November 23rd Be Prepared!

We’ve not been out much this month geocaching.

The weather has been appalling, and we’ve had a few other weekend commitments which has meant the only ‘bit of plastic we’ve found by a tree’ is when we’ve attempted to sweep the leaves in our garden.

But we have been reading other people’s blogs. We had found a few of these blogs over the last couple of years, but we’ve found a whole more since being interrogated by Washknight (see our blog entry a few weeks ago).

However two of the blogs we follow Washknight himself (http://washknight.wordpress.com/), and an Australian lady geomumma-kel (http://geomumma.wordpress.com/) have both blogged about a similar topic recently… PREPAREDNESS.

One might think that geocaching is a spontaneous hobby, but the more preparation one can do, in general the better the experience.

This list – though not exhaustive- are all items we like to check before we leave !

1. Have we got everything we might need ?

GPS (readers might remember we’ve forgotten it in the past), pen, paper, camera, trackables, food, drink, compass, map, list of caches we might be attempting and their position on the map

2. Where are we going ?

A road atlas to get us there (we may be high-tech on the walk, but not when we drive!), and an online recce of where to park (googlemaps and streetmaps are great for this), as the driver knows exactly when to turn off into an innocuous side-road to park (Ed: well most of the time I remember to turn off when I’m told to!)

3. A review of the caches we are find

Its not much fun attempting lots of caches where many DNF’s have been reported. If we believe a lot of the caches look as it they won’t be there we may not go!
Our GPS doesn’t show photos, so we try to look at some of the photos on http://www.geocaching.com before we go.
Are the caches small, large, in muggle-rich areas ?
What is the terrain like ? Made up paths? Mud ? Pavement ?
Do we need any specialist equipment – tweezers, torch, Swiss army knife, plastic (petrol pump) gloves, caching stick (walking poles are excellent for chopping down nettles).
We’ve not yet taken out a rope, inflatable boat or a ladder but readers may remember we did have a British Waterways key which helped us out at one particular cache!

So if you ever contact us to go geocaching .. we’ll be there armed with everything – except perhaps the kitchen sink!

How do you prepare for your geocaching adventures ?

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