In order to go geocaching you need equipment. What you need depends on a number of factors. This is my personal view on what I like to take with me.
The vital items are obviously, information from www.geocaching.com or alternative site, a GPS and some way of getting the coordinates into the GPS. The rest is an option.
On many occasions I literally only have the GPS with me. This is the section concerned with everything else than the GPS used for geocaching. Covers everything from trading items, gadgets, clothing,
transportation. When I started geocaching in 2003 I had modern gear then. Now it is pretty well out of date.
On many of my geocaching trips I just have my GPS on my person. That is
particulary true for drive in caches. On a number of occasions the batteries in the GPS have died before I reached the cache. I still havenít learnt. On a normal day when I am slightly more organised I carry the
GPS, a couple of spare batteries and a pencil. On a really good day then I carry more ďpretty good to have itemsĒ. Today my GPS is a Garmin Etrex Legend Cx. Not the latest so hopefully it will be upgraded to either
a Colorado or an Oregon sometime in 2010.
Printed cache sheets or paperless?
If I am going out on a spur of the moment cache hunt I use my Nokia E90 to find the
information I need. If I am on a dedicated geocaching day trip I will find the caches I want to visit using GSAK and Mapsource and make a printout from GSAK (using the Xerox printer at work lets me print booklets
which is great for saving paper compared with my simple home printer). I also print a map from the Mapsource application.
On my yearly caching adventure in New Zealand which is usually of 3-4 weeks duration, I
have to rely on a combination of printouts and GSAK to keep track of what there is hunt for. The laptop is vital for the daily logging of finds.
Pretty good to have items
My Nokia E90 and access to the WAP site http://rtr.ca/geo. The website is a godsend and has been the difference between success and a DNF many times. I also use the Trimble GeocacheNavigator application from time to time. Excellent but depending on your provider it could be more costly than expected. As of September 2009 it is no longer free, which kills it for me. I used it on a casual basis to find caches when I was not on a caching tour but had some time to kill. The E90 also doubles up as my caching camera, FM radio and music machine!
When I am away from Sweden on an extended trip then I do have quite a lot more stuff with me so I guess that they should be in this group as well.
Until the summer of 2009 I had my laptop with GSAK, Mapsource maps (Europe, USA, New Zealand and other places where I have been able to find suitable maps for the Garmin), USB cable, charger for the laptop and charger for the
batteries for the GPS (which also double for my digital camera). The laptop has now been upgraded? to an Acer netbook with the same software that I used before.
As I always try to travel light thatís all I have with me.
The nice to haves
Of course, I have a lots more things in the car most of the time which is fine when I am caching in Sweden
A fanny pack with:
spare batteries, pens and notebook, small trading items, compass, knife (Leatherman), micro cache ready to go and an LED torch (also running on AA batteries). I actually pulled out everything
from my fanny bag and laid it out on the floor. The latest addition is a pair of latex gloves that I added after badly cutting my hand and not wanting to be digging around hunting caches and risk infection.
The trading items are small and simple as I donít trade most of the time. I often drop in something when I find a cache that is getting close to empty.
Cache containers - Various sizes, filled and ready to place if I find a good spot.
Spare logbooks/log strips - For those caches where the logs are full or damaged.
Zip lock plastic bags - I have lost count of the number of wet log books I have found.
Knife - An essential piece of hardware if you are anywhere outside an urban area.
Walking pole - Useful for both support and poking around in holes where you donít want to stick your hand
First aid kit - I had cause to use it this summer after tripping over a fence wire in the forest.
As time passes I have updated the gear that I use. What I had when I started geocaching can be seen here Old gear.