was 12.  All boys carried penknives in school  ( we had a rifle club too - still do), but these days people are afraid of pretty-much everything.   :) 

I know that in the Finned One's state just a couple miles away, having a knife on me could be an issue, so local laws may be worth a check. 

I haven't had much use for a hatchet away from home.  Not sure why one would be needed for this hobby.  On the AT I just had a folding saw.

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Forgot one...TP.   Guess it's like sanitizer, knives, water and such that are such a norm they're forgotten ... in this case until you really need it.   :laughing:

Just one of those cutesy tissue packs on short walks, a full roll (squashed flat and cardboard removed) for longer.

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In addition to some of the stuff the others have mentioned, I often bring gloves (or, if I need to pack lightly, just one glove). The kind one uses for gardening or construction work, made from a fairly light and flexible cotton but with the palms and fingertips coated with a rubber/latex material for better grip and protection.  

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If you are caching alone, be sure that you have left a note or information behind so that people know where you are if you don't return on time.  Along those lines, I'd include a whistle.

 

Joe

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Yeah, there was a time when carrying a knife wouldn't raise an eyebrow, but you never know what people are thinking, who you're going to offend, or how they are going to perceive your intent.

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20 minutes ago, garyo1954 said:

Yeah, there was a time when carrying a knife wouldn't raise an eyebrow, but you never know what people are thinking, who you're going to offend, or how they are going to perceive your intent.

 

I guess that depends on where you reside. B)

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In a cache-specific little pouch on the outside of my bag for easy quick access:

2 spare AA cells for my GPS, a powertank pen (red, more easily seen if dropped) , a sharpie pen, a random short biro pen.An A7 size wirebound notebook,a  cheap keyring button compass (not for direction, it's rubbish ... for finding magnetic nanos if I drop 'em in the grass ... an early comical caching experience persuaded me it's worth the tiny additional weight !) Small folding mirror for looking behind stuff without performing contortions . 14cm (4 1/2") tweezers for when hugely annoying people shove logs right to the bottom of pet tubes and the like and you can't shake 'em out, or when little tubes vanish deep into holes in wood etc.

A handful of micro logs ready bagged, some extra press seal bags, some green wire, a couple of short lengths of black & camo duct tape wound round bits of flat plastic .

Any TBs and some small swaps and signature items are in a separate, secure spot in my bag or a zipped clothing pocket... I'd hate to lose someone's TB on the ground while I was getting something out of the pouch.

Clipped to a jacket pocket zip (or my GPS  tether if it's no-jacket weather ) tiny tweezers (uncle ... something's  ... can't remember the name, bought them ages ago) good for nano logs, splinters & thorns (all equally irritating) and an mp3 recorder which looks (and works)  like a usb memory stick and records cache notes as I walk.

That's the cache specific stuff, but I will have swiss army knife, torch (uses an AA cell, so interchangable power with the GPS) Buff, first aid kit (including resuscitation face mask) tissues, individually wrapped wipes, a couple of snack bars, and a bridge camera plus spare cell & memory card in the bag that goes most places with me (a maxpedition remora) . A water container of some size will be in or on there too. it's size depending on season/temperature.

If it's a walk for over 10 miles, or in serious terrain, the above kit will be decanted into a rucsac along with whatever kit that specific terrain and weather dictates, but I find using a small bag stops me dragging even more pointless junk with me.

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12 hours ago, garyo1954 said:

First aid kit was my top of the list.

I don't really consider that "for caching". That's part of the "10 Essentials" for camping/hiking/backpacking. Or part of the stuff that's always in my car. Or the "other supplies/equipment appropriate for the trip".

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For basic geocaching.

Some pens and Pencils.  Swag if you want to trade.   Something to drink.

Other than a GPS and a cell phone that's about all you need.

Mark my words,  the more you cache the bigger your caching bag will get. :)   

You'd be astounded as what's in my caching bag. 

Now my cache owners maintenance bag is something entirely different.    

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

I don't really consider that "for caching". That's part of the "10 Essentials" for camping/hiking/backpacking. Or part of the stuff that's always in my car. Or the "other supplies/equipment appropriate for the trip".

Its all good. The whole thread offers great ideas for people (me) just starting.
I expect the answers to be different for different people, different areas, and different situations.
I suspect there is no true answer but any answer offers some insight for people who are just starting out.

I ask as something pops in my head as I'm piddling.

One thing that bothers me is not seeing (a lot of) new people asking questions. 
That makes me to suppose that most sign up on a basic membership, locate caches in their area and go looking.



 

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15 minutes ago, garyo1954 said:

One thing that bothers me is not seeing (a lot of) new people asking questions. 

That makes me to suppose that most sign up on a basic membership, locate caches in their area and go looking.

