The great thing about Geocaching is that anyone can do it, and they can be found just about anywhere, but you may ask yourself what do I need to get started geocaching? Whether you prefer to explore a city or go hiking on a trail out in the woods, there are plenty of geocaches to be found! Even during a road trip. To be sure that you are prepared for your adventure, here are the basic supplies and gear that you will need to go geocaching!
What do I need to go Geocaching?
A Geocaching Adventure Bag
Several years ago we bought a specific bag to hold our geocaching equipment and other supplies that we use when we are out traveling. After a while, we started calling it our “Adventure Bag“ because it came with us on every adventure, no matter how big or small. The bag we chose was the Mountainsmith Tour TLS Lumbar Backpack. It’s extremely functional and works great for us, whether we are traveling on a plane or hiking through the woods. No matter what bag you choose, it’s important to have a dedicated bag to keep all your geocaching items together. That way you can be ready to head out at a moment’s notice!
Every physical cache you find will have a logbook inside. The logbook is what every cacher that discovers the cache needs to sign to get credit for the cache. So you will need a pen…and you will be surprised at how many stories cacher’s have about forgetting the pen! You may want to put a few pens in the bag, just in case. There is no worse feeling than finding a cache and not having a pen on you, or your pen dies. Some caches are big enough to hold spare pens, but not all. So be prepared.
GPS or Smartphone and Back up Batteries
First, to even go geocaching you need a smartphone or GPS unit. You will also need to set up a profile and app for your smartphone. For more details about getting started, check out this post Geocaching 101: Getting Started with Profile & App.
We have used our smartphones for several years to go geocaching, and they work just fine most of the time; especially if you are just running around your hometown. But as you progress and get out on mountain trails, or if you go international geocaching (like we do), then you will need a GPS unit since it doesn’t require a phone signal or wifi. Personally, we love our Garmin Oregon GPS and have been fans of their products for years. Also, be sure to bring extra batteries!
Notepad or Paper
You will need to make sure to bring a small notepad or loose paper with to jot down notes for Multi-Cache. Most Multi-Caches you will need to writes down coordinates to the next destination where there will be either another set of coordinates to figure out or the actual cache itself. With caches being located primarily outside you will run across at time a wet log to sign. Its nice to refresh the log for your fellow cachers. Make sure to note this in you log under the cache profile.
When discovering geocaches, you may run across a tag or a coin with a number on it. These are called Geocaching Trackables and they move from cache to cache and track miles on them. The owners of the trackables can pull up their trackables online to see who has them, and where the trackables have been.
Some trackables will have certain goals and destinations they want to go to. It’s up to the geocaching community to help keep trackables on their task and hopefully get to their goals. Please do not keep trackables and help keep them moving along to other caches. See Geocaching 101: What are Geocaching Trackables. You may want to get in on the trackables action too! Either moving trackables from cache to cache, or creating your own to send out into the world!
“Swag” are little trinkets that are great for the younger caches to trade. If you take something out of the cache, you replace it with something else. Swag can be anything that fits into a cache. We love to leave foreign currency to trade for stickers or golf balls.
Please do not trade any type of food in the cache. This is a big no no. We don’t want to attract wildlife to caches where people will be hiking to! The value meal toys are a great swag item to trade. So always bring a little something to trade with you in your Adventure Bag.
It’s important to be prepared, especially if you plan on hiking in the woods or going off the beaten path. So we bring with us a headlamp for when we go geocaching in the evening, but we also have flashlights too! Sometimes we like to bring our little boombox for some music, it has a clip to hang nicely on the bag. We also have a small first aid kit that we always keep in our Adventure Bag, because you never know out there! We also bring along small travel sized bottles of sunblock and bug repellent. A pair of tweezers may also come in handy to get the log out of those tough little micro caches! Lastly, snacks and water are important if you plan on being out for an extended amount of time. Again, always good to be prepared…just in case!
Bring someone with you Geocaching
Geocaching can be a great activity to do with your family and friends. We love meeting new people along our travels and introducing them to our hobby of geocaching, but it’s also fun to get our family and friends involved. So be sure to bring a friend next time you go out so you can introduce them to Geocaching.
Geocaching is a great way get outside and get active. And these are a few basics that you will need to become a Geocacher.
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