Getting Started for a Geocache Adventure
Prior preparation is paramount for success in geocaching. The degree of research and preparation conducted for various caches differ because of the different experiences which abound each particular adventure e.g. hints and clues may determine the angle with which one researches and prepares for a finding a certain cache. One of the basic preparations includes safety precautions to be observed.
Safety Preparation for Geocaching
Geocaching is an outdoor activity which means that there are some risks involved. It is therefore vital for you to know the risks involved and due diligence/caution which needs to be exercised so as to mitigate the risks.
Some of the risks include:
- Geographical risks. Some terrains may be rugged and have cliffs, loose rocks, you may find rivers with no bridges etc.
- Hostility/hospitality of natives in the location.
- Weather conditions and weather pattern changes in the area.
- Presence of animal habitats in the location. Some may be hostile and easily provoked.
- Tropical disease risks. This involves an environment which is prone to disease attacks, poisonous plants etc.
Safety Tips to Mitigate Risks
- Observe and study the weather patterns and changes. This gives you the upper hand and knowledge of what to expect. You don’t want to be caught in a thunderstorm while on cliffs or bad terrains.
- Be vigilant and careful on where you are stepping. If all your attention is on the GPS or map, you may get distracted and end up making the wrong move e.g. stepping on a loose rock which may make you fall.
- Provide details of your adventure to your family or friends and also journal your activities each single day you spend in your adventure. This helps incase anything unexpected happens to you.
- Carry a first aid kit and basic medications. This helps in the occurrence of an emergency.
- Use your instincts. The sixth sense is very vital to forewarn you that something is amiss. You may then decide to change your course of action or revisit a decision or abort the adventure if it is dangerous e.g. if you are not a good rope climber and a cache is hidden on top of a tall tree which may have weakened with time, you won’t risk climbing.
- Pack all necessary materials and equipments. These include: GPS, Maps and Compasses.
- Pack other personal materials such as flashlights, matchboxes, survival knives, cell phones, water, food, some clothes, maybe a tent etc.
- Have prior knowledge of the location. This ranges from the hostility/hospitality of locals to their activities. You don’t want to be an intruder; you need be a guest.
- Dress appropriately according to the location and occasion. You may be tempted to dress to your preference but this is not advisable. You dress code should be chosen by factoring the various factors of the region such as weather during the day and at night and should conform with the culture of the locals so as not to insinuate any hidden motive but rather create and foster aura of friendliness.
- Know your capabilities and limits. You may be good at hunting or hiking or other outdoor activities but poor at rock climbing. So you must exercises due diligence if the cache you are hunting is on top of a sharp cliff or rock.