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Nerves

Injuries Or Accidents While Geocaching?

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Fortunately all that happened to me was a broken ankle and compound fracture of the left leg that destroyed five inches of the tibia. A total of ten surgeries and three years of rehab later I can walk fine on flat, even terrain for moderate distances. Hills are a problem and if I walk too much in one day I'll have to use a cane for a couple days after.

 

Oh, great...is this what I have to look forward to? I have similarly fractured the tibia, but also the fibula in two places and dislocated the talus, shearing off all the ligaments and tendons. It's my right leg too - the stronger one...

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Fortunately all that happened to me was a broken ankle and compound fracture of the left leg that destroyed five inches of  the tibia.  A total of ten surgeries and three years of rehab later I can walk fine on flat, even terrain for moderate distances.  Hills are a problem and if I walk too much in one day I'll have to use a cane for a couple days after. 

 

Oh, great...is this what I have to look forward to? I have similarly fractured the tibia, but also the fibula in two places and dislocated the talus, shearing off all the ligaments and tendons. It's my right leg too - the stronger one...

Didn't mean to scare you there, Nerves.

 

So as not to hijack this thread, reply coming via PM.

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Didn't mean to scare you there, Nerves.

 

No problem. I'm more mad than scared.

 

Anyway, we may never know the real number of injuries that occur while geocaching. There are only a fraction of cachers who post in the forums and there are other factors contributing to the lack of data on the subject.

 

When you enter an ER or urgent care facility and they ask "how did this happen?" I would guess most people don't say, "welll, I was out geocaching in the woods, you know, it's like a high tech scavenger hunt with a GPS receiver, and well, I slipped, tripped, fell...whatever". No, I think most people will give the short answer, "I slipped, tripped, fell...whatever". Even if you did mention geocaching it won't go into the morbidity and mortality reports that the hospitals compile and submit to the state department of health. The information is usually short: "fractured tibia secondary to fall" or "fractured temporal bone secondary to motor vehicle accident", etc. That's how statistics on injuries are typically generated and compiled. There is no category for "Geocaching Injuries" in epidemiology reports.

 

Again, I'm not saying that geocachers are at a greater risk than anyone else. Certainly, it's a healthy activity and safer than being a passenger in or driving a car. Let's face it, I could've injured myself in my own yard. I simply have a curiosity about the number of injuries that have occurred while geocaching.

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There is no category for "Geocaching Injuries" in epidemiology reports.

 

That's probably a good thing. Even assuming that everyone knew what Geocaching is, it would be an extremely poor description. What kind of cache? Hiking trail? Parking lot? Mine shaft? Bike path? Abandoned silo? Downtown library? Mountain summit? Cave? Public sculpture? Railroad trestle? City park? Pedestrian bridge?

 

Seems to me that from a descriptive standpoint, Geocaching is more of a rationale for any of number of outdoor activities than an activity in itself. I can flat-out guarantee that much of Geocaching here (southern Arizona) bears little resemblance to what someone in Kansas or Maryland would call Geocaching.

 

The only injury I can think of as somewhat peculiar to Geocaching is pinching your fingers in the latch of an ammo can.

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I wonder how many geocachers know first aid and CPR? Or, how many would like to learn but haven't gotten around to attending a class?

Edited by Nerves

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Currently in our little geocaching group, we have four paramedics (AMH209, tht1guy, wandering360, gump291) and two ER nurses (Deut31-8 and ivstix). So we basically bring our own emergency staff with us. We also have the understanding, that you have to be able to survive on your own until after the cache is found and then we will help (we have our priorities).

 

So far we have only had one incident, my family and Deut's family was out caching and our kids got into a yellow jacket nest that was right next to a cache. My daughter was sting 7 times and Deut's son was sting a couple of times. Deut took the kids to the wives, I finished logging the cache, and then we assisted the wives with treating the kids (who all ended up fine).

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Wow, we have all fallen and created some blood flow but nothing like some if these. We will never complain about the small boo-boo's and thorn scratches again.

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and, as of yesterday's visit to the hospital - my new short leg cast...

Shortlegcast.jpg

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I wonder how many geocachers know first aid and CPR? Or, how many would like to learn but haven't gotten around to attending a class?

EMT-D <_< Hope not to do any first aid while geocaching, and I've never seen CPR in the woods <_<

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I wonder how many geocachers know first aid and CPR? Or, how many would like to learn but haven't gotten around to attending a class?

