Saturday, October 14, 2017

Geocaching attire for Summer primer

Geocaching attire for Summer primer
By Bert Marshall (BaytownBert)
Ex- Southeast Texas Representative Texas Geocaching Association

Years ago when geocaching was relatively an unknown hobby, I was convinced that the best clothing I could wear was something that made me nearly invisible to the casual observer. I’ve changed my mind on that approach about ten times and finally arrived at what I now believe is the best choice.

First, let’s start with footwear. I am on my third or fourth pair of hiking boots and they are comfortable enough to run a 5K race and not get blisters. I wear Timberland White Ledge waterproof boots and although they wear out much quicker than, say, a $200 pair, I will continue to buy a new pair every couple of years because they are so comfortable and fairly light weight.

I wear them almost exclusively whether I am in the Grand Canyon or a parking lot looking for a skirt lifter. Footwear is under-rated by many cachers and I’ve seen Crocs and tennis shoes on the trail. The hiking boots offer arch and ankle support and to be honest, just look cool too. They look like you mean business and set you apart from muggles in some instances.

Next, let us move on to what sort of britches we need. I like shorts with side pockets. It’s hot here on the 29th parallel North most of the year. We hit 110 degrees F. (real feel temp) the early part of June and that is hot by any standard. Our humidity on the Gulf Coast of Texas exacerbates everything and for about 6 months of the year, shorts are a logical choice.

Now, Columbia Sportswear (and other companies) offer a rip-stop nylon pair of fishing pants with zippers at the knees to turn them into shorts. They have swimsuit inner crotch lining that wick moisture away from the body and are gaining popularity. They do not help you one iota in thorns though and the only remedy is denim or Kevlar chaps. For winter caching, wool is a great choice as it is warm wet or dry, but blue jeans are good also. However, for my primer, I am basically going to cover geocaching clothing for summer.

For headwear, nothing beats a Tilley hat in my experience. I can put my head down and push through the meanest brush and if it blows off my head when I’m kayaking – it floats. It’s guaranteed for life or they will replace it - and when you see people on Safari in Africa, that is hat they are wearing.

Occasionally I will bring a pair of gloves and a large Boy Scout-sized bandana. The material can be used for a number of life-saving techniques and a wonderful rag to wipe the sweat away. Like my shirts, the bandannas are colorful.

Now, what about a shirt? Like I said before, I once believed in being invisible. I now wear the brightest, loudest, and most visible Geocaching t-shirt I can muster. When I am approached by a home or land owner, I want them to not only see me, but have evidence by my shirt that I am playing the game; times two for police officers. Dressed as I do, I look like the opposite of someone about to commit a crime – unless it’s being cited as a fashion terrorist! When I offered this suggestion on social media for research and I had submissions of everything from sunscreen and bug spray to what have you. Many had no real long term experience, but those who did, pretty much parroted my own observations.

Add a bright orange or green safety vest and you are good to go!  So, that is my recommendations.  Let’s see what you think. Write back for others to learn from your experience. 

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