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Injuries Or Accidents While Geocaching?

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Yes, On 10 June 2007, a Sunday morning while geocaching in a large local natural park here in San Diego. I was on my third cache of the day which was in an area with a lot of baseball size rocks partially covered with fallen leaves. I had found the cache and was sitting on a chair-size boulder filling out my personal log. I got up to leave, putting my left foot forward it kind of rolled off a loose rock and twisted down and to the left. In retrospect It all seemed to happen in slow motion. I heard a pop and down I went to the ground. I tried to stand but my ankle felt like rubber and wouldn't bear my weight. The pain wasn't excessive, maybe 3+ out of 10. After surgery it hurt worse. Some hikers helped me and called 911. Two days later I had surgery and got a steel plate and 7 screws in my left fibula. Total out of pocket expense was maybe $2500. Luckily I have Medicare or it would have been 10 times that much. Stiffer boots may have helped or may have just caused the fracture to occur higher up? I now have little sympathy for geocachers who complain about getting their shoes muddy or that a cache was too hard and they wasted their gas getting there.

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Please provide the details of how your injury/accident occurred - were you looking at your GPSr and not the trail? Did you slip, fall, trip?

 

What is the exact nature of your injuries and have you gone back to geocaching?

 

Nothing so serious for me. I've been scratched up pretty good at times but the only real injury I go was when I forgot to duck at a low slung wood beam. I hit it going full speed and gave myself a whopping headache and bruise that fortunately was just shy of requiring medical attention.

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Some areas that I cache in have a lot of catclaw and crucifix bush. I have never seriously injured myself, but on more than one occasion have left a few drops of my own "camouflage" on the cache.

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Last month a buddy and I were on a FTF hunt in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. We knew the owner had posted goofy coords, so we relied on his trail description to attempt the find. (Turns out he copied the text from a popular hiking book guide and had never been on that particular trail.) In our quest to overcome the shortcomings of the owner we searched for a cut log to match a photo on the cache page. After a good look along the marked route we decided to go off-trail to find the photo likeness.

 

While carefully climbing over a downed Redwood tree my left foot somehow got caught on the log as I was sliding down the other side. I instantly knew I had snapped my femur in half and sat their for a moment taking assessment of my situation. I called out for my geofriend who located me after a few minutes. Luckily his cell phone worked in the forest and a state park ranger was on sight within 20 minutes.

 

While more help was on the way the ranger attached a traction splint and inserted an I.V., and soon an entire crew arrived to carry me out to the waiting ambulance. Following a 50-mile ride to the hospital I had time in the ER to discover a geocoin that my friend had brought along. A “nail” was inserted the length of the bone and screwed fast just above the knee. I got out of the hospital after a week and have been at home ever since.

 

With the bills approaching $85,000 this is my most expensive DNF to date. Thank goodness for insurance. :)

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Yee-ouch! Sounds like you really had some bad luck. Downed logs are nasty business. They can be slippery and hide other hazards. I seem to see a lot of people with dinged up left legs lately... maybe I just notice them more since injuring mine. I hope your recovery goes well. The good news is that your self reliance will gradually come back. After a while I learned to go up and down stairs on my rear-end to get my mail then later to get to the store and back on crutches. As a footnote to my exprience I might add that one group of hikers were passing by only 60 or 80 feet away from where I was sitting after my injury. I yelled to them but my throat was pretty dry and I was unable to make myself heard. Fortunately the next two peolpe who came along heard me and came over to help. Like a dummy I hadn't brought along a signaling whistle although I did have a cell phone. Now I carry a cell phone and whistle plus my 2-meter ham radio so now at least I have a bit of redundancy. Have a speedy recovery!! Ed56

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With only 26 found and about three months of caching we have had the following happen:

 

I slipped down a hill twice (second time I was trying to get up) and tore muscles from my shoulder down through my back.(I would not have been hurt as bad if I wasn't trying to save my camera.)

Busted the skin on my knucle causing it to bleed (from said fall)

I got my foot stuck and twisted in between two logs. Some how I managed not to snap my leg or argrivate a previous injury to that leg.

