138: TREASURE HUNT: The Geocaching Episode

Show Notes: Episode 138

Today on the First 40 Miles, The Geocaching Episode.  We’ll show you how to turn a simple hike into a bushwhacking treasure hunt and we’ll walk you through the steps to incorporate this fun activity into your next outdoor adventure.  Then, a feature-rich solar charger that can power your next backpacking trip.  On today’s Backpack Hack of the Week, a free app that will get you started Geocaching in minutes.

Opening

  • Define Geocaching
  • What’s inside a typical normal-sized cache?
  • Logbook, pencil, in a plastic bag, trinkets of little value (plastic toys, marbles, foreign coins, old keys, bracelet…)
  • Typically in watertight containers, ammo boxes from army surplus stores
  • Appeals to kids and adults, can be done on any trip
  • Not in national parks
  • No trinkets needed (but if you take one you need to leave one)
  • Benefits: gets you outside, can be a zero day activity while backpacking—or you can do it along the way…
  • You can also start your own!

Top 5 Steps to Get Started Geocaching

www.geocaching.com/guide

Create an Account

Download a Geocaching App on your phone

Download the caches for where you’ll be hiking

  • There are over 2 million geocaches throughout the world
  • Josh does geocaching on business trips, too

Pick your cache

Find the Cache!

  • You’ll have a rough idea of where it is based on GPS coordinates, what your phone is telling you, and maybe some clues that the person who placed the cache gave in the cache description
  • Once you find the cache, open it, sign the log book with your geocaching handle and the date, make the trade (take something and leave something) and don’t forget to log your cache find on geocaching.com
  • On rare occasion, you might not find the cache. People who hide them may have outsmarted you, or the cache may have been discovered and removed.

SUMMIT Gear Review™:  BioLite SolarPanel 5+

Structure

  • Hard plastic (not flexible)
  • High-efficiency monocrystalline panel
  • 360 degree kickstand to help position solar panel

Utility

  • Has a great feature I haven’t seen on other solar chargers—a dot on clear plastic that makes a shadow right above some hatch marks. This helps you to determine if you’re getting direct sun.
  • Attach to a pack for external storage or to capture some watts on a hike
  • 5+ Model features a built-in 2200mAh battery so you can generate and charge on your own time. Pre-charge at home for a head start on your power supply.
  • Battery Status Button shows how much juice you have stored in your 2200mAh battery—this is what the “plus” in the 5+ is. The ability to store some power.
  • Also has an indicator light to tell you how charged the battery is
  • Comes with fiber wrapped micro USB cord

Mass

  • Measures 8”x10”

Maintenance

  • Pre-charge at home

Investment

  • $79.95 USD

Trial

  • Pre-charges and we love that–since sun can sometimes be unpredicatable
  • Love the sun dial so you know when it’s getting the most efficient charge
  • Kickstand is a great feature
  • Whether you use the kickstand or hang it from your pack, it can charger in camp or on the go

Backpack Hack of the Week™: Best Free Geocache app

Trail Wisdom

“You can either be a victim of the world or an adventurer in search of treasure. It all depends on how you view your life.”

-Paulo Coelho