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+2 votes
Just wondering, many caches in my area say bring a TOTT, and many people in the activity logs say that a TOTT helped a lot.  What TOTT should I bring assuming I have no information about the cache, other that I need to bring a TOTT?
in Miscellaneous by brandonc23 (360 points)

7 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
The most common TOTT is a pen or some form of writing instrument.  Often the next most important TOTT is a set of tweezers for those containers where the log is stuck inside.  Along with what I just mentioned, I bring along a small flashlight, knife, and extra log sheets.

It is my advice to read the title, description, hint, and attributes areas of the cache page.  Often COs will offer clues in all four areas.  You can read logs but most often COs do not want obvious clues posted there.  For  instance a UV attribute would indicate you need a UV light to assist with getting to the log sheet.  A tree climb attribute would suggest you might need to bring along a ladder if you have difficulty climbing a tree.

If nothing else, you can always reach out to someone you know who has already found it.  Sometimes you have to go back a second time once you have visited the cache to determine what TOTTs you will need.  Most experienced cache hunters always carry certain TOTTs in a bag or backpack and always bring that with them when they hunt for a cache.  Over time you build those geo-senses or instincts because you have seen that before.  It is all part of the game and good luck.
by TigreToot (26.3k points)
edited by TigreToot
Thank you.  I added a couple more sentences to my original post as more helpful information that I experienced over the years.
+4 votes
It all depends on the cache. At minimum you will need a pen. I carry a bag that has a magnet, tweezers, tape (Both Duct and Electrical), zip ties, spare logs, spare containers, straws, and a few other things. I also carry a 16 foot ladder that fold in my trunk. I do not climb trees, so it is the only way for me to get tree caches.
by kf4hvt (830 points)
+3 votes
Along with pen (and spare pens) and tweezers already mentioned - we have a bag with
A multi-tool (tweezers are sometimes not up to the job where a pair of pliers will fit right in LOL). We also have extendable magnet, extendable mirror, torches (ordinary as well as UV) spare batteries (not just for the torches and GPSr but occasionally useful for the odd in-field puzzle.)

To be fair with most of the local trails it is usually just the pens and tweezers that get used - but when we go on a caching trip either further afield in our own country or abroad you will never know when any of these come in handy and we have used all of these at one time or another.
by Deepdiggingmole (12.6k points)
That's what I like about this Q&A is others contributing additional information that is very helpful.  I include similar items in my TOTT kit to include extraction tools.  Carrying an extra liter of water can come in handy when you encounter caches that need some watering, LOL.
Yes! water too - done a few of those ;-)
+2 votes

Simple google search "tott geocaching" reveals already enough answers:

TOTT - Tools Of The Trade

I personally never heard this before and unfortunately the expanded abbreviation does not reveal much what could this be. But it is indeed what was described in the other answers. Note that it might cover any tool that might be needed to reach the cache from climbing gear, screwdriver, bottle of water, magnet or whatever is described in the cache description or attributes.

I found the following cache useful when answering the question what TOTT could be:

by Jakuje (Moderator) (115k points)
I did not feel the need to spell out TOTT in my answer since the person asking has about 1 1/2+ years of geocaching experience. Also, I assumed it was a worldwide known acronym in the geocaching community. Astonishing that it is not.  All I can say is thank the stars for Google.
It's not a worldwide known acronym. I've been geocaching for almost 10 years (in Belgium) now and even though I've seen it before and knew what it meant, I don't see it frequently and didn't know what it stood for.
+2 votes
You never know what you are going to need out there while caching. I have a cache bag and in it I have pens, tweezers, flashlight (regular and blacklight), scissors, pocket knife, tape, mirror, telescopic and several individual size magnets, and extra batteries.
by WanderingExplorer (6.1k points)
+2 votes
Well, I look at the T rating in particular.  If it's anything around, say a 3 or 3.5, you may need a stepstool, a grabber, or a car to climb up on.  If it's a 4 to 4.5 you may need a midsized ladder or a long pole.  If it's a 5, you might need a 40 ft pole, a kayak, 32 ft extension ladder, rope/harness, all of the above...or even a helicopter.  The D rating could be simple as a pen or tweezers or more complex like a magnet, endoscope, screwdriver, pliers, pipe wrench, batteries, mirror, UV, a fully-stocked travel backpack for long travel, duct tape, wire, or even gear such as gloves, chest waders or hiking boots.  This is not everything I've seen listed as a "TOTT," or even all the TOTTs in my truck right now I'm sure, but this should give you the general idea of the variance out there!
by J&LA (650 points)
+1 vote
I never heard about TOTT. Mostly because the listings are german in my area.

We have sometimes BYOP for bring your own pen.

But I always have my special "all surface pen", some paper if a logbook is full with me. When I have my geocaching bag with me I have a spare small logbook, magnetic tool, tape and Multi Tool with me and some wet-tissues .

So I can repair a cache, add a new logbook and if needed clean some caches from small spider or spider web. And I'm mostly prepared for every needed ECA. Mostly more specific ECA like fishing rod, ladder etc. is written in the listing or an attribute.
by supertwinfan (19.6k points)
To avoid another abbreviation mystery ECA in German listings means: Erweiterte Cacher Ausruestung (Extended Cacher Equipment/Tools)
Thank you WeinWalker that was going to be my next question in the form of a comment.