My husband had a thorn stab him just missing his eye.

I had a tree branch stab the corner of my eye. Luckily it did not do any damage.

 

I have hiked for years and years and never had these things happen. I guess while hiking I wasn't distracted by gadgets and caches. :P

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:P HHHMmmmm, cuts brusies, gaches, one black eye and a scorpion sting :D , but I have never been hurt bad it is just part of the fun.

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I injured myself doing GCNCP4 & posted the mishap. I'm still in the healing process: cast, crutches, aches & pains. For my troubles, I know have several pins & a plate holding my ankle together. Still haven't faced the 2nd stage of recovery aka physiotherapy.

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I am not sure if this counts as an injury, but it was rather funny if I look back on it:

 

It happened on a rainy day here in Australia in the outback, it does rain here occasionally.

I was bush walking in my favourite pair of hiking boots, treking through mud and dirt and both boots soles came unstuck from the front right to the heel. This happened at the most inopportune moment as I was negotiating my way acroos a rock to take a picture. As a result I fell holding the GPS in one hand and a camera in the other. Without anything to break my fall, apparently I bounced twice and then slid down the rock, lay there for two seconds. Lucky when I got up except for scapes and cut I was all right. But did I get teased the rest of the trip, me walking in sandals as that was all I had. And as to the equipment not a scratch!

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About a month ago I was making another attempt at a cache that is about a mile from my home. I had tried it 3 times before only to be turned back but (1) a child who didn't appreciate the thick bushes, (2) a sudden downpour, and (3) too much snow and ice at ground zero to find the container. Since the snow was gone from my yard, I figured that it must be gone near GZ of this cache and I would try again.

 

When I got about 1/2 mile from my car I realized the snow was still too deep and turned back. I had to cross a small brook (about 3 ft wide). I stepped on a rock and reached out for a thin tree to steady myself and the next thing I know, a thick branch that apparently was hung up on the tree clonked me on the head. It knocked my hat into the brook and I must have looked like a fool chasing it. When I bent over to pic up my hat, I noticed a fresh blood stain in the snow and realized it was from my head. A quick dash to the car and a trip to the emergency room later I was the proud owner of 4 staples in my scalp to close the wound, and the bandage they put on me made me look like someone from a 3 stooges film.

 

I think I'll make attempt #5 at this cache this weekend. And I'll grab the branch that hit me and bring it back for the fireplace.

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Here is the (slightly edited by me) cache log about Lazer's foot getting run over from this weekend's Spring Fling event cache page:

 

"Thanks to all that hosted this event. I had a great time. I played GeoChauffer to Rick618, AUCowboy, Parrgolf & Lazer. We got quite a lot of caches. I'm sure LAZER will not forget it for a few weeks.

 

When we went to alphabet "F" I was parked in the middle of the road and decided to move my SUV, not realizing that Lazer was standing next to the vehicle trying to let AUCowboy out of the back.

 

I heard him say something about his foot so I stopped the car, put it in park and was getting out to help him (thinking he was stuck in the seat that AUCowbot had folded down).

 

Then he says, "No no move the car! You're on my foot!"

 

So I go to pull forward and he says "no no not that way!!"

 

So I back up.

 

This poor fellow's foot got run over, parked on, then run over and parked on again before being backed off of.

 

It was purple!!!

 

I did try to take him to an ER or doc-in-a-box but he insisted he was OK. We did ice it and actually continued caching for a few more finds.

 

If there is a purple heart for caching I nominate LAZER to get it.. . as well as myself for the stupidity award.

 

LAZER I AM SO SORRY!! Please get your foot checked out."

 

She accidentally ran over it THREE TIMES?! Now that's a dedicated cacher who keeps on caching after that incident!