Or they just quietly read the forums for years as lurkers, like me. ;)

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15 minutes ago, Nessie42 said:

Or they just quietly read the forums for years as lurkers, like me. ;)

LOL.....good deal! And that's very likely true in a lot of cases.




 

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58 minutes ago, Nessie42 said:

Or they just quietly read the forums for years as lurkers, like me. ;)

I'll get a little off topic and ask you Nessie42...

Have you ever found

GC13Y2Y


likely the most favorited cache in the world?

(maybe I read too much?)

 

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My bare necessities, um, that'd be bare feet and often a bare chest - oh, you mean in my caching backpack :). Water (1 litre for shorter walks, 2 litres for the longer ones), spare AA batteries for the Garmin, first aid kit, personal locator beacon (I hope I never have to use it!), a good old-fashioned compass in case the technology fails, a collection of pens and pencils including some spare little stubby pencils to replace any missing from my hides or other caches that need them, insect repellent, hat, phone, headlamp torch and of course the GPSr. If the cache I'm going for is somewhere scenic, I'll lug along the DSLR camera as well, and if it's a longer hike, some salad, hard boiled eggs, fruit and muesli bars for sustenance. If it's a remote hike I'll take paper topographic maps as well.

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23 hours ago, garyo1954 said:

I'll get a little off topic and ask you Nessie42...

Have you ever found

GC13Y2Y


likely the most favorited cache in the world?

(maybe I read too much?)

 

Slightly off topic indeed, and do I want to know how you know? :ph34r:

:lol: Yes, that cache tops the list of my found "Caches with most favourite points" on Project-GC, but is not on my personal favourite list, even though I did enjoy it.

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16 minutes ago, Nessie42 said:

Slightly off topic indeed, and do I want to know how you know? :ph34r:

:lol: Yes, that cache tops the list of my found "Caches with most favourite points" on Project-GC, but is not on my personal favourite list, even though I did enjoy it.

No sneaking around. I found your comment interesting and had to know where they are from. Nothing mysterious. :D

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Besides the batteries, tweezers and other things, I also carry one of those small collapsible mirrors like you find in bins at the dollar stores... good for seeing under or around rocks etc. before you reach.

I make sure I have a CPR pocket mask, a walking stick if I'm going to be walking on uneven terrain and, if I'm alone...a cell phone for emergencies.

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Water, small but bright flashlight, pen, thin gloves, tweezers, knife, swag, nature-friendly toilette paper, bandana, hikey pokey pole. In my car I keep a bottle of soapy wash water and a bottle of clean rinse water in case I accidentally get into poison ivy. If you remove PI oils within a few hours you won't get the itches.

Recently, to honor the life of Faye Hanson of Nanaimo, B.C., I added a space blanket and compass with whistle to my light bag. Both are no trouble to carry and can save your life if something unexpectedly bad happens.

That's my basic stuff. I have more detailed stuff in a larger bag for when I'd be away from my car for a while.

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On 3/14/2018 at 3:15 PM, garyo1954 said:

Its all good. The whole thread offers great ideas for people (me) just starting.
I expect the answers to be different for different people, different areas, and different situations.
I suspect there is no true answer but any answer offers some insight for people who are just starting out.

I ask as something pops in my head as I'm piddling.

One thing that bothers me is not seeing (a lot of) new people asking questions. 
That makes me to suppose that most sign up on a basic membership, locate caches in their area and go looking.



 

There may be a lot of new people that just dowloaded the app and aren't even aware that the geocaching forums or even the web site exists.  

Please don't go piddling around any of my caches.  Cleaning up my caches due to piddling is not the kind of maintenance I'd like to do. :P

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15 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

There may be a lot of new people that just dowloaded the app and aren't even aware that the geocaching forums or even the web site exists.  

Please don't go piddling around any of my caches.  Cleaning up my caches due to piddling is not the kind of maintenance I'd like to do. :P

LOL...I promise not to piddle around caches. If only we could get the same assurance from the little critters slink, creep, crawl and hop through the area! 

 

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Barest necessities?

My tablet PC (I use the app on that instead of my phone because my phone sucks :P ), my phone, a pen, a flashlight and hand sanitiser and/or sanitising wet wipes. Good for getting dirt and muck off your paws. ^^

Depending on where I'm going I'll modify that kit though. My full kit contains a pad, forceps/tweezers, a mirror on an extendable stick with a light, disposable gloves, sturdy rubber gloves, an extendable hiking pole, a small first-aid kit and my GPS. If I'm hiking I'll also pack water, snacks and a jacket.

I'm also thinking of investing in an PLB (Personal Locator Beacon - like an EPIRB but for hikers) for when I'm hiking in remote areas and places with little to no mobile reception.

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Lots of good ideas in this thread.  Some items obvious, others "that's a good idea".  I am incorporating caching into hikes so generally have a rucsac with water bottle, food etc & plenty of room for things that I might need but don't necessarily need to have constantly to hand in a pocket.

