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Mikat55

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So, I'm very new to this. Only 11 caches (and 4 of those today!)
My USA geocaching friend has been so helpful in teaching me the 'lingo' and helping me find my feet while caching. So after seeing TOTT written she told me what it meant - but I'm wondering as a new Geocacher, what do i need? 
Currently i have a small over the shoulder bag that has pens, some swag, some blank paper ......
I feel like i need to add something to get 'high' caches and also bug spray  ;)

Any other things i need to think about

cheers

Kathryn 

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3 hours ago, Mikat55 said:

So, I'm very new to this. Only 11 caches (and 4 of those today!)
My USA geocaching friend has been so helpful in teaching me the 'lingo' and helping me find my feet while caching. So after seeing TOTT written she told me what it meant - but I'm wondering as a new Geocacher, what do i need? 
Currently i have a small over the shoulder bag that has pens, some swag, some blank paper ......
I feel like i need to add something to get 'high' caches and also bug spray  ;)

Any other things i need to think about

cheers

Kathryn 

Depending on your mode of transportation, I consider a storeroom and/or folding ladder a TOTT. Tweezers! 

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2 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

I feel like i need to add something to get 'high' caches and also bug spray  ;)

Good thoughts.

 

Basically, add anything you find you need (and you want to haul around) based on the experience you gain! I say, consider it part of the fun to discover the TOTT you need. :)

 

People can go crazy with packing up with tools they might need; I'm a minimalist. I bring my pen and persistence (and when I don't have my own, I have my persistent husband with me).

 

Tweezers would be helpful more often than I can admit, but we usually with persistence get the log out of the container without them.

 

Some people bring wet wipes for their hands.

No ladder for me; Hubby is 6'2" and agile. :lol:

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We keep a pair of hemostats in our bag, but tweezers should also work! I'll be adding a can of bug spray when the weather warms up :)

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4 hours ago, Mikat55 said:

I feel like i need to add something to get 'high' caches and also bug spray  ;)

I don't really consider bug spray, sunscreen, first aid kits, etc. to be geocaching TOTT. Those are just things you need when you're outdoors, whether you're geocaching or hiking or backpacking or whatever.

 

Most of the elevated caches I've found have been designed to be retrieved with a tool, not by climbing. I have a fruit-picking tool with a long extension pole, but it stays at home unless I'm planning to use it.

 

I also have some other things that I got just for geocaching. Most of it stays at home. I don't carry the small LED flashlight any more; my phone's flashlight tool is easier to use. I don't carry the mechanic's extension mirror any more; my phone's camera is easier to use. I don't carry the mechanic's magnetic grabber, although I have taken it with me for a few specific caches where I needed it. I don't have a UV light; I was able to borrow one for the few caches that required them. I have a cotter pin that I got specifically as a log roller for blinker-style nano-caches; I've never needed it and I don't even know where it is right now.

 

I guess my point is, don't worry too much about collecting the ultimate TOTT kit. When you encounter a cache that requires equipment that you don't have, then ask around. Maybe someone can let you borrow the equipment. If you need something often enough, then consider getting one of your own.

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6 hours ago, Mikat55 said:

Currently i have a small over the shoulder bag that has pens, some swag, some blank paper ......
I feel like i need to add something to get 'high' caches and also bug spray  ;)

Any other things i need to think about

 

I have a small backpack that stays in the car (or hubby's truck when we take that, but it's harder to park than my little Honda!) if we are finding urban caches - my tools are in the pack and easily accessible, and I'd say the pens and the tweezers are the ones we use the most for in town caching.

 

For hikes, the pack carries the Geo tools, but also water, and food depending on the length of the hike.  My most used tools are an extendible back scratcher that I use to poke through leaves and into holes I don't want to stick my hand into, and a trash bag and grabber that serves as "camo" while I'm searching (I'm just doing some CITO!).  We've crafted hiking sticks with a Y at the end that help us with those "high up in a tree" grabs.  The pack also works to hold extra clothing - layering is wise around here; sometimes the layers come off and go in the pack, and sometimes they come out of the pack and onto me!

 

Other tools in the bag that we've used but not as often are a UV flashlight, and an extendible magnet grabber.  Other stuff in the bag - my ziploc of travel bugs (I like to take photos as they travel on their missions, if it works out), a few swag items, trash bags, handi-wipes, hand sanitizer, bug spray, gloves, rags, extra logs/containers for our own maintenance chores or a friends, extra AA cells for the GPSr.... it may sound like a lot but it's not as heavy as my purse that I carry on my shoulder every day, and it's a backpack and I don't even feel the weight as we're hiking.

