Know The Property Type
In order to avoid an unfortunate encounter with a private property owner, STAY OFF private property unless you've been granted access by the property owner or you've confirmed the location from the game creator. If the game creator confirmed this location and it's private property, the game creator likely has permission to store treasure on the property and for subsequent access by treasure hunters.
Know The Area
Treasure is very often hidden away in difficult to reach/access areas of the world. If it involves water, plan for access through or over water. If it involves elevation, plan for hiking and an extended excursion.
Someone should always know where you are. Before you depart for your selected area, provide your emergency contact person with the make, model, and color of your vehicle, where you are parking, where you are headed (be specific), and what time you reasonably plan to return.
Plan For The Worst
Before you leave your vehicle, leave a large note under the windshield wiper that explains where you are headed, what time you plan to be back, your phone number, and the phone number of an emergency contact.
What to Bring
No matter how much you know about the precise location, hunting for treasure always takes longer than expected. No matter how much time you plan for, double it. Because you'll likely be away from civilization for an extended period of time, our list of the most essential items revolves around that theme.
- Water (at least 1 gallon)
- Battery backup (ensure compatibility)
- Map of area (use AllTrails app)
- Small towel / bandana
- Backpack (for carrying the treasure back of course!)
Final Safety Tips
Don't go out near nightfall, don't stay out long after sunset, and don't plan to sleep outside.
If you don't know the area, you're at a big disadvantage to people who may have bad intentions. Don't trust people you meet, and don't accept rides from strangers.
If you meet people in the area, resist the urge to share with them what you're doing. The idea of a "treasure hunter" off by themselves in an unknown area could lead to bad intentions from bad people.
If you have to say something, have a story ready to go. When I was hiding the first round of treasures, I told people I was re-tracing a trip I took with a family member who is no longer with us. This worked because most people don't want to go further with that story and, if they do ask for details, you can plausibly shut it down by saying you don't wish to talk about it. You might also just say you're geocaching but be prepared for follow-up questions or you'll look suspicious.