Sunday, March 18, 2012

Essential Geocaching Gear


For me, one of the best parts of geocaching is that you never quite know exactly what you’ll come across. It’s all about the adventure and the hunt, and the thrill of finally spotting that little container is really unmatched.

However, if you want to be a successful geocacher, then having the right gear with you and being prepared is absolutely essential. Here are a few things that I always try and have on me when I’m out on the hunt, as well as a few suggestions from some fellow geocaching friends!

  1. GPS – Okay, so this is pretty ‘duh’ but I would be remiss to not include it
  2. Spare batteries – Any time you’re on the trail, spare batteries are important, and geocaching is absolutely no exception.
  3. Compass – Having a backup is never a bad idea. A map might not be a bad choice either, depending on where you’re going
  4. Cache details – Either on your smartphone or printed out; whichever you prefer. This can be useful in case you need to review the hints while in the field.
  5. Smartphone and charger – It’s always a good idea to take your phone with you when heading out just in case. If you’re planning on being out all day or intend to use your phone on the trail, then you might also invest in a portable charger of some sort.
  6. Pen and pencil – You want to be sure you can sign the logbook after all that work!
  7. Paper/blank log – That way if the logbook is full, you can sign and leave it for the next person. Also a good idea to have some spare paper on you if you’re on a multi or puzzle cache to take notes!
  8. Spare baggies – These are good for repairing a cache or collecting any trash you see on the way. Some people also bring spare containers in case there’s something wrong with the original, but personally I don’t.
  9. Flashlight – This depends on where you’re going, but even if you aren’t caching at night, having a flashlight can really help searching under those dense forest canopies and on cloudy days.
  10. Gloves – Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I’m not about to stick my bare hand somewhere dark and icky. Garden gloves for me are a must. Better safe than sorry!
  11. Mirror – Good for looking for geocaches under benches or hard-to-see locations. Some more dedicated geocachers, I hear, get retractable mirrors on sticks, but I just use the kind of hand mirror women tend to carry in their purses and it works great.
  12. Utility tool – Because, well, you never know what you might need! Utility tools have a variety of useful things like tweezers for micro caches.
  13. First aid kit – Just a basic one is probably all you need, but bandaids, essential emergency medication and disinfectant is probably a good idea.
  14. Bug Spray – If you’re going to be hiking, then bug spray can make it far more comfortable.
  15. Walking stick – Not only are walking sticks super helpful when hiking trails, but it’s also nice to have for poking things before reaching in with your (hopefully gloved) hand.
  16. Swag, travel bugs – If you intend to take something, make sure you have something to leave behind!
  17. Water bottle – Dehydration is dangerous, so for any physical outdoor activity, having enough water to drink is essential!
  18. Snacks – If you’re going to be out for a while or if you have blood sugar issues then having snacks on hand will help keep you on the hunt longer!

Whew, what a list! Needless to say, most geocachers just tend to have a backpack with all of this stuff ready to go so you can just grab and go!

Do have any other things you always take with you? Tell me in the comments!

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