What Do I Need To Get Started?
It doesn't have to take a lot of gear or investment to get started in Geocaching. At minimum, you will need:
- a GPS receiver (often referred to as a 'GPSr') You can get a basic GPSr for about $100. You can also spend substantially more, depending on the features available--mapping, colour screen, memory size. You can be sure to get some advice on what models people can recommend for caching on the Forum.
- A membership at Geocaching.com is necessary so that you can find where caches are hidden, and so you can log your finds. Basic membership is free. There is a Premium membership that is available for an annual fee, which provides some additional features such as instant notification of newly published caches, member-only caches, and more detailed cache files for download to use for "paperless caching."
- A caching bag to carry your trade items, extra batteries for your GPSr, water, pencil/pen to sign the log and other things you might need given the conditions (snacks, water, insect repellent, etc.)
Some other things that cachers might use:
- a camera, to capture some of the great scenery you will discover on the hunt
- paper maps of the area, especially if you are using a non-mapping GPSr
- PDA, if you would rather not carry paper cache descriptions with you on the trails ("paperless caching")
- Other equipment that the specific cache may require (like a boat for those caches hidden on the various Thousand Islands!)
You don't need a lot of stuff to get your first few caches under your belt. Start with a straightforward traditional cache, and you are bound to be hooked!
Be sure to read the cache description carefully before heading out to find it. All caches are rated for both terrain and difficulty. Most caches give some idea if a long hike or particularly difficult terrain is involved. Remember, it is just a game so use your judgement before attempting and stay safe!