EMT-D <_< Hope not to do any first aid while geocaching, and I've never seen CPR in the woods <_<

Yes, but wouldn't it be good to know?

 

I must be a magnet for people who crash because I've had to do CPR twice outside of the hospital setting. 1) While visiting a patient whose wife keeled over; 2) young guy in sudden cardiac arrest at a Spanish flamenco bar in Long Beach, CA (no joke).

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I wonder how many geocachers know first aid and CPR? Or, how many would like to learn but haven't gotten around to attending a class?

EMT-D <_< Hope not to do any first aid while geocaching, and I've never seen CPR in the woods <_<

Yes, but wouldn't it be good to know?

 

I must be a magnet for people who crash because I've had to do CPR twice outside of the hospital setting. 1) While visiting a patient whose wife keeled over; 2) young guy in sudden cardiac arrest at a Spanish flamenco bar in Long Beach, CA (no joke).

First aid is a good skill to have. I hope you don't have to do CPR again. Do you carry a mask now?

 

I hope not to do CPR in the woods because CPR is nearly hopeless far from a hospital, and nearly every person I've performed CPR on to date remained dead....

 

Fortunately every person I've found with just a broken leg made it!

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I'm sure that we have all been in somewhat dicey situations while geocaching. There are caches that requiring walking along cliffs, climbing trees, train trestles, etc. I've worried that it's just a matter of time before somebody suffers a serious head injury or spinal cord injury totally affecting the rest of their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

 

Aw, now, that's just the Percocet talking. People take risks in pursuit of trivial pleasures all the time, but it's inactivity that's the real killer in the modern world. Please don't encourage the nervous Nellies out there who would drain the fun out of everything in their crusade to eliminate risk.

 

All we can hope to do is to mitigate risk by developing skills, planning well, being alert, controlling ego, and knowing the limits of our abilities. Oh, and if we really want to extend life expectancy, minimize car travel and extra trips to the buffet table.

 

Mend, feel better and the itch to get out and explore will return. I promise.

Percocet. Ha. Ha. Ha. If only they worked on me. Every time I take em my body laughs at me for trying to make it feel better.

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Do you carry a mask now?

 

I used to carry one in my car. I'm in denial now...

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Shortlegcast.jpg

Got to ask...who's doing your nails? Because I know you aren't bending over and doing them your own self.

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I've got to echo some comments made by various people earlier in the thread. It's difficult and/or inappropriate to attribute many injuries to geocaching.

 

December 27, I was out caching, in a partially-wooded area on the edge of a subdivision. I decided I needed to change my course, and basically pivoted sharply to my left. Unfortunately, I'd failed to notice a 4"-diameter stump, about 18" high, that was in the direction of my turn, and I very soundly cracked the entire length of my right shin into it. Within an hour or two, I had a lump the size of a baseball just below my right knee. A few hours later, the whole length of the inner side of my shin was the most interesting combination of blue, black, and yellow. :D Fortunately, with the application of some ice, the swelling went down later in the evening, but the leg was still painful to walk on.

 

Two days later, while I was still having some pain in that leg (although tolerable), I was caching in a forest preserve. There was a concrete pedway underneath a highway that bisected the forest preserve; while I wasn't going through the pedway, my path crossed the concrete apron at one end of it. I managed to slip on a patch of ice and fell hard on my left hip and knee, and sat on a nearby abutment for probably 10 minutes, unsure whether I'd even be able to get back to my car. (Not only did I make it to my car -- but I finished the caches I was after in that area! :D )

 

The second fall almost certainly aggravated whatever happened with the first one, because my right leg was a source of misery to me for about three months after that. I went to both my GP and an orthopedist, and they found nothing wrong. (I was sure I had to have a hairline fracture or something to be having that much pain.) Sitting for more than about 10 or 15 minutes would cause pain to shoot through both legs. Once I stood up, I could barely walk at first, though once I managed to take 20 or 30 steps, I could manage to keep going without too much pain, though very awkwardly.

 

So, I was out hiking in the woods -- something I'd done long before I ever discovered geocaching. I just happened to have a GPSr in my hand, and happened to be looking for a Tupperware container while I was hiking. Does that make it a "geocaching injury"? Maybe I wouldn't have been hiking in those particular places -- in fact, the first one, almost certainly not, because there wasn't much except the cache to draw me there. But the fact remains, if the GPSr had been at home or in the car, the injuries would have hurt just as much.

 

But when I go out caching, Mrs. ZK still asks me if this is going to be another "Extreme Geocaching" outing. :D:D:D:D

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Shortlegcast.jpg

Got to ask...who's doing your nails? Because I know you aren't bending over and doing them your own self.

