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Know before you go

Hoca

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One of the many things geocachers have in common is a love of getting outdoors and exploring all throughout the year. The natural world can be an unpredictable place, so it’s important to be as prepared as possible to ensure you have a great time!

Make a plan for the time you have
Geocaching outings can spring from inspiration in so many ways: a trail recommendation, a new town to explore, or a cache you have wanted to find and experience. Make sure you pick a destination that you have enough time for on the day of your trip, and tell others where you’re going. Rushing could lead to a deviation of your plan and having you and your group out later than expected, or in a place you weren’t planning to go.

If you’re like me, sometimes you add “just one more” (or two…or three!) caches to the end of the day because I have more time or I’m tempted by unfound caches on my map. If you think you might not have enough time, save it for another adventure!

Check the weather and trail conditions
We have a saying in the Pacific Northwest: “there’s no bad weather, just poor planning!” Checking the weather or the trail conditions will help you bring the clothing and gear you’ll need to be successful. If the trail is icy, you might need shoe spikes. Even the right jacket could dramatically affect how comfortable you are on your trip, so knowing the temperature and the possibility of rain will help you get to where you want to go.

Grab the right gear
There are times when I have brought nearly everything but the kitchen sink with me on a geocaching trip because there were so many possibilities of what I might need or elements I may encounter! Check the description and recent activity on the geocaching pages on your List to make sure you’ll bring the right gear along so you can reach the caches you’re looking for. Bring a first aid kit in case you or others experience an injury, and tools you need to help you cross the terrain to get to the goals of the day. From kayaks to trekking poles to bandanas to snowshoes, the right gear can make a huge difference. And of course, don’t forget your pen!

Bring snacks and water
Bodies need fuel to keep going, so bringing along some snacks and water to keep you going will definitely keep you happy on your outing. Bringing more than you think you need will ensure you still have some food with you if you experience a delay.

Knowledge is power—the more you know before you leave for your trip and the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to be successful! How do you stay prepared for your cache outings?
 
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