This week's Podcacher podcast featured a snippet of "The Rules of Geocaching" as defined by the LANMonkeys.
A while ago we started building a set of rules to optimal geocaching, and every once in a while we add to them. Since they got a little plug on Podcacher (thanks Sonny, Sandy, and Sean!) we thought we'd share them with you all.
#1 Cache safely, and cache often.
Our geocaching motto, and just a good concise rule.
#2 Always carry two pens and some paper.
One pen is never enough. You lose it and you're hosed. If it stops writing, you're hosed. And make one a sharpie.
#3 Always carry a knife. In fact, carry two knives. You’re gonna want a knife.
I can think of fewer things more useful to have than a knife. One can be a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman, and the other a good survival or hunting knife. So one is practical and can serve as many TOTTs, and the other can help you fend off wild beasts or FTF competitors.
#4 Don’t be the last person at an event (unless you want all the left-over TBs).
Stay and help cleanup, make sure you spend time socializing and meeting new cachers, but please - PLEASE - don't be the last person there or you WILL go home with the 10-pin bowling ball or 6 foot stuffed hot pepper trackable.
#5 Don’t walk and read an electronic device at the same time.
Unless you are OK with concussions. Then, by all means.
#6 “Poke it with a stick” - thanks HeadHardHat, this is always good advice.
OK, yeah. We stole this one. But seriously, do you want to put your hand in THERE?!
#7 Tell everyone to stay hydrated repeatedly.
So yes, Mr. LANMonkey does tend to go on about staying hydrated. But it's important people! Bring fluids, stop for drink breaks, and stay hydrated. Often. And safely.
#8 Tell someone where you are going, when you are coming back, and make sure they care.
Always a good practice to make sure someone knows where you are going, and when you'll be back. But what if they don't care? That doesn't help at all.
#9 Take more pictures than you think you need.
It's free right, so why not? And everyone else will wait around happily while you take photos of the TB you are dropping off in different poses around the cache, various angles of the view past the trees, and - hey! Did you see that squirrel? It's TOTALLY different than the other one! Get a picture, quick!
#10 Always bring a compass.
Your phone has a compass? Your GPS has a compass? Great. Bring an actual compass. Don't argue with me. Just do it.
#11 Bring more batteries than you think you need.
Double A's, external phone chargers, those are ideal. Motorcycle batteries are great too, but tend to be a bit on the heavy side. But you can't beat the 12V and deep cycle.
#12 Read the signs. Heed the signs. Take pictures of the signs. Signs.
Earthcache interpretive signs. Plaques for the virtuals. Poison Oak. Cliff ahead. Don't feed the ducks. All extremely important signage.
#13 Don’t throw down. You don’t want to be “that Geocacher.”
Seriously. One time we rescued a family from the top of a long hike up a hill who had taken the wrong way based on information they had been provided by a "local" they met at the bottom of the hill on their ride-on mower. And thus was born rule #14.
So that's it. 14 rules so far.
We're open to adding to the rules and are really curious if you have any we haven't though of yet.
So what rules would you agree with, disagree with, or add?
In the meantime, don't forget rule #1!
"Cache safely, and cache often!"