Well, Auntie...the night before my scheduled follow-up appointment with the adorable, young, sweetheart Dr. Bones, I decided I needed to repaint my toenails just so I could retain a small shred of feminine dignity. The accident caused some chips in the polish - ya know what I mean? So, I was able to contort my body in a most unusual manner - in a way I never realized was possible - and redid the toenails. Mind you, I've taken yoga and was never able to get into all those positions that the rubberbands in the class could do...but, heck...a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

 

Speaking of feminine dignity...I recall being drugged up on morphine in the trauma center and telling the nurses that I wish I'd known I was gonna be there because I would've shaved my legs that day. Of course, this conversation was while they made several attempts to insert a urinary catheter in full view of all in the room and hallway that surprisingly didn't seem to disturb me.

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So, I was out hiking in the woods -- something I'd done long before I ever discovered geocaching. I just happened to have a GPSr in my hand, and happened to be looking for a Tupperware container while I was hiking. Does that make it a "geocaching injury"? Maybe I wouldn't have been hiking in those particular places -- in fact, the first one, almost certainly not, because there wasn't much except the cache to draw me there. But the fact remains, if the GPSr had been at home or in the car, the injuries would have hurt just as much.

 

I think that I can blame the severity of some injuries on caching -- or, more accurately, on my stupid behavior while caching. Twice while I was hiding a new cache, I had two GPS units with me to try to get good coordinates. Walking along with one in each hand, looking at them and oblivious to my surroundings, I tripped and fell. In both cases, the overriding thought in my head as I was falling was "DON'T BREAK THE GPSs!!" and so I didn't fall "smartly" at all, didn't use my arms to help me land in a good way -- just crumpled to the ground with my hands sticking way up in the air. Ended up with worse bumps & bruises and more longer-lasting pain than I would have if I hadn't been carrying something that I was so concerned about not breaking.

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Walking along with one in each hand, looking at them and oblivious to my surroundings, I tripped and fell.  In both cases, the overriding thought in my head as I was falling was "DON'T BREAK THE GPSs!!" and so I didn't fall "smartly" at all, didn't use my arms to help me land in a good way -- just crumpled to the ground with my hands sticking way up in the air.  Ended up with worse bumps & bruises and more longer-lasting pain than I would have if I hadn't been carrying something that I was so concerned about not breaking.

I am reliably informed that my mother once fell down a flight of stairs carrying a fresh martini without spilling a drop.

 

I'm supremely clumsy, but there's no doubt paying attention to a GPSr hasn't made that any better. Several of my injuries can be chalked down to staring at my hand instead of where I'm going. My favorite is walking into tree limbs. You know the kind: pine limbs, snapped off at 18" long, eye level, pointed right at you so they're hard to see anyway. I've stuck my face on several of these, happily without serious injury.

 

It sure do hurt, though.

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My favorite is walking into tree limbs. You know the kind: pine limbs, snapped off at 18" long, eye level, pointed right at you so they're hard to see anyway. I've stuck my face on several of these, happily without serious injury.

 

It sure do hurt, though.

 

Yep -- it's pretty surprising how often we can be poked right near the eyeballs and yet not go blind.

 

That was one added benefit of wearing that dorky mosquito head-net in the woods all summer -- not only did it keep the bugs away, but it kept most of the branches out of my eyes. The small ones, anyway. Now that it's almost winter, the net is gone, plus the branches have no leaves so they're even harder to see.

 

Maybe I should wear ski goggles while caching.

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That was one added benefit of wearing that dorky mosquito head-net in the woods all summer -- not only did it keep the bugs away, but it kept most of the branches out of my eyes.

Dude! Was that you?! Did you also have a pair of hiking poles and a lady friend with "I could SO do better than this" written all over her face? I saw you in F. Gilbert Hills State Forest this Spring!

 

 

edit: typo. But while I'm here, let me say I do love hiking in F. Gilbert Hills. There's a zillion caches there, and my boss' house abuts the park. So I can go into work Monday and say, "hey, Bossman! Pooped in your back yard yesterday!"

Edited by AuntieWeasel

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So I guess my list would go:

 

Map, eye protection, tape, extra clothes, headlamp, food, water, phone, a friend/neighbor/coworker/family member who knows where you are, and maybe swag to trade. That's my usual minimum on solo hikes.

