What Equipment Do I Need?
You can actually get away with searching for caches online using free mapping websites such as googleEarth but it makes finding geocaches pretty hard. Listed below are the basics that you will need to become a geocacher and we have also listed some of the things that you should think about when going out geocaching.
- Internet Connection- It sounds obvious but an internet connection is required to retreive the locations of geocaches. It's quite easy getting online nowadays but if you are going away on holiday you may have to do some work downloading geocache locations before you depart. You will only need the internet connection to download the locations of caches and then to log your finds on the listing sites afterwards.
- GPS- Whilst you can go geocaching without one of these it makes it much more difficult. Basic units such as a yellow Garmin e-trexH or a gecko can be purchased for around £80. ( See how it works here)
- Spare Batteries- You don't want to run out of power whilst out geocaching so always carry a spare set of batteries with you.
- Pen/Pencil- You should always carry one with you when out caching as some of the smaller caches do not have a writting implement in them.
- Mobile Phone- Always carry a mobile phone incase you get into difficulties or if you want to ring the cache placer for some hints.
- Geoswag- Items that you will swap with items in the geocache, mostly these items are low in value.
- Waterproofs- Don't forget your waterproofs because of the great British weather.
- Daysack/Bum Bag/Backpack- It's usefull to carry your equipment in when out and about.
You might want to think about carrying the following things with you in your daysack/backpack:
- Cache repair kit- Spare plastic box, notebook and pencils.
- First Aid Kit- Usefull when out and about, especially if you are taking kids along with you.
- Whistle- A safety device when in the great outdoors.
- Compass- Using the compass in your GPS (if it hs one) will shorten its battery life considerably.
- Snacks/Drinks- Keep yourself hydrated and full of energy.
- Hiking Staff/Stick- Reduces your energy output when hillwalking, it also helps on slippery/muddy ground and can be used to move nettles and other foliage whilst looking for a geocache.
There is a lot of talk these days about paperless caching, that is geocaching without having to take a printout of the cache page with you. This has numerous advantages such as not wasting paper and ink and generally being a tidier process.
Paperless caching is achieved using either a PDA with an internal or external GPS receiver or one of the newer GPS such as the Garmin Oregon or Colorado that has the capability to download the geocaches information from an online source. These GPS will allow you to view a caches description, rating and location from within your GPS, they even allow you to make notes in the field that you can upload when you get home.
Best bet is to get the hang of the basics of geocaching before moving on to these expensive units although some people just have to have the best kit.