Ahh clones. The reason for our immortality in Eve. In the event we die (get podded) we are instantly transported back to a clone and we can then resume whatever business we had going on before our untimely demise.
There are however a few lessons that I'd like to share with you that I hope you are lucky enough to learn the easy way rather than the hard way.
Yesterday I was feeling froggy and decided I wanted to go look for a fight. I hopped in my Catalyst and headed towards low sec, only about 5 jumps from where I was stationed at the time. Typically there are gate camps right at the border of high sec and low sec waiting for people to cross over for one of many reasons, however today there was nobody there. I flew around for about 15-20 minutes jumping system to system and it was empty everywhere I went. A few times as I was warping to the next gate, someone showed up on overview, but I was unable to cancel my warp in time. By the time I got back to the gate they were gone. Finally I approach a gate to see a Caracal sitting there. I know right off the bat I'm probably going to lose this one, but I've been flying around looking for a fight and this is the first option that presented itself.
I lock on, scram/web and start firing... He locks on, scrams/webs and instantly 2 more Caracal's jump in from the next system and all three take about 5-10 seconds to reduce my catalyst to dust. I start to try to warp off but for whatever reason my pod doesn't move quick enough and they lock me again, scram/web and pod me. I wake up safely back in my station in my new clone, and all was well with the universe.
I wasn't done looking for a fight though so I immediately hopped into another catalyst and headed off to low sec looking for another fight. I got to low sec, flew around for 15-20 minutes and didn't find anything and had to turn around and head back to my high sec station so that I could log off and do some real life chores. About 2-3 hours later I was sitting on my couch watching TV when it hit me like a ton of bricks... I never updated my clone after I got podded. You see, clones need to be upgraded to be able to hold more skill points and if you are sitting in a basic clone that can only hold about 1 million skill points, yet you have 4 million skill points (like me), I think if you get podded, you lose the 3 million skill points. I don't know if that is what happens exactly, but it's something like that and I don't want to find out the hard way. Basically, all the training I've done for the last few months would have gone down the toilet and I would be back at square one. I probably would have abandoned my primary toon entirely and made my alt my new primary. So, I logged on immediately and updated my clone before I forgot. Luckily I didn't have to learn this lesson the hard way.
Another important lesson that I learned TODAY is in regards to jump clones. When I was out looking for a fight yesterday I transferred into a jump clone so that I wouldn't lose any of my expensive implants. Jump clones are alternate clones of yourself out there that you can place all over the universe depending on your skill level and instantly jump to another version of your clone no matter how far away it is. The downside is you have to wait 24 hours before you can jump again. I wish there was a skill you could train that would reduce this time by X amount of hours for each level you train. Waiting 24 hours to jump can be a real pain in the ass. However jump clones serve a multitude of uses and are still well worth it.
To jump to another one of your clones you need to be at a station with a medical center, get out of any ship you are in so that you are just sitting in your pod at the station, then click on your character sheet and the Jump Clones section. Select the clone you with you jump to, and then jump. HOWEVER, you also need to PAUSE your training queue when you do this because your new clone will likely have different implants and affect your training times. Once you get into your new clone, DON'T FORGET TO UNPAUSE your training queue. Right now I'm sitting at work and my toon is not learning anything, because I forgot to unpause the queue. There goes finishing Hull Upgrades V by tomorrow morning. It'll now finish tomorrow night.
I'm still not sure if I'll be bringing a basic clone, with no implants with me to null sec when we move on the 25th or if I'll put together a +3 implant clone to help a little bit, but not invest too much isk.
EDIT 06/13/13 - Ok, so I made the critical mistake. I got podded and forgot to upgrade my clone and when I undocked I got bubbled and podded again. I thought it was possible that I could go all the way down to however many skill points your basic clone has but luckily that isn't what happened. I lost my hull upgrades V and electronic upgrades V because of it. 3 1/2 days of training was knocked off of each skill, so it wasn't fully sent back down to the beginning of level four but it stinks I had to learn the hard way. So in total I lost 7 days of skill points. Not the end of the world, but it still sucks. A week of training is a small thing in Eve, but I could have done other more important things with that week instead of retraining my skills.