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The 6 Essentials

#1 User is offline   tacdics-f 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:41 AM

Hey all

I am new to Geocaching and wonder in your opinion what are the 6 essential items needed, besides a GPS.

Thanks in advance
D-

#2 User is offline   CacheNCarryMA 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:09 AM

1) A pen
2) Extra batteries for the GPSr
3) In my area, three seasons of the year, deet and permethrin.
4) A marked waypoint for my car

Can't think of any other must-haves. Most of the caches in my area are less than a mile or two round trip. Most are in woods so there's no shortage of sticks to use for poking in hidey-holes. Water, sunscreen, map, and compass are nice to have, but I wouldn't call them "essential" for the short hikes on well marked trails that are typical around here.

This post has been edited by CacheNCarryMA: 04 August 2004 - 06:33 AM


#3 User is offline   Thot 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:13 AM

As you may have guessed, this has been asked before. Click here.

If you mean absolutely essential, I'm not sure a GPSr is absolutely essential.

Here's my list:

1) GPSr & extra batteries
2) Printed copies of the first page of the cache descriptions, & a zoomed map linked from the description page.
3) Pen – I carry this all the time anyway
4) OFF/DEET – in Houston this is essential -- jillions of mosquitoes and West Nile Virus
5) Digital Camera & extra batteries
6) Compass – which I rarely use because it never seems to help
7) Right hand glove – for sticking hand into/under worrisome places

I think the following ones are more important to us old codgers who can’t climb, stoop, bend, squat and kneel like younger folks. And, irregular ground is more of a problem – it threatens a fall and things break easier.

8) A stick for walking on irregular ground, knocking down spider webs, moving stuff aside and poking around in worrisome places (mine happens to be 2 cm square meter stick with a wrist strap on one end). Actually this should be listed in the first 5.
9) Inspection mirror -- a mirror with a telescoping handle. To peer into, above and under hard to reach places. (I’m considering tapeing a penlight flashlight to it to shine on the mirror.)
10) Compact binoculars – for seeing places I don’t want to have to climb, crawl, wade or walk a log to

I have a couple of bottles of water in the car -- I rarely go more than a mile from the car.

I don’t carry swag because I don’t trade. I go for the places I see and the hunt. Occasionally I leave geoGeorges. I have never taken anything.

This post has been edited by Thot: 04 August 2004 - 06:29 AM


#4 User is offline   kpgdenver 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:17 AM

Why six? The "essentials" vary depending on the cache. A drive-up cache requires very different preparation than a cache on top of a mountain. The Mountaineers have identified the Ten Essentials for any hike:

1) Map
2) Compass
3) Sunglasses & Sunscreen
4) Extra Food
5) Extra Clothing
6) Headlamp/Flashlight
7) First-aid supplies
8) Fire Starter
9) Matches
10) Knife

I (try to) bring these on any hike where I am going to be more than 10 minutes away from the car. Obviously, you have to make your own adjustments based on the conditions.

The most important thing is to know what you are getting into and be appropriately prepared.

#5 User is offline   CompuCash 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 06:52 AM

Thot, on Aug 4 2004, 07:13 AM, said:

As you may have guessed, this has been asked before.  Click here.

If you mean absolutely essential, I'm not sure a GPSr is absolutely essential. 

Here's my list:

1) GPSr & extra batteries
2) Printed copies of the first page of the cache descriptions, & a zoomed map linked from the description page.
3) Pen – I carry this all the time anyway
4) OFF/DEET – in Houston this is essential -- jillions of mosquitoes and West Nile Virus
5) Digital Camera & extra batteries
6) Compass – which I rarely use because it never seems to help
7) Right hand glove – for sticking hand into/under worrisome places

I think the following ones are more important to us old codgers who can’t climb, stoop, bend, squat and kneel like younger folks.  And, irregular ground is more of a problem – it threatens a fall and things break easier.

