Your Most Important Geocaching Gear: Top 5

October 15, 2012 at 8:18 am (Geocaching) (, )

You’re going geocaching, but you are short on space; therefore, you can only take 5 items, besides your GPS and a pen. What do you take? It’s nothing tricky…you’re not after anything particularly difficult. It’s just a normal day around town.  So, what do you take with you?  What are your go-to pieces of hardware? Mine are as follows:

Whistle. Good for general safety, as well as emergency use. Know the International Whistle Code: 1 tweet (no, this has nothing to do with Twitter): Where are you?; 2 blasts: Come to me; 3 blasts: I need help. 

Flashlight. I love this flashlight, first sent to me by GxProxy, and now I see them everywhere. It has a magnet on the back so you can stick it onto any metal surface. It also has a small hangar that pulls out from the back to hang it on your belt loop, on a branch, or just about anywhere else. It has a small bright beam at the end or a large flood on the face with, I think, 27 LEDs. It is very bright and just uses standard AA batteries. 

Extendable Magnet/Mirror. Good for poking around, looking under and around things, as well as retrieving nanos. We found one not long ago that required the use of a magnet to retrieve. It was stuck inside a space that, by design, was just snug enough to prevent anything from digging it out.  You had to use a magnet, or it wasn’t coming out. Clever. 

Tick Key. Here in the south, where we have the little buggers nearly year-round, this is a must. One day, after only a 5-minute foray off a path, I ended up pulling 29 (yes, 29!) of the horrid little things off me. Many of them required the use of this ingenuous little device. Using tweezers is bad because it can actually transmit the poison from the tick into your bloodstream by squeezing its head in an attempt to dislodge it. This gizmo extracts the tick without squeezing its head and releasing the poison. Brilliant.

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MultiTool. I initially put hemostats in this list, but had to retract that entry. I do keep a pair of hemostats in my pocket when I cache, usually, but being allowed only five tools, I eliminated the hemostats in favor of the multitool. I did this primarily because this particular multitool has a nice pair of needle nose pliers, which effectively replaces the hemostats. It gets into those narrow places to grasp a nano log out of its itty bitty cache, and also allows me to use its narrow end as a log roller for rolling up those pesky itty bitty logs. I’ve gone thru many a Swiss army knife and multitool over the years, but my current one is one of my favorites. Oddly enough, I didn’t set out to purchase this one.  Instead, it was a freebie with a tool I purchased from Kobalt. This one has not only my requisite needle nose pliers, but also has scissors, wire cutters, flat and phillips screw drivers, file, cutting blade, bottle opener, awl, and key ring. Quite a nice little tool. I’m always on the lookout for a better multitool, and while I have found a few that have a few more tools, I haven’t yet found one that has them all in this very compact size. This one fits nicely in my small hand, and is easy to grip because of the Kobalt’s “grippy” rubber coating. I have heard a lot about the Switch by Quirky, which has 18 different attachments that you configure yourself.  You can use a few of them or all of them, depending on what tools you want in the device.  It is a little pricey at $80, and the reviews are either glowing or downright awful, which makes me a little hesitant to make the jump.  However, it isn’t available at Quirky at the moment, which makes me think that maybe they are reworking it to address the issues in the bad reviews.  For now, I’ll just stick with my wonderful Kobalt freebie 🙂

I do keep all of these together with a carabiner, which makes it super easy to get one off quickly without having to deal with the rest (like using the pliers on the multitool without all the other things banging against my hand). 

What are your top 5 “gotta have ’em” geocaching tools?  Let me know in the comments.  Be safe and cache on.



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