My latest addition to my kit is an A7 size piece of thick plastic (cut down lid of an old storage box), with small bulldog clip to hold logs safely & provide firm surface whilst I sign, especially on windy days.  I would be mortified if a log blew away!  Plus I have now added a piece of absorbent cloth (j-cloth, or thin dish washing sponge) to mop up damp logs so I can sign them.

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One thing that never leaves my caching bag is my Suunto compass. It saved my life in 2006 when I was in a steep canyon and could only receive 2 and sometimes 3 satellites on the GPS. I called home at 10 PM when I got back to a cell phone reception area.

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On 3/13/2018 at 11:23 PM, garyo1954 said:

Bought a back pack today for caching. So what goes in it?
When you go out caching, what are the bare essentials you won't leave home without?

I default to my camping/hiking days.

Pen/Pencil, log book, small first aid kit, trail snacks, water, spare socks, a compass, toilet paper, hand sanitize, sunscreen, bug repellent (we use some all natural stuff my wife makes that seems to work), multi tool. camera.

I started adding the Geocaching tools like tweezers (a long and short set), flash light (no UV yet for me, have yet to find a cache that needs one), a prodding tool (take out chopsticks), spare batteries or a battery pack, and a couple various log sheets.  

The log sheets are the most recent add, I went out Easter morning and found that several caches had full logs, if there was no space I left a blank sheet and either left a NM log or emailed the CO.  I do not do the full repair thing because I do not own the spots I find.  I carry a real camera too.  It is a little bulky, but I do not like the cell phone camera option.  I find these pictures stay on my phone until I get a new phone.  With a real camera I am forced to load them onto a computer, and some even get printed!

 

This is a family hobby, so I started to spread load all this, until I realized that it would be more beneficial for my kids to start their own packs, so my oldest carries the same kit as me as does my wife.  My youngest is only 3, so I will still shoulder his minimal needs.  

All my packs have an area for a water bladder, so that is what everyone carries.  Water is heavy but I would rather not need it than not have it.  I also carry a small bag of dog treats and a collapsible water bowl, my dog is part of the hunting party.  

This is can get a little heavy, but I started this as a way to get kids off the couch and exercising. I am trying to maximize the effort so that when we return home I feel a little less guilty about allowing them back on the screens.  Also, if I keep a complete kit all the time I never need to worry about not having something if I am just hitting a couple quick C&D.

As for SWAG, I just ordered a cheap laser engraver so I will be carrying a bunch of custom wooden nickels too.  I got the idea from a different forum and I am personally getting sick of seeing all happy meal junk.  

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LOL! My "bare necessities" are a pen and my coordinate locating device, period. And my husband.

I rarely bring more. I bring TBs if I have them, sometimes bug spray, and sometimes/rarely small swag items. If I'm going on a longer cache run, maybe some water and a couple granola bars. That suffices for 99% of my caching trips.

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6 hours ago, TriciaG said:

LOL! My "bare necessities" are a pen and my coordinate locating device, period. And my husband.

I rarely bring more. I bring TBs if I have them, sometimes bug spray, and sometimes/rarely small swag items. If I'm going on a longer cache run, maybe some water and a couple granola bars. That suffices for 99% of my caching trips.

Yup.  I agree.

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My bare necessities are a pen or pencil, a sheet of paper in case the log is damp, and a device that can locate the coordinates of where the cache is hidden. If caching in the evening, I bring a flashlight.

I don't have any fancy gear like you guys. :)

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Pen & coordinate location device. Those two items are good for 95% of the caches out there.

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On 4/18/2018 at 0:32 PM, TriciaG said:

LOL! My "bare necessities" are a pen and my coordinate locating device, period. And my husband.

 

In that order?   The idea of a portable flat surface to write on is good one as long as it's easily accessible.  Adding a roach alligator clip to it so that it can be attached to a pocket or belt loop would make it easy to get to.

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5 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

In that order?   The idea of a portable flat surface to write on is good one as long as it's easily accessible.  Adding a roach alligator clip to it so that it can be attached to a pocket or belt loop would make it easy to get to.

The first two are the necessities. My husband? He's there for 99% of the caches I find. So I guess it IS in that order, although the first two are interchangeable. :)

Portable flat surface? Good idea, but not a "bare necessity".

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I put a pen in my pocket before I leave. I bought a nice pair of gloves a few months ago that were especially "handy" on those freezing cold days. They can also be helpful if you're looking to dig around a bit with your hands or reach into a really gross hole for a cache. I've also read logs from people who bring along a reflective vest and helmet to appear more official when searching for very public caches. I know that those items are far from "bare necessities", and it takes a certain type of person to bring them at all, but if you've ever found yourself shying away from a busy intersection cache, they might come in handy.

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