 

Depending on how and where you geocache, you will find you need more, or less.  We've been caught short without a needed TOTT, and come back better prepared.  We've been caught short without a needed TOTT and said "Forget it" and gone off to find another!  You don't have to find 'em all!!  Just have fun and enjoy the hobby.

Edited by CAVinoGal
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3 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Depending on your mode of transportation, I consider a storeroom and/or folding ladder a TOTT. Tweezers! 

I was trying to say Stepstool! I didn't really I was autocorrected. Sorry. Storerooms are not usually needed while out geoacching.

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6 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Depending on your mode of transportation, I consider a storeroom and/or folding ladder a TOTT. Tweezers! 

 

I have a 3.8 metre telescopic ladder which I can strap to a large backpack to transport on foot, although its 10kg of weight gets a lot heavier by the end of the hike.

 

image.png.f48ded6d3822f13371358f9925517ac5.png

 

On occasion I've also used rope where getting to the cache requires a climb I'm not comfortable doing without something to hold onto.

 

image.png.852579d93365098e6e74c413958a23e5.png

 

A bright head light is good for night caching or caches in dark places.

 

DSC_0179.jpg.c595efb77498766ba7bea93825615125.jpg

 

 

 

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My caching bag is a large Eagle Creek fanny pack that has been amended by adding a shoulder strap from an old laptop. It contains the following:

GPS 

Spare batteries

Pens

a wallet made of cardboard and duct tape to hold 3x5 file cards with my upcoming hit lists

travel kleenex

glasses in a hard case

flashlight

tweezers

a twiling tool made from a dowel and a paperclip

small zlock bags

rolled up blinkey logs

several small sheets of paper for full logs  

whats in your bag?

Edited by ras_oscar
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16 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I was trying to say Stepstool! I didn't really I was autocorrected. Sorry. Storerooms are not usually needed while out geoacching.

ha - thank you 
I was wondering what i was missing  :)

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12 hours ago, ras_oscar said:

My caching bag is a large Eagle Creek fanny pack that has been amended by adding a shoulder strap from an old laptop. It contains the following:

GPS 

Spare batteries

Pens

a wallet made of cardboard and duct tape to hold 3x5 file cards with my upcoming hit lists

travel kleenex

glasses in a hard case

flashlight

tweezers

a twiling tool made from a dowel and a paperclip

small zlock bags

rolled up blinkey logs

several small sheets of paper for full logs  

whats in your bag?

Awesome list!!
thank you 

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My wife said, "Wine."

 

"Seriously?" I said as she walked away.

 

"Yes," she said. "Something to pass the time while YOU'RE still looking.""

 

"Ouch," I said, with a shrug. She isn't entirely wrong...

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Wine is also essential for post-processing. I write better logs (so I think) with a glass of plonk at my side.

 

Cheers!

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On 2/28/2020 at 5:27 AM, Mikat55 said:

So, I'm very new to this. Only 11 caches (and 4 of those today!)
My USA geocaching friend has been so helpful in teaching me the 'lingo' and helping me find my feet while caching.

So after seeing TOTT written she told me what it meant - but I'm wondering as a new Geocacher, what do i need? 
Currently i have a small over the shoulder bag that has pens, some swag, some blank paper ......
I feel like i need to add something to get 'high' caches and also bug spray  ;)

 

Peeked at caches done, and I'd think for caches 2T or less,  you're covered.  :)

Maybe add some tweezers (like mandymk86, I prefer forceps), a grabber tool left in the car, and water.

 - Out a while, you'll realize what you need by difficulty and terrain for specialized gear.

Unlike niraD, most our "high" caches are secured, and you need to climb to access.  So YMMV.

 

I mostly go for caches singly, so by logs (and hopefully description) we usually have an idea what's needed.

We've gotten pretty good on gear, and now have modular packets that go into various packs for what's needed that day.

 - But the basics are still pens, some swag, water...     ;)  

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Apart from cache-specific tools like the ladder, rope and head light I mentioned earlier, my caching backpack normally contains the following:

  • Water bottle
  • Insect repellent
  • Spare GPSr batteries
  • Magnetic compass
  • Hat
  • Assorted pens and pencils in the backpack's inbuilt pencil case
  • First aid kit (tweezers, band aids, bandages, etc.)
  • Snake bite compression bandage (hope I'll never need it)
  • Personal locator beacon (hope I'll never need it)

DSC_0181.jpg.d6e2a96613c2d05a6f974d4ed8ffaea8.jpg

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One of those small mirrors with an extendable handle for peering into holes and under crevices. Auto parts stores have them on sale frequently, sometimes, for as little as 99 cents. They also make good swag.

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The TOTT I have used most (apart from the usual small stuff like tweezers) is an extensible pole (4ft - 8ft) to which I've taped a bit of coat hanger that can be formed into various shapes.  Great for retrieving things from high places and returning them again.  As needed, I can stick or tape a magnet onto the end as well.