8) A stick for walking on irregular ground, knocking down spider webs, moving stuff aside and poking around in worrisome places (mine happens to be 2 cm square meter stick with a wrist strap on one end).  Actually this should be listed in the first 5.
9) Inspection mirror -- a mirror with a telescoping handle.  To peer into, above and under hard to reach places.  (I’m considering tapeing a penlight flashlight to it to shine on the mirror.)
10) Compact binoculars – for seeing places I don’t want to have to climb, crawl, wade or walk a log to

I have a couple of bottles of water in the car -- I rarely go more than a mile from the car.

I don’t carry swag because I don’t trade.  I go for the places I see and the hunt.  Occasionally I leave geoGeorges.  I have never taken anything.


very good list I have to put a second on every one of your items -

I have a belly bag (fanny pack in the front)

I carry the following and more -
- I walk with a cane so I already have a good 'stick'
- mirror, new item I learned of here - WISH! I'd had it earlier!
- trail maps from the park dept.,
- batteries for gps and camera,
- small swag bag,
- small binoculars,
- small digital camera,
- a few extra pens for the caches lacking same,
- my personal pen in my pocket as well as one in the pack
- my personal sig. tokens, sharpie for writing on same,
- kit with flashlight, regular sized leatherman type tool, and knife,
- - flashlight has saved the day for a couple caches!
- my personal log book
- - (so I can remember what to write when I get bag to log the find),
- I always print the cache in printer friendly w/ last 5 logs and the map and sometimes the topo too. I may also print the map zoomed out so I can see the streets leading to the cache.
- my wife carries knit garden gloves which I borrow now and then
- I carry medical type 'rubber' (nitrile) gloves (Gawd I hate spiders!)
- - I just won't put my hands where I can't see!
- I never carried water or drank much water - but now I do when caching
- my watch has an electronic compass in it - only used it a few times but it is handy
- my wife carries the DEET and the PO washing stuff.
- I made a stick for my wife and I am going to add a strap thanks for the suggestion

I know I have some other stuff but that is a good listing to get you started

This post has been edited by CompuCash: 04 August 2004 - 06:54 AM


#6 User is offline   fly46 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 07:52 AM

The essentials vary depending on what types of caches you're doing and what you want to get out of the sport.

You don't NEED more than your GPS & computer/internet access... All you have to do is plug the cords into the unit and off you go. Oh, and probably carry a pen, since there's not always one in a cache.

Obviously if you're doing a quick micro, that's fine. If you're doing a longer cache, you might want the cache page, spare batteries, hand sanitizer (so I've been told) works wonders on killing poison ivy if you have to reach into it to get the cache container, etc...

It depends on what you're doing and where.

#7 User is offline   Larry.s 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:01 AM

I agree on the marked waypoint for the car. I recently searched for three caches in a local park. Even though it's in city limits the park is huge and it was the first time I'd ever been there. After wandering all around finding the caches until dusk I realized I had no idea which way the parking lot was that my truck was in. Luckily it was in city limits and my emap showed me the street names. Good job emap. Probably saved me from some embarassing headlines.

Quote

Local man found in park after wandering around for hours with a handheld GPSr. <_<


#8 User is offline   strikeforce1 

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  Posted 04 August 2004 - 09:59 AM

tacdics-f, on Aug 4 2004, 09:41 AM, said:

Hey all,
I am new to Geocaching and wonder in your opinion what are the 6 essential items needed, besides a GPS.
Thanks in advance
D-

I just couldn’t list 6 items: <_< , you'll see why, after several posts.
1) Compass – a must – attached to my GPSr with lanyard.
2) Mini Flashlights – (2)
3) Bug Spray – a must.
4) Several Pens – (3) just in case one stops working, and signature log stamp .
5) Digital Camera – you never know what you’ll see on a trail.
6) PDA – loaded with closest 450 caches, updated 2x’s a week.
7) Water Bottle – especially in warmer weather, depending on hike 2-3.
8) Clothespins – spring type – with 8-12 in surveyors tape attached for marking.
9) Collapsible Umbrella – just in case, beats wearing rain gear.
10) Trade swag/bounty, and $WG bills.
11) Inspection Mirror - telescopic type – saves on trying to bend or twisting to look in small spaces – great for micro hunting.

