Find Your Geocache

Geocaching Supplies Checklist

Two weeks ago, I posted about my geocaching tool kit; these are tools that I take with me to actually FIND and RETRIEVE the cache. I got so many comments on that post about what people have in their kits, I though I’d better do a follow-up article!

To Retrieve The Cache

  • Walking stick. This is a must for Arizona where all manner of creatures (usually that bite, sting, are poisonous or all three!) like to live around caches. So a walking stick is perfect for jamming into a likely crevasse or flipping over rocks.
  • Gloves. My garden gloves do double duty in my caching kit. This is nice when I’ve got my fingernails painted a la filming for The Outdoor Princess Productions. Or when locating the cache requires me to move plants with thorns.
  • Small mirror. I finally got tired of sticking my head under cattle guards looking for micros! Now, I just angle the mirror under so I can see BEFORE I stick my head into anything!
  • Needle nose pliers. For when you can SEE the cache, but you can’t get your fingers in there! Pliers are tough and portable!
  • Forceps. Yep, I carry BOTH. Sometimes the pliers are too big to extract the log sheet from a nano. And the forceps can be too delicate for leveraging a good-sized cache container out of the hiding spot.
  • Flashlight. Sometimes shining a light into a likely spot will show the cache reflecting back at you. And sometimes it shows the eyes of whatever critter is living in the hole!
  • Magnet on a string. Sometimes, you can fish a cache out with that! Just make sure the magnet is tied on tight! (Thanks to GC Addicted)

You might also want to consider:

  • A metal coat hanger with a hook bent into the end.
  • A fishing hook on a string. (Not sure I recommend this because of how easy it is to get caught on the barb, but it was suggested several time!)

This is just a sample of what I carry with me.

Safety Gear

  • Hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Sun Glasses
  • Safety glasses were suggested by james.bednar. He pointed out that trees (branches, thorns, and leaves) can REALLY damage and eye when you run into it. I never would have thought of this since I’m ALWAYS wearing glasses.
  • Extra batteries for the GPS
  • Quality road atlas (make sure it is a GOOD one that shows back roads, not just the main highways!)
  • First aid kit
  • Poison oak/ivy spray (suggested by Garrett.) Neither is much of a problem in Arizona so I’d never even THOUGHT about it!
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • Hiking boots or good shoes

Kim Scornavacco posted such a good comment that I think it needs to be repeated in its entirety:

I always carry a bandana with me. I can cover my head to ward off the heat, I dunk it in cold water and tie it around my neck to keep cool, I wrap it around my mouth and nose in cold weather, I have used it as a band-aid, used it to clean off mud and in an emergency, you can use it as a sling.

Here are some other items that I typically carry in my car:

  • Emergency poncho
  • Emergency space blanket
  • Whistle
  • Matches
  • LOTS of paper towel
  • Cell phone charger

Several people commented on also bringing extra log sheets and plastic baggies to caches. I LOVE the idea of people doing impromptu cache maintenance and just helping out the owner. I have several caches that are hours away from my house so it isn’t really feasible for me to trot over there after work to replace a log book!

Other items suggested were:

  • GPS
  • Swag
  • Pen AND a pencil
  • Duct tape (always handy)

One of the biggest issues I’ve always had with a list like this is that if I carried EVERYTHING my pack would be so heavy I could hardly walk! I recommend that you take notes (mental or otherwise) about what YOU decide YOU can’t live without.

On my “Can’t Go Caching Without It” list?

My camera and tripod!

Readers Weigh In:

  • I’ve been thinking about making up a printable .pdf checklist of supplies. Do you think that would help ne w cachers get started on the right foot?
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One Response to “Find Your Geocache”

  • Barb:

    Your geobag list is very similar to ours. Instead of a walking stick, we have a pokey stick… the shaft of a golf club. A friend found a neat tool for us, it is a mechanic’s inspection mirror. It has an extendable handle and inside of the handle is a magnet attachment and a light attachment. The end has a “quick connect” fitting, so changing from the mirror to another attachment is a “snap”…we also have a small bungee with a hook, heavy twine, rubber bands, paper clips, tape, extra paper and pens, scissors. If we could just rig some kind of portable air conditioner to carry with us. It’s hot & humid in Florida and it keeps all of our summer geotrips short.

    I think a list of supplies would be a great idea…

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