Must-Have Geocaching Tool Kit
Most cachers have a geocaching “kit” that they take with them on the hunt. It was born of the “I really could have used a _________ on this find” reasoning that always seems to strike.
My “kit” not only includes my writing stick of choice (blue ball-point pen) and my trusty camera but also a few choice items that make retrieving caches much more user-friendly.
- 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!
None of these tools are heavy or too large so it’s not a problem carting them on geocaching hikes. And you know when you leave an item at the car is when you REALLY want it at the cache!
Readers Weigh In:
- What must-have tools are in your caching kit?
August 6, 2010 @ 4:19 pm
I add to that one of the mechanics flexible magnetic pick up tool. Get one that is flexible or telescoping. Some even fit into your shirt pocket like a pen.
August 6, 2010 @ 4:20 pm
I also keep a weighted fish hook on a string to hook the ones with a look down a tube.
August 6, 2010 @ 4:26 pm
My list contains:
Geocaching paperwork – know where you are going.
GPS – know how to find it
Pen – gotta be able to log your find
Paper – to take notes, or leave for missing logs
Swag – to leave behind
Extra Batteries – it really sucks when the batteries go dead!
Camera – to catch those really cool spots
Multi-tool – or a pliers – grabs in a tight spot
Crevice Mirror – helps save the back
Flashlight – always finds a use
Watch – mine has a compass built in to it.
Gloves – some places are dangerous for the bare hands…
Snacks – Granola Bars & Gum – gotta stay fueled!
Water – ALWAYS bring water!!
Atlas – to find those back roads
Walking Stick – to poke in places and help you up and down hills
Hiking Boots – this is more of a reminder to make sure you are wearing them!
Jacket/long sleeve shirt – for cold or overheating conditions
Hat – to help sheild the sun
Sunglasses – to protect the eyeballs
A Buddy – always take a buddy, it’s safer and more fun!
I have most of this stuff in a backpack ready to go. I have a 4×6 card with a masterlist to double check before we go out the door.
August 6, 2010 @ 7:30 pm
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.
August 6, 2010 @ 9:50 pm
BUG SPRAY! We live in the Pacific Northwest and if you go out without it (even covered in the fall or early spring) you can get bits right through your clothes. Always a must have and it stays packed!
August 6, 2010 @ 10:43 pm
Julie’s got it covered but we also add a metal hammer, umbrella, extra baggies, the telescoping magnet, 2 sizes of tweezers, screwdriver and a scissors. I use labels to sign logs if big enough. And plenty of swag plus my camera.
August 7, 2010 @ 11:02 am
We keep a tube of poison oak/ivy spray which comes in very handy where we live.
August 8, 2010 @ 9:48 am
I like a lot of what the other people list. Some I use and some I never thought of. I also carry a clothes hanger for those items stuck in a fence pole or such. SAFETY GLASSES are a must for me. Here in Kansas, people have a bad habit of placing caches in those trees that have those large needles on them – do not quite understand why. I already recieved an eye injury once. Definately BUG SPRAY – have already recieved quite a few chigger infestations this year.
August 8, 2010 @ 11:10 am
We carry a first aide kit, because kids always get bobo’s.
August 8, 2010 @ 7:45 pm
The mosquitoes in Wisconsin have developed an immunity to DEET this summer, but I still use it!
No matter what else, please pack small baggies and paper – logs get wet easily and it is such a nice favor to the CO and those who find the cache after you!
August 9, 2010 @ 9:17 am
Hmm, pocket knife, first aid kit, and hand sanitizer. The latter is for those times where you get something unexpectedly grim on you while caching,
August 9, 2010 @ 1:37 pm
Duct tape is also very handy for emergency repairs on caches and yourself. I have used Duct tape to get caches out of holes as well. Nut on a string. My most uded TOTT? An extending mirror, less bending down that way!
August 10, 2010 @ 4:02 pm
I find that a Fish hook or a Maginet on a string or wire comes in handy for some that I have to search for. I carry a 8 foot peice of tie wire with a connector that I can replace the maginet or the fish hook so I can retreive the caches that I have to find.
August 13, 2010 @ 12:24 pm
We always take trash bags with us to cache in and trash OUT!! If it is a kid friendly cache, we are sure to refill the container with lot’s of goodies!!!
C U on the trails!!
August 13, 2010 @ 1:25 pm
Swag!! I often think I don’t want to carry the extra stuff, so will just sign the log, and then there is something I am dying to have!! I HAVE gone back to get some, and come back.
August 19, 2010 @ 9:52 am
1: Mini-mag flashlight
3: Telescoping inspection mirror 2″X4″
6: Extra pen
7: Extra pencil (sometimes pens don’t want to write on log sheets.)
8: Magnet on a string
9: Straightened out coat hanger w/small hook bent on one end.
10: Extra AA batteries for flashlight and GPSr
11: Replacement log book
12: Replacement film can size log sheet
13: Poking stick
14: Insect repellant
15: Plenty of water
16: More than enough common sense.
September 25, 2010 @ 2:55 am
It’s good to have a length (3′ or so) of 12-gauge or heavier wire, rolled up. It’s great for making impromptu grabbers or fishing hooks, and can be used to push caches out of pipes etc. One of my must-haves!
June 2, 2012 @ 4:13 am
Living in the UK I ALWAYS take WATERPROOFS!
Been caught in too many heavy showers when the forecast says fine and sunny