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Well here is my story...over the just under a year of caching we have had our fair share of cuts, scraps, punctures and bruises. But I gotta say the worst injury was a sprained ankel on our first caching day ever. We were out with my parent (who got me and my wife into caching) they had just started the sport and asked if we would like to go for a picnic and give it a try. We said sure why not. So we went out and I found the first cache we looked for which I was geeked and hooked from that moment on. Any ways we went and found two more after that and on our way back to the car from the last cache me and my wife decided to jump a low fence other then walk about 500 feet to go around it. I landed just fine but my poor wife landed funny and sprained her ankle really bad me and my dad had to carry her to the car and then take her to hospital for fear it was broken. After confirming it was just a sprain we let here heal up and about a month to the day we got our first gps and decided to go out on our own and since then we haven't slowed down (*well except for during the snow we stayed towards virtual caches.)

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Here is the (slightly edited by me) cache log about Lazer's foot getting run over from this weekend's Spring Fling event cache page:

 

"Thanks to all that hosted this event. I had a great time. I played GeoChauffer to Rick618, AUCowboy, Parrgolf & Lazer. We got quite a lot of caches. I'm sure LAZER will not forget it for a few weeks.

 

When we went to alphabet "F" I was parked in the middle of the road and decided to move my SUV, not realizing that Lazer was standing next to the vehicle trying to let AUCowboy out of the back.

 

I heard him say something about his foot so I stopped the car, put it in park and was getting out to help him (thinking he was stuck in the seat that AUCowbot had folded down).

 

Then he says, "No no move the car! You're on my foot!"

 

So I go to pull forward and he says "no no not that way!!"

 

So I back up.

 

This poor fellow's foot got run over, parked on, then run over and parked on again before being backed off of.

 

It was purple!!!

 

I did try to take him to an ER or doc-in-a-box but he insisted he was OK. We did ice it and actually continued caching for a few more finds.

 

If there is a purple heart for caching I nominate LAZER to get it.. . as well as myself for the stupidity award.

 

LAZER I AM SO SORRY!! Please get your foot checked out."

 

She accidentally ran over it THREE TIMES?! Now that's a dedicated cacher who keeps on caching after that incident!

 

Yes it is true. My foot was ran over, parked on, and ran back over this past weekend while geocaching. Its put me out of commission for just a bit.

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Have gotten lots of scrapes and bruises since I started geocaching, but on Sunday I broke my pinky finger...lol....yes my pinky finger. A whole group of us did "Black Beards Grotto" in San Diego, Ca. On the way back, as the tide was fast moving in, my foot slipped on a rock. I put my hand down automaticlly to catch myself, and when I brought it back up out of the water I looked down and the top half of my pinky was bent in half facing sideways! I looked at my finger, then at the tide coming in, grapped it and yanked it straight again and started walking again.

Went to the Dr. on Monday to confirm, and sure enough, broken and some tendon damage. You can bet that I am not going to let it slow me down, got a co-FTF last night!

Edited by womyninred

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Now that I've broken my leg and dislocated my ankle I have lots of time on my hands. So, I'm just curious how many other people have had accidents while geocaching?

 

I know that a man died while geocaching in Texas and have heard of other folks who have broken bones, sprained ankles, etc.

 

Please provide the details of how your injury/accident occurred - were you looking at your GPSr and not the trail? Did you slip, fall, trip?

 

What is the exact nature of your injuries and have you gone back to geocaching?

 

It was this cache that did me in:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...f2-48dbb9d09a48[/url]

 

You can read my log for the highlights of what happened.

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For some reason the link you gave won't work on my computer. Maybe you could give the name of the cache where your accident occurred? Thanks

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Mine is typical of a newbie. I was in Texas in Summer. It was Hot, and I was sweating and looking down at my GPSr and didn't notice the barbed wire right in front of me. Sweaty blood dripping down from my brow line. I found the cache, but when I got back home I got made fun of big time(Caching wasnt the national past time it is today).

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The only thing I have hurt so far is just pride. I was out with my daughters one day looking for a cache. I always tell them to be careful of what you step on like slippery rocks, wet logs, etc. Well this day we were having a very difficult time finding a particular cache. It was near a downed log. Next to the log was a tree with a small birdhouse. Well, I decide that since we cannot find it on the ground it must be in the bird house. So I carefully step onto the log, slowly stand up, and then fell onto but and onto the ground.

