Geocaching Survival Kit: What You Really Need

If you’re looking for a fun, exciting way to exercise the body and mind, geocaching may become your next favorite weekend activity.  Geocaching is a fast growing game that can be best described as a modern day treasure hunt.  However, instead of simply using an old worn out map, you utilize a GPS receiver, a set of coordinates and a few good clues – if you’re lucky.

Photo Credit: Waverly Ratepayers Association

Photo Credit: Waverly Ratepayers Association

The Essentials

Two of the most essential items in geocaching are your portable satellite navigation device and a trusty map.  As you probably know, there are many types of units available, but even the entry-level models can pinpoint the location of a cache. In order to search the area effectively, you will also need a map.  While satellite navigation can show you the straight line between two points, unless the waypoints of the route are pre-loaded into your GPS device, only a topographical map can reveal the winding path between you and your destination.

Must-Have Items

Aside from your GPS receiver and a map, you should view a compass as another mandatory item.  To make sure you have a safe search, the following items should also be included in your geocaching quest:

  • Flashlight – One should never underestimate the time it might take find the cache.  Just in case the sun goes down faster than you anticipated, be prepared with a flashlight.

  • Bottled Water – Geocaching is an outdoor activity that could have you working up a sweat.  Therefore, staying hydrated is a must, as it will keep your body replenished and your mind sharp.  To be on the safe side, make sure you bring an ample supply of water.

  • Mobile Phone – Geocaching can serve as a nice retreat from the rest of the world.  If you go at it alone, however, be sure to leave your route plans with friends or family and bring alone your cell phone should you need to contact them.

  • First-aid Kit – Bringing along a first-aid kit is recommended with any outdoor activity. The best way to pack it is to get familiar with the area, and load the kit with all the basics, along with extras specific to that particular environment.

  • Extra Batteries – If at all possible, you want to bring along extra batteries for each device you will be carry.  This includes your GPS receiver, two-way radio, camera and so forth.

  • Writing Utensils – To truly optimize your search, it is highly recommended that you keep an active log of all your caches.  For example, you can scribble down your impressions of the landscape and capture waypoints and coordinates for future hunts.  You should not only bring along a notepad and spare pen for yourself, but for the cache as well, just in case the one inside has gone dry.

  • Cache Treasures – Once you find the cache, you must take something from it and also leave something behind.  Unless there are specifics, items that are inexpensive, small and lightweight make great choices for cache treasures.

  • Extra Cash – After purchasing the satellite navigation system, geocaching is a relatively low cost activity.  Because you never know what might happen, bring along a few extra dollars to be on the safe side.

With your survival kit and GPS unit by your side, the adventures of geocaching await!

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