S1E13: Geocahcing Tools

What do you need to geocache? Do you need equipment for geocaching? Do you have a geocaching kit that you take with you? What’s inside of it? What is your favorite tool for geocaching? In this episode I break open my geocaching kit to look at my ToTT’s (Tools of the Trade) and why I carry them. I also reach out on social media to find out what other geocachers favorite ToTT’s are and share their responses.

Cache Highlight “Devious Cache #6

My Geocaching Kit
Photo by Chris Whittemore Vortexecho
Photo by Kimberly Miller

Transcript

What do you really need to go geocaching?  At bare minimum you need a GPS.  Most smartphones work fairly well for this as long as you have cell service.  And you should take something to write with, pen, pencil, sharpie, or any combination of those.  So you have your GPS and your writing instrument and you’re ready to go and this is a great way to get started.  But once you’re been caching for a while you may find you prefer to take more with you.  Maybe you just want to keep SWAG on hand to swap out or you read a cache description that told you to bring your own tweezers.  You start keeping these things in a bag of some kind so it’s all in one place when you’re ready to go out caching and all of a sudden you’re geocaching kit is born.

Many cachers have a kit they take with them geocaching.  Sometimes it is a simple at pins and SWAG and that’s it but sometimes its more.  What you keep in your kit may depend on the types of caches you like to visit or who you go caching with.  You may do a lot of urban caching with the kids and your kit is a bag or cooler that you keep drinks and snacks in along with your pen and SWAG.  Maybe you’re hard core and you find yourself caching in more remote locations and have a trauma kit an bear spray as part of your kit.  It really depends on you and your caching needs and it will probably evolve over time.

My kit started out very basic, just my phone and a pen.  Over time I have created a kit full of things I’ve deemed useful from either my own experience or from the advice of other caches.  To start with , I have a pencil case that holds multiple pens, small notebooks to replace log pages, SWAG, and any trackables I’m carrying.  I have my GPS and extra batteries for it.  Wet ones wipes, because sometimes you stick your hands in some nasty places to get a cache.  Various types of bags for cache maintenance and for trash pickup.  Tweezers because some caches requirement to remove the log.  I have a backup battery back and cable for my phone.  A first aid kit for minor cuts and scrapes, which I have had to use once or twice thanks to some nasty thorns.  Various flashlights, a multi tool, and a telescoping mirror.  I like the mirror for if I’m going to stuck my hand up behind something like a drain pipe or something.  It lets me check that the cache is there and that there are no screws sticking out for me to get caught on or spiders handing around for me to get bitten by.  And of course a bag to hold it all.  One item that I keep in it that isn’t actually a TOTT (tool of the trade) is a note book that I use to keep track of my finds.  Usually the information I write in the notebook mimics my find logs pretty closely, but I find it easier to look back through if I’m trying to find a note I wrote during a specific time frame.  A picture of my kit and it’s contents will be included in the show notes if you’re interested in seeing it.

I reached out on social media to ask geocachers what their favorite TOTT is.  There were a lot of great response from all the groups I posted the question to.  While all of the responses are appreciated, there were over 100 responses so instead of trying to share them all, I have chosen a handful of them to share with you.

Angle Wise (SLAGA) said “My mom, not only is she brave enough to go places I fear, she has the mind of a genius to figure out what we need in order to find the cache before we get to it.”

Chris Whittemore Vortexecho (geocaching 101) wrote “I like dark places.” and posted a picture of an assorted pile of flashlights.  Chris has given me permission to use his photo and you can seen his impressive file of flashlights in the show notes.

Jennifer Hutchison Bishop (geoachers worldwide water cooler) posted “Tie between 20 ft extendable pool net pole and our drop down fire escape ladder.”

Lonnie Williams (GA page) wrote “Walking stick. Can be used to check holds before placing your hand inside. Also extra reach for the cache just our of your reach.”

Kimberly Miller (GA page) “I have this little thing that looks like a bison tube. Inside it has a small stick with a slit in it for rolling logs really tightly. This has come in handily for so many micros. I’ve been able to also use it as tweezers too when I can’t find mine.”  From the picture that she posted it looks like a neat log roller.  Kimberly has given me permission to use her picture and you can find it in the show notes

There were also several people who listed the same favorite TOTT.  Some of those responses were tweezers, pens, Leatherman/multi tool/swiss army knife, a few people said their jeep and their phone/GPS.

I want to thank everyone who responded to the question on social media.

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