 

Well my kids are just busting up over their dear old dad falling off he log and landing on the ground. Then my youngest, who was 9 at the time, tells me, "that's why we don't stand on logs dad." All I could do is say, "That's right honey." As I slowly picked myself up off the ground.

 

We eventually found the cache about 20' away from the log.

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Recently I was looking for a nano under a bridge with my dad and backed up to show him where I thought it was and hit the back of my head into the wrong side of a I beam 

 

Also took plenty of tumbles out in the woods 

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The worst I've had was a nasty bruise on my hip when I slipped on some melting snow and landed on a rock. Other than that I've had the usual scrapes and bumps you get while hiking.

I always try to be very careful though. Usually when I'm out caching I'm on my own so if I have any doubt about my ability to get to and from a cache safely then I simply won't attempt it. To me, staying safe and alive is much more important than getting another smiley face on my profile.

 

I also almost always have a first aid kit with me and if I'm hiking then I always also have my hiking pole, some sturdy boots and some gloves. That pole has saved me from injury on several occasions as it's helped me avoid overbalancing, and the boots lace up to support my ankles which aids with stability. The gloves, I think, are self-explanatory.

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We’ve only been geocaching for four years and since we are seniors we are very careful.  Like Carter43 above, I once hit my head very hard on a metal beam under a bridge only to discover later that the cache was no where near the bridge.  I usually have my trusty walking stick with me to give me more stability in and out of ditches.  If the area is too steep I don’t attempt it because I’m hoping to geocache for a few more years at least!  We have a whistle attached to our gps to summon help in case of serious injury or in case of meeting up with wild animals.  

 

 

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Sunday was out at a local park caching.On the way to the cache there was a dusting of snow on the boardwalks in the park. One area looked just wet, but there was a microscopic layer of ice  on it. I slipped and as I went down my knee bent at a strange angle  and I injured my knee. Ended up getting two more caches after that.Really started hurting and I stayed home from work Monday and today. It was the ligament on the inside of my left knee. Worst was the time when I had a high ankle sprain  while out caching. Had to hobble about  ½ mile back to the car and  found a cache along the way! Ankle was sore for a month.

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I bruised the heck out of my tailbone when I slipped and fell on a rock just after finding GC39 The Spot. That was 8 months ago, and my tailbone still gets sore if I sit in a bad chair.

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No serious injuries, but I have fallen into a freezing cold river while doing a 4.5 pipe walker cache. I had to wear the wet clothes for the rest of the day.

 

Thank goodness I didn't have the phone in my pocket : D 

Edited by TwistedCube

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50 minutes ago, TwistedCube said:

No serious injuries, but I have fallen into a freezing cold river while doing a 4.5 pipe walker cache. I had to wear the wet clothes for the rest of the day.

 

Thank goodness I didn't have the phone in my pocket : D 

That's one of the reasons I have a small duffle in the car with change of clothes - also it rains a lot around here.

 

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Nothing major but a few close calls :

  • A small crack in a bone. I hit a quick release lever while falling off my bike really hard. My leg swelled double its normal size for a few hours. Totally healed after about two months.
  • A slide a few meters down a cliff. Climbing back exhausted me so much, I was almost unable to stand up on my own. Minor scratches.
  • Mild hypothermia getting wet in a pond. The ice was too thin to support my weight. Uncontrollable shivering.
  • Poked my nose, near the corner of the eye, on a pointy branch.

The worst :

  • A chemical burn from tangling with a Giant Hogweed. Despite keeping out of sun and washing with abundant water, blisters appeared all over my right hand and forearm a few hours later. Painful burns for about two weeks. My skin is still slightly scarred in some places even though it happened five months ago.
     
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11 hours ago, The Jester said:

That's one of the reasons I have a small duffle in the car with change of clothes - also it rains a lot around here.

 

 

That's one of the reasons I do most of my caching in just a pair of board shorts - if it rains or I fall in the water (both a common enough occurrence) it doesn't matter.