 

I carry that smaller one all the time, but have a much bigger one (8ft - 24ft) that's normally used to wash windows at the house, and is a bit of a pain to travel with.  However, if I get to GZ and discover that it's going to need to happen later on a 2nd VERY tall visit, that's the one that comes along.

 

 

Pole.jpg

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I like the back scratcher, going to get one. You just never know what you are going to uncover: Black widow, brown recluse, scorpions and of course snakes. Besides I have been known to be a bear and use a tree as a back scratcher. ;)

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On 3/2/2020 at 9:04 AM, Viajero Perdido said:

Wine is also essential for post-processing. I write better logs (so I think) with a glass of plonk at my side.

 

Cheers!

this sounds like something i can do   :)

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On 3/2/2020 at 10:01 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

Peeked at caches done, and I'd think for caches 2T or less,  you're covered.  :)

Maybe add some tweezers (like mandymk86, I prefer forceps), a grabber tool left in the car, and water.

 - Out a while, you'll realize what you need by difficulty and terrain for specialized gear.

Unlike niraD, most our "high" caches are secured, and you need to climb to access.  So YMMV.

 

I mostly go for caches singly, so by logs (and hopefully description) we usually have an idea what's needed.

We've gotten pretty good on gear, and now have modular packets that go into various packs for what's needed that day.

 - But the basics are still pens, some swag, water...     ;)  

Thank you so much
I'm learning more about 'reading up' before i go out so I know what I'm up for with particular caches. I'm not ready for the hidden deep in the bush yet !!
Up to 26 now - getting more aware of where to look - it's tough as a newbie  

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TOTTs

 

On 2/28/2020 at 3:25 PM, ras_oscar said:

flashlight

tweezers

a twiling tool made from a dowel and a paperclip

 

Not TOTTs

 

On 2/28/2020 at 3:25 PM, ras_oscar said:

GPS 

Spare batteries

Pens

a wallet made of cardboard and duct tape to hold 3x5 file cards with my upcoming hit lists

travel kleenex

glasses in a hard case

small zlock bags

rolled up blinkey logs

several small sheets of paper for full logs  

whats in your bag?

 

in my opinion

 

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58 minutes ago, bflentje said:

 

TOTTs

 

 

Not TOTTs

 

 

in my opinion

 

And whats in your bag?

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Posted (edited)

I have 

Repair supplies: baggies, logs, pencils

mirror on extension rod

tweezers

pocket knife

pen

flashlight

 

 

However the one thing I’m struggling with is how to retrieve caches hung loosely in trees. Some of those trees are not for climbing and the CO wants you to use a tool. I can improvise, but I’m on the short side and not up for hauling a ladder on my back or trying to heft a heavy pole above my head. Neither can I afford much. Does anyone have a suggestion for a lightweight reaching tool for under 30 bucks. 

Edited by Dani_leia

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39 minutes ago, Dani_leia said:

Does anyone have a suggestion for a lightweight reaching tool for under 30 bucks. 

Amazon has telescoping extension poles that extend to 12 feet (or even 16 feet) for just under $30. Check a local hardware store to see what they have in stock and you may find a better deal. They'll be in the paint department.

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On 5/16/2020 at 2:11 PM, Dani_leia said:

I have 

Repair supplies: baggies, logs, pencils

mirror on extension rod

tweezers

pocket knife

pen

flashlight

 

 

However the one thing I’m struggling with is how to retrieve caches hung loosely in trees. Some of those trees are not for climbing and the CO wants you to use a tool. I can improvise, but I’m on the short side and not up for hauling a ladder on my back or trying to heft a heavy pole above my head. Neither can I afford much. Does anyone have a suggestion for a lightweight reaching tool for under 30 bucks. 

 

 

We hid a cache hide on a sign but placed a huge rock near the sign for cachers to stand on to reach the cache. 

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On 5/17/2020 at 4:11 AM, Dani_leia said:

However the one thing I’m struggling with is how to retrieve caches hung loosely in trees. Some of those trees are not for climbing and the CO wants you to use a tool. I can improvise, but I’m on the short side and not up for hauling a ladder on my back or trying to heft a heavy pole above my head. Neither can I afford much. Does anyone have a suggestion for a lightweight reaching tool for under 30 bucks. 

Don't sweat it. If I were you I'd skip that one and go find another. "You don't have to find them all" is an oft quoted phrase in these forums.

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I have the usual telescoping pole in the cachemobile for every run, but am now also considering one of these (below).  Since the cachemobile isn't either a pickup truck nor a minivan, on those rare occasions where a ladder is needed, it can be quite a pain.  This would certainly make that a LOT easier.  10' when extended, and only 31" when collapsed.