 

-oops I meant this for the safety thread-

Edited by Map Only

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Well I was hoping to stay out of this thread but now I have to join in...Oh I've fallen and got brused up but last weekend put the iceing on the cake or should I say the cast on the arm...

 

There were 8 of us out riding ATV's and Geocaching and having a very good day until the dreaded moment...now keep in mind I have only 2 speeds when riding...stopped and full throttle...we were on our way to the next cache when it happened...I picked the wrong line around a corner, hooked my left front tire in a rut and the rodeo was on, I didn't make the 8 second ride...as soon as everything came to a stop I knew I was hurt I just didn't know how bad...

 

About 5 hours later I arrived at the ER...after getting my riding stuff off they took me into xray and gave me something for the pain (thank god) then came the news...now all this time I was thinking a broken arm but no I have to do things right...I had shattered my wrist...

 

I had emergency surgery on Monday and now have a Titanium plate and 8 screws holding my wrist together...

 

It could have been alot worse and what really makes me mad is I'm 46 years old and until now I have never broken anything or had any type of surgery...

 

Maybe I need to slow down a bit...Naaaaaaa

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No serious injuries while geocaching unless you count the light pole skirt that fell on my pinky last week.

 

The other day I was at the gym working on the quads and I notice all these little black things on my shins. I look closer and determine that they were bits of thorns that had been stuck in my legs for about 3 weeks. Not big enough to fester or cause problems and I did not notice them before because of "hair issues".

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Well I was hoping to stay out of this thread but now I have to join in...Oh I've fallen and got brused up but last weekend put the iceing on the cake or should I say the cast on the arm...

 

I had shattered my wrist...

 

I had emergency surgery on Monday and now have a Titanium plate and 8 screws holding my wrist together...

 

It could have been alot worse and what really makes me mad is I'm 46 years old and until now I have never broken anything or had any type of surgery...

 

Maybe I need to slow down a bit...Naaaaaaa

Well, now you've gone and done it...you've joined the exclusive Gimp Club. We're a special group - with our xrays and geo-scars to prove it.

 

The old cliche "everything happens for a reason" keeps going 'round and 'round in my head but I still can't quite think of the reason why I've had an injury. Maybe I needed to slow down cuz I sure have!

 

I recently had Gimp Night with an old friend who, unbeknownst to me, happened to be two rooms down from me in the hospital after fracturing his shoulder. We injured folks need to stick together ya know. The heads are cut off to protect the innocent.

 

SueGeorge.jpg

 

Anyway, so sorry to hear of your accident and subsequent injury. Get better soon. Hey, how about some pics?

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Recently while caching with family, my knee went out when I turned on a steep hill. I went tumbling head over heals all the way down to the bottom of the hill. Although, I was not hurt, I was quite shaken, and none to happy to find my partners in crime hiding their giggles and grins. I got pretty scratched up on the way down the hill as I was falling through the stickers, but managed to walk away. It kind of knocked the taste for caching out of my mouth for that afternnon, but I was back at it the following day.

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Does the mental effects of getting hooked on geocaching count as an injury?

How about ticks? :anibad:

If so, count me in....

Edited by Lostboy1966

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Put me doen for a severely sprained ankle.

(insert weepy music here):o

 

Darn that Coin Quest game!! In search of a FTF for the requirements, I decided to beat the local rabid cachers and snag one on the way to work. It was a micro cache hidden in a tree stump about 5 feet off the ground. I looked for this cache the day before, but it turned up missing only hours after it was published. On a side note, somebody left a bag of turds about 10 feet from the cache (garbage can was about 50 feet away). Not funny.

 

I used a sawed-off smaller tree as a makeshift step-stool to climb on top of the stump where there were many hiding places. After fruitlessly searching I decided to get down and search the outer holes in the stump. As I was going down, I wanted to use the same "step-stool tree" that I used to get up. Well, the little bugger shifted and down I went onto the (thankfully) grass. I don't remember hitting my ankle, but it started hurting like a sumbitch right away.

 

Not to be skunked twice on this cache, I hobbled back to the stump and kept looking. I snagged the FTF and left for work (could barely get my foot to work the pedals).

 

Doctor didn't see a break, but the radiologist will get a second look this morning. I might be off the geo-hunt for a while, but I'll be back.

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That's a bummer RastaDave! Hope you're not off your game for long. Sometimes those darned sprained ankles can be as bad as a break.

 

On a lighter note, at least you didn't land in the bag of turds.

 

Take care and get better soon!

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Lets see - poison oak all over both legs, thorns and scratches & the latest road rash on my forearm when I slipped down a decomposed granite bank.