 

As for injuries, they've all been while visiting my own caches. Early last year I paddled my kayak around to check on a water-access-only cache, but the only memory I have of it are the photos I took of the container and logbook at GZ and odd dream-like flashes of that day. I presume I slipped on the wet rock (there'd been lots of rain in the weeks beforehand) and banged my head when climbing down from the cache's hiding place, although the only evidence of that was a slimy stain on the bottom of my shorts. The cache has now been moved a bit lower down. Then just recently in October I did the rounds of checking some of my hides after the school holidays, as well as two 6km hikes sussing out and then placing a new hide, and with all the exertion managed to strain my knee. Finally, a couple of weeks back, with the knee seemingly having recovered, I went to check on another hide on Barrenjoey Headland I adopted earlier in the year, only to find it'd been muggled with the logbook taken, so it was back home with the container then up again a few days later to rehide with a new logbook and of course after all that exertion the knee flared up again and is still pretty sore.

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I stood on a concrete block ,diagonally embedded in the ground, to lean over a metal gate and peer to see if there was a cache at base of post... slipped off block several inches onto top of gate. So the same effect as if you'd hit me in the chest with an iron bar. Cracked a couple of ribs. 

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I've never gotten more than some cuts and bruises (including a spectacular purple bump on the forehead when a stubborn magnetic on a STOP sign flew off into my head), but have come dangerously close to stepping on used hypodermic needles on more than one occasion.

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Only scratches and a shredded t-shirt. I did have a snake attempt to strike me, but fortunately there was a chicken wire fence between us and the strike hit that. (I never logged that cache.) I have come upon other snakes (all in the top most poisonous snakes in the world), but no others have been aggressive while I have been caching. I missed by centimeters stepping on one. The tail was pulled away just as I put my foot down. Ever try to get back over a barb-wire fence in a hurry!!!

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At the moment, my body displays three owies.  Two from separate caching mishaps (a rock, a sharp branch), the third simply from me being klutzy on my own time.

 

I figure, if you're not showing signs of recent bleeding, you're not playing hard enough.  :lol:

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So, it was Super Bowl Sunday (eight days ago) and I was trying to change the coords on my geocache because one of the locals had DNF'd it a bunch, so I decided to try to fix the coords cuz my brand-new phone was getting em wrong time and time again. I was going up and down a steep incline, and my foot bent a bit too forwards. Turns out I twisted my ankle, and what a joy that was. I was back up in like two days but it still stings a bit.

 

 

EDIT: I also got a bunch of thorns stuck in my hand whilst hunting on the local Geo Path a while ago.

Edited by harper_finding_stuff

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This might be a good time to remind everyone...

 

Are YOU up to date on your tetanus shots?

 

(Earlier today I dug up my travel vaccination record, and - whew - I'm still good for tetanus plus lots of other exotic things.)  It occurred to me, as a group, we bleed all the time, and even thorns (I think) can be a vector for infection.

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13 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:

even thorns (I think) can be a vector for infection.

 

Sounds like it.

 

Quote

You can get tetanus after a cat or dog bite, a burn, frostbite, a tractor falling on your leg (crush injury), or falling into a rose bush (puncture wounds from thorns), etc.

 

You watch out for the thorns.  I'm keeping an eye on those tractors.

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Aside from the normal scrapes and contusions (and donated blood from blackberry brambles) an occasional problem is stepping on underground wasps.  I vividly remember the Geo-Hound, who was by my side, and I getting nailed by several wasps after stepping on a nest.  Not good.  Although not deathly allergic, certainly a lot of swelling and some annoying ache.  We look for the activity of the wasps going in and out of the ground, but sometimes walking in the woods, you don't see them.

 

We've been on some near death marches (not really) in the snow on all day caches that resulted in some touch and go on near frozen toes and fingernails.  Once you get your gloves or shoes soaked through in the snow, it is tough to keep warm.  Over time, we've learned to use smartwool socks and long underwear and good gloves, so that issue seems to be in the past.  Even wet, the smartwool keeps the heat in.

 

Given our preference for high terrain caches, we have been lucky.

Edited by Clancy's Crew
Spelling correction

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