Monday, November 14, 2011

Tools Of The Geocacher

The Boy Scout motto is: Be Prepared.  I was never a boyscout, but as a system administrator and geocacher I take that motto to heart.  In my experience one is well served to put this to practice when one is on the hunt for a geocache.  You never know what situation you find yourself in, so it really does help to Be Prepared.

So as a service to any geocachers out there who may not find themselves entirely prepared, this post will outline the things I do to be prepared for any situation I may find myself in while out on the hunt for tupperware in the woods.

== On My Person ==

I carry the following things wherever I go: hiking, walking, work, church, sitting on the couch watching TV...
  • Leatherman Wave multi-tool - I have built entire datacenters with little else than this tool.  If you don't have one, stop reading and go get one now.
  • cell phone
  • pen
  • car keys
  • wallet
  • doggie bags (never know when the hound is gonna squat!)
  • Outback hat by Tilley Endurables
== My Geobag == 

My geobag with badges from my various travels.
 I have a green canvas messenger bag that I carry with me whenever I go geocaching.  It contains pretty much everything I need on a hunt in either the woods or urban settings:
  • Mechanix gloves - you never know what you are going to touch - these protect without being bulky
  • tweezers - for getting those pesky logs out of nano containers
  • compass with safety whistle built in
  • two flashlights for this pesky night hides, or when looking in dark crevices
  • notepad - for writing down notes during puzzle caches
  • camera with extra batteries & memory cards
  • GPS
  • Box of extra AA and AAA batteries (normally 8 of each)
  • sun block
  • bug spray
  • extra pair of socks
  • first aid kit
  • USB cables to connect all my electronics to a computer
  • a bunch of pens of all types, including pencils and sharpies
  • A bag of ziploc bags - for replacing those ripped ones in cache containers that protect the logs.
A multitude of pens.  I never have the excuse of
"I didn't sign the log because I forgot a pen"

== On The Trail ==

  When I am going on a longer hike I also carry the following:
  • Water bottles
  • snacks
  • hiking stick
== Geo Car ==

These items travel with me in my car:
  • Water bottles
  • car GPS
  • Hiking sticks
  • flashlights
  • wipes - for cleaning off stuff (also because I have a toddler who isn't toilet trained yet :)
So that is how I stay prepared.  Did I leave anything out that you would carry on a geocaching hunt?  Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

As an aside my geobag is also trackable on  If you are so inclined, feel free to log 'debaere's geobag' at

Cheers, and happy hunting!


AtlasYMM said...

Okay, gotta ask. Why 2 flashlights and why more than one pen. Are 'we' overcompensating?

Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

AtlasYMM: Redundancy :) It sucks when your only pen stops writing, or your only flashlight burns out.

Unknown said...

I think you are prepared big guy! The one addition that I will add is more for your first aide kits than your geobag; Benadryl, it can literally save your life someday or someone you know. It's a must have in treating an allergic reaction to bee stings, certain plants, insect bites or consumption of foods unknowingly.
Great article!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the post. Lots of great ideas.

I've been toying with the idea of getting a 'man bag' for a while. I've been misusing my lunch bag to tote my iPhone, iPod, wallet, keys, external hardrive, and other junk back & forth from work for ages now.

A geobag would be a great idea. that way I can keep my wife from calling it a purse. Where did you get your bag though? Army Surplus? I've also seen people using army binocular cases. They are a bit more sturdy with a hard shell.

Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

@Ryan Duffy

I got my bag at an army surplus store, tho it is a new bag. It was advertised as a WWII Parachute Jump Bag, or something similar (forget exactly which one).

idajo2 said...

In my - more than 1/2 mile from the car - bag, I carry Technu (poison ivy scrub - the sooner you apply it, the less chance the oil has to absorb), DEET-based repellent (ticks/skeeters), good quality sunscreen; a full "cache repair kit" (including replacement logs, bison tubes, nano containers, short (golf) pencils, etc.), alcohol wipes, protein bars, several tubes of ZippFizz and most of what you carry, Dave . . however, fewer batteries . . those things get heavy!!!