Difference between revisions of "Geocaching on a budget"

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[[Category:guides]]
 
[[Category:guides]]
So, you've discovered Geocaching and checked out the website.  It looks really interesting and you want to participate, but you think it might be an expensive hobby.  Not true!   
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So, you've discovered Geocaching and checked out the website.  It looks very interesting and you want to participate, but you think it might be an expensive hobby.  Not true!   
  
What does it COST to go geocaching?
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What does it '''cost''' to go geocaching?
  
Well, what do you NEED to geocaching?
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Well, what do you '''need''' to geocaching?
  
Although [[Geocaching sans GPS|you don't technically ''need'' one]], a [[GPS receivers|GPS receiver (GPSr)]] is the most useful piece of equipment that most geocachers will want. A basic GPSr can be purchased new for less than $70 and used models can be found for much less.  You'll use your GPSr to find the general location of the cache listed on the cache description page on geocaching.com  A good GPSr can be found at a Super Wal-mart or your local sporting goods store. You don't need one with all the bells and whistles. Often, the least expensive one will suffice.
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Although [[Geocaching sans GPS|you don't technically ''need'' one]],
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a [[GPS receiver]] (GPSr) is the most useful piece of equipment that most geocachers will want.
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A basic GPSr can be purchased new for less than $70 and used models can be found for much less.  You'll use your GPSr to find the general location of the cache listed on the cache description page on geocaching.com  A good GPSr can be found at a Super Wal-mart or your local sporting goods store.
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You don't need one with all the bells and whistles, and you definitely don't need street-navigation features for geocaching.
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Often, the least expensive GPSr will suffice.
  
 
Aside from batteries for your GPSr, anything else you need for geocaching is pretty much determined by what you want to DO with geocaching.
 
Aside from batteries for your GPSr, anything else you need for geocaching is pretty much determined by what you want to DO with geocaching.
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On Geocaching.com you can pay for a membership, but you can do fine with a free membership.
  
 
If you just want to hunt micro-caches in neighborhood communities and cities, that may be all you would really need.  If you are planning on doing a level 5/5 8-hour ETA multi-cache which ends in a different state than the one in which you started, you may need a bit more preparation and materials.
 
If you just want to hunt micro-caches in neighborhood communities and cities, that may be all you would really need.  If you are planning on doing a level 5/5 8-hour ETA multi-cache which ends in a different state than the one in which you started, you may need a bit more preparation and materials.
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Aside from your GPSr, a good, basic list of items to have with you for an average cache hunt would be:
 
Aside from your GPSr, a good, basic list of items to have with you for an average cache hunt would be:
  
Comfortable clothes appropriate for the environment (shorts, pants for briars and snake-infested areas, rain coat, hat for shade, etc.)
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* Comfortable clothes appropriate for the environment (shorts, pants for briars and snake-infested areas, rain coat, hat for shade, etc.)
 
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* Durable shoes appropriate for the environment (hiking boots, sandals, sneakers)
Durable shoes appropriate for the environment (hiking boots, sandals, sneakers)
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* Sunscreen and/or bugspray (a dollar or two each at the dollar store)
 
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* A folded trash bag or two for impromptu [[CITO]] events (cleaning up the area around the cache)
Sunscreen - a dollar or two at the dollar store.
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* A cellular phone if you have one (in case of emergencies)
 
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* Pens/pencils, pad of paper (a dollar or two at Wal-mart or Target)
Bugspray - a dollar or two at the dollar store.
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* A small knapsack or fanny pack to hold your gear (inexpensive ones cost as little as $10, will hold your standard gear, and may have special pockets for things like clip-on sunglasses)
 
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* Bottled water or a small canteen (a few dollars at Wal-mart or Target)
A folded trash bag or two for impromptu [[CITO]] events (cleaning up the area around the cache)
+
* Trail mix or suitable snack food (a dollar or two per bag)
 
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* [[Walking stick]] - Good, ''free'' walking sticks can sometimes be found in the woods and modified as needed. Many geocachers find a suitable branch on the ground along the way, and leave it at the trailhead for another hiker when they return. Inexpensive collapsible aluminum hiking sticks are available for $10-20 in the sporting goods section of Wal-mart or Target.
A cellular phone if you have one (in case of emergencies)
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Pens or Pencils, pad of paper - a dollar or two at Wal-mart or Target
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A small knapsack or fanny pack to hold your gear - I found one at Target for $9.95 that holds all my standard gear and even has a special pocket for my clip-on sunglasses.
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Bottled water or a small canteen - a plastic water bottle with a belt clip can be found at Wal-mart or Target for a few bucks.
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Trail mix or suitable snack food - a dollar or two per bag - Wal-mart or Target
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Another tool I like to have with me when going geocaching is a walking stick.  A good walking stick doesn't have to cost a thing.  They can be found in the woods and modified as needed. Some cachers grab a small, suitable tree limb from the ground on the way down a trail and leave it at the trail head when they return for some other hiker if they want it.
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A step up from this would be a collapsable aluminum hiking stick found in the sporting goods section of Wal-mart or Target for $15.00 or $20.00
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See the article on [[walking stick]]s for more information about them.
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Aside from special caches (such as hydrocaches or caches that specifically designate a requirement for special training or equipment) that is really all that is needed.
 