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/portable-14-ft-telescoping-ladder-56729.html

 

Ladder.jpg.cd5e0194ed386484759cf0e240d408d2.jpg

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On 3/1/2020 at 6:24 PM, barefootjeff said:

Hat

 

I personally find this one to be very underrated.  Get a hat with a sturdy round brim that goes all the way around your head, similar to the one in Jeff's photograph.
It helps with the following:
1) Keeps sun off your face/neck
2) When you walk into spider webs, they hit the brim of your hat, and not your face.
3) When you accidentally brush up against poisonous plants dangling off trees, they are likely to hit your brim and not your face.
4) Ditto for thorns not hitting your face
5) Keeps your hair from getting filled with loose dirt and debris.
6) Keeps rain/snow off of your head.

cachinghat.jpg

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3 hours ago, HoochDog said:

I personally find this one to be very underrated.  Get a hat with a sturdy round brim that goes all the way around your head, similar to the one in Jeff's photograph.
It helps with the following:
1) Keeps sun off your face/neck

In general, I think there's too much emphasis on sunscreen, as opposed to sun protection (which can include a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves, etc.). I dislike the feeling of sunscreen slathered all over my skin, so I tend to prefer other methods of sun protection myself (including a hat very similar to the one pictured).

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2 hours ago, niraD said:

I dislike the feeling of sunscreen slathered all over my skin, so I tend to prefer other methods of sun protection myself (including a hat very similar to the one pictured).

Couldn't agree more!

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I combine (and recommend) both hat and sunscreen. I have severe sun damage to my fair (Anglo/Saxon) skin due to years in the sun which, for the most part, whilst wearing a hat. UV light can be reflected especially, in my case, when engaged in water sports.e.g surfing, windsurfing, kayaking. I've had hundreds of sunspots zapped, and many excised including squamous and basal cell carcinomas.

For many years we have had and still have public sun protection ads on our media, e.g. the "Slip, Slap, Slop", campaign. Slip on a shirt, Slap on a hat, Slop on a sunscreen. School children in my state  are required to wear hats as part of school uniform up to year 6.

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Anglo/Saxon skin ... right.  When I wear shorts, as a courtesy, I hand out complimentary sunglasses to those around me.

I was about 45 when the hat thing became SOP.  Had a little actinic keratosis zapped on the crown of my head, and got the message.  I hate liquid nitrogen treatments anywhere.

 

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3 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Anglo/Saxon skin ... right.  When I wear shorts, as a courtesy, I hand out complimentary sunglasses to those around me.

I was about 45 when the hat thing became SOP.  Had a little actinic keratosis zapped on the crown of my head, and got the message.  I hate liquid nitrogen treatments anywhere.

 

Those liquid nitrogen zaps smart a little. I supplement those treatments with topical application of Efudix cream, active ingredient  5% Fluorouracil (which is also the active ingredient of intravenous chemotherapy treatment I underwent about 20 years ago).

This post is a little OT but it can be timely notice for cachers to consider wearing a hat (and sunscreen) as part of geocaching TOTT. Can save a lot of pain down the track.

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On 5/22/2020 at 10:03 AM, HoochDog said:

I personally find this one to be very underrated.  Get a hat with a sturdy round brim that goes all the way around your head

 

This is now top on my list.      :)     Similar to others, I was found to have other stuff going on, after an injury some time ago.

Still having good n bad days.   All because of years with kayaks n motorcycles and no hat...

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On 5/22/2020 at 9:03 AM, HoochDog said:

 

I personally find this one to be very underrated.  Get a hat with a sturdy round brim that goes all the way around your head, similar to the one in Jeff's photograph.
It helps with the following:
1) Keeps sun off your face/neck
2) When you walk into spider webs, they hit the brim of your hat, and not your face.
3) When you accidentally brush up against poisonous plants dangling off trees, they are likely to hit your brim and not your face.
4) Ditto for thorns not hitting your face
5) Keeps your hair from getting filled with loose dirt and debris.
6) Keeps rain/snow off of your head.

cachinghat.jpg

 

Add:

7. In extreme mosquito conditions and wearing a bug head net, the wide brim holds the net away from your face and neck.

8. You may occasionally get "Hey Indiana Jones" comments which might help with your self esteemed view of geocaching badassery. 😁

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I added goodies to my kit recently.  Not really TOTT, but since my kids no longer cache with me I stopped trading goodies.  Recently though, I ran across a cache that had a couple memento items I really wanted and had nothing to trade.  So just this week I loaded my backpack up with value-ranged tradable goodies. 

 

Oh, and also this week I just armed my TOTT kit with string and a magnet.  A cache I will get soon requires some tool of this sort.

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