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I was on a trail high up on a cliff. Since it was only our 3rd cache, we were a little confused with the GPS. Nevertheless I was checking out the view, not watching my footing and slipped on a wet log (it had rained that morning). I slid down the slope, luckily the tree that snapped my leg also stopped me from going down the cliff. I ended up with two completely torn ligaments. 3 leg braces later... I still geocache. For as much as I've lived, I can't complain. My leg still gets sore and may never be the same. I don't hike I used to, and tend to be much more careful, since I can only hike with a brace on. Life is full of ups and downs. I never let it get to me and keep plowing along... and geocaching!

 

Hope you feel better! :rolleyes:

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:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::lol::rolleyes:

I think I'll mark my next cache " Must crawl to find", all this walking on two feet is getting dangerous!

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Fortunately, the worst injury I've sustained so far (knock on wood) was this face injury while working on a DNF! It's amazing how much more painful an injury is when you DON'T find the cache!

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:ph34r:

 

It's kinda funny that you never think it's going to happen to you huh? Well that's what I thought three weeks ago after a day of caching with some friends we took out to share our adventure.

 

After hiking up and down Bear Hill on Vancouver Island and I'm no more than 20 feet away from the car when down I go like a ton of bricks! It was like slipping on ice as one moment I'm on my feet then the next thing I know is that my back has now slammed onto the rocky slope. It happened so quick I couldn't put my hand out to stop me (probably a good thing). Took the wind out of me as I thought I busted some ribs. I managed to get down to the car with help.....yes my GPS was fine as it was in my hand that didn't hit the ground ;)

 

After four days of unbelievable muscle spasams and my ribs feeling like knives going through them and me just being stubborn :) , my Geo wife finally convinced me to get x-rays. The x-ray technician couldn't believe nothing broke as he let me see the pictures. I couldn't even see the ribs due to the blackness caused by the bruising. Thank god for three types of medication :ph34r: to get me back on my feet. Like I said it's been three weeks (of hell) and I can't wait to get back out there this weekend.

 

Not a good first impression for our new Geo friends but it's a memory we will share for quite sometime.

 

RVTraveller :)

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Something similar happened when I took a newbie out to geocache except that it was HER that slipped and landed on her back. So, now that I've fractured my leg while geocaching my friends remind me that "see, we told you that geocaching was gonna hurt you!" :)

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So far the worst I've gotten have been bumps and bruises and maybe a few scratches here or there...

 

I must not have a reaction to poison plants, but my wife sure did get a big rash this summer after a few of my geo-outings.

 

And the day before Thanksgiving I attempted Jordan I bundled up a little too warmly for my 150-200 ft craw through a sewer drain and ended up sweating and shaking very badly once i reached the cache container. After exiting the pipe, I could barely stand. I pretty much had to drag myself back to my vehicle.

 

of course it's 3 days later and I'm just now able to walk down the stairs without a lot of pain in my upper legs.

 

No Real injuries though... Knock on wood(or knock my head on a Shelter Beam)

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Darn that Coin Quest game!!

My worst injury also hapened while playing a geo-game. I was deep into New England's Capture the Flag Game and was at Mianus Falls cache when I slipped and took a bad fall. Got some road rash and cuts but the worst was my finger. My right middle finger was dislocated and pointing straight up, so I quickly and instictively popped it back into place. B) It hurt for a good month and still hurts in damp weather. The knuckle is still big and will always be that way. It's my geo battle scar. I must admit I'd feel better if we had at least won the game. ;) katydid

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Here's my ankle hardware. The midshin fracture isn't on this xray.

Eeeeeyow, Nerves! It hurts just looking at that thing.

 

Fine job of carpentry, too. Doesn't look to me like they countersunk those screws right. It'll take a deal of spackle to fix that up...

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I think that guy that died while caching should have a memorial cache set up where he died. I guess that came across a little morbid but at least he was doing something he loved and what a great tribute. I'd love to die while caching or out in the woods. I'd just hate the fact that someone would have to find me. I found what I thought was a body this last summer. I was a long blanket with a shoe sticking out the end. There was definately something wrapped in it but luckily it wasn't a body. Totally freaked me out.

 

^^ike

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I've had a couple of reports from cachers receiving very minor scrapes and cuts from one of my caches recently. I believe mainly because they are attempting to retrieve the cache in a more difficult manner than they needed to and maybe not using available resources:

 

Northwest Parkway

Edited by Bill & Tammy

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