This is eventually going to be a checklist of things that you should never leave home without when geocaching. I know there are probably thousands of these floating around on the Internet, but I recently had an “adventure” where I wasn’t fully prepared, so I guess one more list won’t hurt. First, a little back story. I got done work early last Wednesday and didn’t have school so I decided to give one of my friends a call to see if he wanted to go out caching. He agreed so we met at my house and decided which cache we were going to attempt. The cache we finally decided on was a fairly difficult one. It said right in the description “not for geo-weenies”, but we figured we would try it anyway. It is almost a 2 mile walk to where the cache is located. It is also very thick and right near a swamp. We finally get to ground zero and it is so thick that my GPSr (phone) starts to lose signal and send us in circles. Eventually we decided that it was almost dark and we should start heading out. The only problem was that none of us knew which way was out. Since we had no GPS signal we ended up wandering around in circles in the swamp for a few hours. The only reason we even got out is because the stars came out and we used the big dipper to guide us in a straight line. Alright, that’s the story now here is the list.
- A knowledge of the area where you will be caching (Geocaching.com forums are good for this)
- A GPSr that is capable of operating correctly even in heavy cover
- A compass
- A flashlight
- A cell phone for emergencies
- Bottled water or a hydration pack
- Bug spray (in the spring and summer)
- Blaze orange clothing (during hunting season)
- Plenty of spare batteries
- A small first aid kit
Some other things that aren’t quite necessary, but would be recommended are a camera, a walking stick (useful to poke into holes in case there is an animal in it), and some swag to trade in the caches. Also, if you are going after a cache that is remote or there is a chance that you might have to spend the night, make sure that you bring everything needed to camp safely and comfortably.
If anyone has any recommendations that I missed, please add them in the comments.