Aside from special caches (such as hydrocaches or caches that specifically designate a requirement for special training or equipment) that is really all that is needed.
 
  
 
Geocaching is definitely unique, fun and exciting, but it certainly doeesn't have to be expensive.
 
Geocaching is definitely unique, fun and exciting, but it certainly doeesn't have to be expensive.
  
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If you intend to place caches of your own for others to find, a wide variety of tried and true containers can be used.  Peanut butter jars are perfect and commonly used.
  
If you intend to place caches of your own for others to find, a wide variety of tried and true containers can be used.  Peanut butter jars are perfect and commonly used.
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A step up from that would be an [[ammo can]].  These can cost about $5.00 to $10.00 and can be found on Ebay and your local military surplus store.
  
A step up from that would be an ammo can.  These can cost about $5.00 to $10.00 and can be found on Ebay and your local military surplus store.
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== See Also ==
  
{{stub}}
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* [http://www.todayscacher.com/2006/dec/hobocaching.asp Hobo Caching: Doin’ It Cheap] by Melonie Schutte ({{gcuser|Shootie}}) in ''[[Today's Cacher]]''

Latest revision as of 09:07, 22 May 2012

So, you've discovered Geocaching and checked out the website. It looks very interesting and you want to participate, but you think it might be an expensive hobby. Not true!

What does it cost to go geocaching?

Well, what do you need to geocaching?

Although you don't technically need one, a GPS receiver (GPSr) is the most useful piece of equipment that most geocachers will want. A basic GPSr can be purchased new for less than $70 and used models can be found for much less. You'll use your GPSr to find the general location of the cache listed on the cache description page on geocaching.com A good GPSr can be found at a Super Wal-mart or your local sporting goods store. You don't need one with all the bells and whistles, and you definitely don't need street-navigation features for geocaching. Often, the least expensive GPSr will suffice.

Aside from batteries for your GPSr, anything else you need for geocaching is pretty much determined by what you want to DO with geocaching.

On Geocaching.com you can pay for a membership, but you can do fine with a free membership.

If you just want to hunt micro-caches in neighborhood communities and cities, that may be all you would really need. If you are planning on doing a level 5/5 8-hour ETA multi-cache which ends in a different state than the one in which you started, you may need a bit more preparation and materials.

Aside from your GPSr, a good, basic list of items to have with you for an average cache hunt would be:

  • Comfortable clothes appropriate for the environment (shorts, pants for briars and snake-infested areas, rain coat, hat for shade, etc.)
  • Durable shoes appropriate for the environment (hiking boots, sandals, sneakers)
  • Sunscreen and/or bugspray (a dollar or two each at the dollar store)
  • A folded trash bag or two for impromptu CITO events (cleaning up the area around the cache)
  • A cellular phone if you have one (in case of emergencies)
  • Pens/pencils, pad of paper (a dollar or two at Wal-mart or Target)
  • A small knapsack or fanny pack to hold your gear (inexpensive ones cost as little as $10, will hold your standard gear, and may have special pockets for things like clip-on sunglasses)
  • Bottled water or a small canteen (a few dollars at Wal-mart or Target)
  • Trail mix or suitable snack food (a dollar or two per bag)
  • Walking stick - Good, free walking sticks can sometimes be found in the woods and modified as needed. Many geocachers find a suitable branch on the ground along the way, and leave it at the trailhead for another hiker when they return. Inexpensive collapsible aluminum hiking sticks are available for $10-20 in the sporting goods section of Wal-mart or Target.

Aside from special caches (such as hydrocaches or caches that specifically designate a requirement for special training or equipment) that is really all that is needed.

Geocaching is definitely unique, fun and exciting, but it certainly doeesn't have to be expensive.

If you intend to place caches of your own for others to find, a wide variety of tried and true containers can be used. Peanut butter jars are perfect and commonly used.

A step up from that would be an ammo can. These can cost about $5.00 to $10.00 and can be found on Ebay and your local military surplus store.

[edit] See Also

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