I’m sure I’ve left something :blink: :o :D out. SF1

#9 User is offline   Robespierre 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 12:00 PM

THOT had a pretty impressive list up above, and I won't quote it here. I have a small case which contains most things, except winter-Fall wear, and the like.
On the trail, I have a waist pouch: gps and the quick-look instruction sheet in case I need something I haven't learned yet; batteries, swag, extra log & zip-loc (in case I need to rehab the cache); signature items, belt clip, water/season. In my case is sun block which I use beforehand, and I carry bug spray in back pocket/seasonally. I will have a flashlight IF it is near dark. Cache pages; and maps in the Vista. I'm going to start a thread about this: I don't get too hyper about extra maps because my head is geared that way, and I seldom need one, 'cause I do my homework.

This post has been edited by Robespierre: 04 August 2004 - 12:02 PM


#10 User is offline   GRANPA ALEX 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:15 PM

<_< I EXAMINED ALL THE OTHER RESPONSES . . . MAN, THEY HAVE IT COVERED. ALL I CAN ADD IS THE CELL PHONE THAT MAKES ME FEEL SECURE, AS I CACHE ALONE IN SNAKEY AREAS AND I AM NOT SO NUBILE AS BEFORE. IF INJURED, HELP IS EASILY BROUGHT TO MY SITE. BEST OF FUN TO YOU!

This post has been edited by GRANPA ALEX: 04 August 2004 - 02:17 PM


#11 User is offline   GeoCyclist 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 02:35 PM

Another good use for the cell phone is for calling the wife to check the web site to read the log entries when I can't find a cache.

Other nice items that aren't essential are various sizes of zip lock bags for cache maintenance.

#12 User is offline   Thot 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 05:23 PM

GRANPA ALEX, on Aug 4 2004, 02:15 PM, said:

I AM NOT SO NUBILE AS BEFORE.

Ah shucks, you're still a cutie to me. :huh:

#13 User is offline   BuckyD 

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Posted 04 August 2004 - 08:11 PM

For urban caching in very metropolitan areas, I'd suggest a pen and a roll of quarters for meters. :huh:

For "nature walk" and hiking caches, the stuff mentioned above is all good.

#14 User is offline   MileHighAko 

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 02:16 PM

I just started, and have found the following to be essential:

1. WATER
2. Sunscreen
3. Pen
4. Good shoes
5. Camera (I use my camera cell-phone)
6. A buddy (usualy my kids)

#15 User is offline   JohnnyVegas 

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 05:25 PM

Maybe just six if you are doing an urban cache close to home

1) Extra Batteries
2) Water
3) Deet based insect repeent
4) Good hiking boots-Not the garbage they sell at k-mart or Wally World type outlets
5) Notes paper or on a PDA
6)Water again
7) Light weight hiking sticks for better footing (Again Lightweight)
8) Two way radio and cell phone
9) Map
10) compass
11) More water
12) Whistle
13) Hat
14) Sun glasses
15) Flash light
16) You know you cannot have to much water
17) Camera
18) Pencil or pen
19) binocuars
20) food
21) Vest with lots of pockets
22) Day pack or fanny pack
23) small first aid kit
24) And of course water (rehydrate or die)

25) A ready made cache in case you find a place to hide one, Say your on a long hike, you can place an "One the way to_______Cache" cache

This post has been edited by JohnnyVegas: 09 August 2004 - 05:32 PM


#16 User is offline   Night Stalker 

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Posted 09 August 2004 - 05:49 PM

I have found that there are really only 2 essentials.

1. a second set of batteries (not only important to find the cache, but really necessary sometimes to find your way back to the car)

2. A stubborn streak. I can't count how many caches I didn't find the first time but went of to another cache then came back and found the one I'd missed.

:ph34r:

#17 User is offline   wifireman 

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  Posted 09 August 2004 - 06:17 PM

This what we carry in a backpack

1. extra batteries ( multiple sets) just never know
2. grocery bags for CITO
3. first aid kit (Since im a EMT gotta be prepared!)
4. bag of goodies and our signature items to give
5. our PDA
6. bottled water if long trip for 2 people. (Gotta keep hydrated)
7. BUG SPRAY with lots of DEET (Very Important in Wisconsin)
8. Cell phone (Just never know who you gotta call)
9. small flashlight

and of course the GPS allways!

