What’s in Your Geopack? A Look Inside the Geocaching Bag

November 18, 2012 at 11:04 am (Geocaching, Productivity) (, , , , )

What's in my Geocaching Kit?

Last month, I asked about the Top 5 geocaching tools in your bag.  This time around, let’s just dump that bag on the ground and see what’s there. I decided it was time for a reorganization, as I couldn’t find anything anymore. You know how it is.  You grab something in a hurry, then toss it back on top. Before long, nothing is in its place anymore and nothing can be found.  So, much like doing a nuke and pave of the computer, to start with a clean slate, I’ve done that with my Geopack, to start with an empty bag and gradually restocked it. Let’s see how it goes.

I took a photo of the empty bag, contents all nicely laid out and photographed.  Then I tagged it on my Flickr Photostream, partly so I could see what all I had, and partly to share with you, my geocaching friends. Here is a similar photo, although you will have to see the one on Flickr to get the annotated version (click the photo above to be transported to the Flickr pic).

The primary contents of my bag, and those most often used, includes the following: extendable mirror/magnet, flashlight, hemostats, tick key, whistle, duct tape, Field Notes, baggies and logs, insect spray, and hand sanitizer.  Not listed, but always with me, is my Smith & Wesson .38 Special.  I always have it, especially in the woods (we’re in snake country, remember?).  Thankfully, I don’t have to use it often, but when I do, I’m really glad to have it. I generally use the Geocaching App on my iPhone 4S, but I’m trying to learn to use the GPS.  The iPhone App is just so easy, plus I can log my finds as I find them, rather than having to jot them down and log them when I get home.

My primary bag is an XPS Camelback. It’s a small backpack, which is what I wanted.  I have some larger ones, but I wanted as light as possible. I tried to use a Dajo Adventure Gear waist pack, but I just couldn’t do it.  I tried several times, and the messenger bag style strap did help, but having all that stuff hanging around my waist and hips just drove me crazy.  I did like the way the Dajo pack was set up, but in the end, it just didn’t work for me. With the XPS, which I got on clearance for about $12 (great deal!), I keep the things we rarely use in the back, the things more often used in the front section, and the things we use all the time actually go in a little space between the front and back sections.  It works great because there’s nothing to open and close. We just grab it and go, then put it back when we’re finished. It’s not perfect, but it will do for now.  One day, I’d like to design a modular pack that would satisfy the needs of most of us.  Until then, I’ll be on the lookout for the perfect multi-tool and the perfect Geopack.

I was amazed when I checked out some of the bags of geocaching friends.  Some of them have everything but the kitchen sink in their bags. A grappling hook?  Really?  I suppose there might come a time when I might need a grappling hook, but if that happens, you can bet I took a wrong turn somewhere 😉 Another item that frequently appeared was a folding ladder. These have become very popular, and I might seriously have to check into one of these.  However, considering my luck (or lack thereof) with ladders, that might not be a good thing for me to have.

I did pick up a few useful tips.  I’ll be adding a few things to my bag very soon. One item that kept coming up repeatedly that I hadn’t thought about stocking in my bag was glowsticks. I’ve used some for swag on occasion, but several folks noted that they could be handy in an emergency, especially if the batteries went out on your flashlight and you were lost (or delayed 😛 ) in the woods. I just picked up a roll of neon colored survey tape over the weekend for marking areas, especially when on a not-well-marked trail, as it can be confusing to tell where you’ve already been.  Tie the survey tape along the way like breadcrumbs, and it makes it much easier to get back out…just grab the tape on your way out to leave the area as you found it.

Binoculars were another often mentioned item that I hadn’t thought about previously. It would make it easier to search some areas, especially those with dense ground cover when searching for the elusive ammo can, or for looking skyward for a very small nano. I have an inexpensive pair that will be perfect for tossing in the truck for occasional use.

What about you?  What do you have in your Geopack?  List any must-have items in the comments, or post a link to you bag contents on Flickr to share with the rest of us.  Until next time, be safe and cache on!

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