#18 User is offline   tobbob 

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  Posted 09 August 2004 - 06:28 PM

I like to take my girlfriend & a bottle of wine.

#19 User is offline   Sputnik 57 

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Posted 10 August 2004 - 04:31 PM

I like Night Stalker's short list, and to tobbob, I might add "a loaf of bread" if I were waxing poetic.

To the other lists, I would add Leatherman or other multi-tool.

#20 User is offline   Niss Feiner 

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Posted 11 August 2004 - 09:07 PM

Im suprised at how few people said first aid kit, Its nice to know that when Im out caching and I get caught in a bear trap im covered unlike you suckers!

#21 User is offline   Iplayoutside 

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 07:59 AM

I don't bring half that stuff with me all the time. I like to travel light. Bug spray...Sun screen, put that on when you leave the house or car (if its a long drive to target).

My constant companions are:

gps, pen, cache page, compass, trading item(s)

But everything else changes, I'm not bring the same things for a 3 mile hike on the Rockies, that I would for a lunch cache.

#22 User is offline   CompuCash 

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 08:22 AM

Niss Feiner, on Aug 11 2004, 10:07 PM, said:

Im suprised at how few people said first aid kit, Its nice to know that when Im out caching and I get caught in a bear trap im covered unlike you suckers!


I don't have a first aid kit as such, but I do carry a vew band aids and some Purel (alcohol based hand wash). Don't think what you can carry will help you with a bear trap but good on ya mate.

I carry a good knife and leatherman type tool - Scheffield set (Xmas gift from Wife)

#23 User is offline   Harrald 

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:20 AM

My list is somewhere in the middle of this thread.

whats in your ruck?(backpack)

It hasn't changed much since then.

#24 User is offline   Phoenix2001 

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 09:29 AM

Not essential but some items to consider...

A pencil instead of a pen in cold weather in case you can't keep the pen warm enough to work.
Something to sharpen the pencils with - especially the dull or broken pencils in a cache.
Some kind of marking pen that will write on wet log book paper.

#25 User is offline   Niss Feiner 

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Posted 12 August 2004 - 11:47 AM

The best pen to use is a Fisher Space pen, I think you can buy one on the Groundspeak store. They are amazing, they will never freeze, can write under water and through grease.

Defenatly pick one up.

Niss

#26 User is offline   rebapac 

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  Posted 13 September 2004 - 07:58 AM

All of the essentials are essentially the same except for caching in the desert. I fill my Camel Back with water and put the rest of the items in the pack. It's all on my back so I'm hands free to use GPSr, camera and/or compass. I alwaus carry a pen, a Sharpie, a first aid kit, a few trade items and off I go. It is absolutely necessary, in the desert, to maintain your hydration. Experienced Marines and Soldiers have died out here from exposier because they didn't have enough water.

#27 User is offline   The Jester 

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 12:09 PM

rebapac, on Sep 13 2004, 08:58 AM, said:

It is absolutely necessary, in the desert, to maintain your hydration.

It's essential in all areas, not just deserts. High altitude, for example, causes dehydration; as does exertion and the like. Cold weather is another time to keep the liquids up.

#28 User is offline   SixDogTeam 

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 02:02 PM

1. Orange Hat
2. Waypoint to vehicle
3. Extra batteries
4. pencil
5. dog
6. knife

This post has been edited by SixDogTeam: 13 September 2004 - 02:04 PM


#29 User is offline   G'n,G 

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 03:34 PM

1. Correct waypoint!
2. Water
3. Writing instrument
4. Topo map
5. Hint
6. Raid

#30 User is offline   Gadjitfreek 

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Posted 13 September 2004 - 05:39 PM

I just did my first hunt today (successful) and I am choosing caches in non-remote areas within 8 miles of my home to start with. I have a caching kit that I put together last night:

1) Binder with all cache pages printed out and printed out topo maps back-to-back with the each cache page, each page slipped into a page protector and grouped by proximity. I take the page relevant to the cache I am hunting with me.

2) A waistpack/shoulder pack with a nice, comfortable padded shoulder strap filled with:

- Garmin Etrex Vista
- compass
- pens
- weather radio
- Kestrel 4000 weather gauge
- pocket monocular
- digital camera and spare battery
- freezer bag loaded with cache trade items and Zip-loc snack bags
- Two sets of spare batteries
- Cell phone
- Pocket Maglite

3) Belt pouch with PDA

This will likely change as I get more experience doing this. Man, it's fun!!! I might lose the Kestrel and monocular to fit a small first aid kit and a small bug repellent container. I like the digital camera...I can take a pic of the cache and print it out in my printed log that I am keeping.

Mark

#31 User is offline   NightPilot 

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 05:22 PM

I just started carrying binoculars. I found a pair of compact binos at WalMart for $9, and couldn't pass the deal up. They certainly aren't top of the line, but they're cheap, they're small, they're light, and they work. They don't help much for caching, if any, but they can be handy now and then for looking at things close up, like birds and other animals, or whatever you might see.

#32 User is offline   Agent N. 

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 07:03 AM

if you want a good walking stick and don't want to pay a bundle here is a good way to make one :blink:

1: go into the woods and find a good tree (make sure you have the owners consent if you don't own the land)

2: find a branch as stright as possible and cut it down to the size you want, you'll want to find a green living branch.

3: if the bark on it is smooth then don't scrap it off! it will help keep it in good condition. If the bark is not smooth then take some sandpaper and rubb it all over the stick ,not too hard, if some of the bark is still left on it thats fine you can get to that later.

3: put your stick out in the sun to dry, you want it too be hard as a rock so you may want to put it out more then one day.

4: now after it is nice and dry find a pole or something like that and beet your stick on it (this will help to keep it hard) don't do it too hard or it will brake.

5: keep beeting it ,every day a little harder, you it is stiff to your likeing. then you may carve on it or make a handle for the top. :blink:

#33 User is offline   1stimestar 

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 09:14 AM

Around here (Alaska) bear spray or a fire arm is essential if going most anywhere.

#34 User is offline   blocko1000 

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 09:23 AM

How bout toilet paper? Unless you guys like rubbing it off on a rock.

#35 User is offline   Ben & JJ 

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:15 AM

flame thrower...Yep, can't go wrong with that, and it's great for getting rid of P.O. :P
edit: to anyone that cares that's a joke....though I can't help but in-vision clearing out the (bleeping) poison oak.....burn you(bleepity bleep bleeped bleeping bush!:laughing:) BWahahahahaha!

This post has been edited by Ben & JJ: 16 September 2004 - 02:22 AM


#36 User is offline   trail hound 

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 02:45 AM

Hey Blocko 1000...I was about to ask the same question!!....minus the rock :laughing:

#37 User is offline   superpowerdave 

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 08:42 AM

Depending on the cache depends on what I take with me, but I have a Cache-Pack that I keep in the truck loaded with essentials.

We bought a small sling-pack that we take to the cache-site with us which includes at a minimum:

1. GPSr
2. Map
3. Print out
4. Batteries
5. Digital Camera
6. Toilet paper (You would not believe how many times my wife has needed this!)
7. Hand sanitizer
8. Swag
9. Pen
10. Zip Loc baggie
11. Nalgene bottles

And since we do all of our caching in Alaska, we keep gloves, jackets, hand-warmers, etc in the truck for cold weather caching.

#38 User is offline   kemosabe 

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Posted 16 September 2004 - 05:01 PM

I carry a couple of things not yet mentioned. A small bell and some pepper spray.

As I often go geocaching in the San Francisco east bay hills by myself, I have taken to placing the small bell on my day pack so it dingles as I go along because I don't want to startle any large animals which may be nearby. Large animals like mountain lion, which ARE in the area but will usually get out of your way if they know you're there. The other large animals, like someone that has a meth lab set up in some remote area visited mostly by geocacher types. Hopefully, they will lay low, until you have passed if they hear you coming.

The pepper spray is for if they don't.

CCW permits in Kalifornia are almost impossible to get but, oh well, as they say, "It's better to be judged be twelve than carried by six"

This post has been edited by kemosabe: 16 September 2004 - 05:05 PM


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