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Canada's First Geocache


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Recently I was contacted by an ON geocacher (Jeff Mackenzie) who suggested that a plaque be placed at the site of GCBBA, Canada's first geocache. Things have moved along since then. A Maritime Geocaching Association member (Tucats) has volunteered to form a committee to look in to this. Their first meeting is on Sat 12 Nov. Tucats has asked me to tell some of the history of this cache and myself.

The placement of the commemorative plaque will probably take place in the spring of 06, on or before the commemorative date of 18 Jun. There have been many suggestions already as to the form of this plaque, what events will be held in conjunction with its placement, etc, etc. It may we become a national event. So any suggestions would be most welcome. Watch the MGA website for further developments. maritimegeocaching.com


I bought my first (and still) GPS, a Magellan 315 in the early months of 2000. It was actually purchased through a friend who runs the local Home Hardware. We are fellow Hunter Safety Instructors and hunting partners, so he gave me a good deal. As I was learning to use the GPS I was active on the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup. GPSr were not super accurate at that time. The 315 manual, under Receiver Accuracy states: "The satellite constellation that provides the GPS information used by the receiver is maintained by the Department of Defense (DoD), GPS positioning, for general use, provides 25 meters RMS accuracy or better. Since the signals generated by these satellites are publicly accessible, the DoD has introduced errors in the satellite signals for security reasons. These errors are referred to as Selective Availability (SA). At present, your GPS position will be accurate within 100 meters horizontally and 150 meters vertically. Due to these errors introduced by SA, it is possible to get readings outside (italics mine) of these values at times."

So the American military was purposely injecting inaccuracies into the GPS signals so that non-military users could not get a very accurate position. Of course the military's GPS receivers had no such problem. Clinton was the US President at that time, and due to a lot of pressure, mostly from the aeronautical industry, SA was removed from the GPS signal in May of 2000, by order of the President himself. The DoD had already stated that they had intended to remove SA, but not for several more years. So now, all of a suden GPSr are accurate to within 10 meters. They are now, of course, more accurate than this due to WAAS, better receivers, etc. But at that time this was a major improvement.

The activity level on the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup really took off. GPS users were just amazed at how much they could now do with their hand-held units. To "mark" a position and return to it, anywhere in the world, and to be within 10 meters was simply incredible. New uses were being "invented" almost every day. The sale of receivers began to skyrocket, and even those companies who already had units on the market were caught somewhat unprepared by the sudden interest caused by the early removal of SA. It was on the -nav newsgroup that I first heard about geocaching.com After browsing the website and seeing what it was all about, I decided that I would like to try this. There was no way for me to tell at this time how many other people were using GPSr, or whether they were interested in geocaching. Now of course, due to the many associations like MGA etc the activity level can be readily seen.

The world's first geocache, GCGV0P, was placed almost immediately in Seattle, Washington. So, on May 3 2000, began a now worldwide activity, that even today is still growing. I was somewhat slower and did not place GCBBA until 18 June. It took a day or so for it to be listed at geocaching.com, and I immediately asked them if it was Canada's first, which they confirmed that it was. For a long time it looked like I had wasted my time. I began by checking geocaching.com every day and then slowed down to probably once a week. Of course now they have automatic notification to the owner via e-mail if someone has visited your cache. So it was a long time(more later) before I had a visit to my site. In the meantime, I noticed that there was some activity now in ON and it seemed to be starting to grow up there, but not down here.

To date I have had 160 plus logged visits to GCBBA. Canadians from all the way to BC have visited, and many Americans have dropped in. Even had an international visitor from Germany. As cited on the geo.com website, I purposely made it readily accissible to visitors by being on a major highway route. It's easy access has helped to make it very popular, especially in the beginning when people were just getting started. Not everyone has been happy with the cache site though. Some complained that because it was part of an intersection that it was dangerous to stop and get out of their car. Some complained about the water that seemed to surround the place like a moat, and others, who were apparently not used to NS outdoors complained about the mosquitoes and blackflys. The cache has given me a lot of pleasure over the years, and has had some memorable occasions. In 2001, I was asked to give an on-site interview for The Discovery Channel. That was fun getting the cameraman and female interviewer across the "moat", but it went well. Many people became aware of geocaching for the first time as a result of the viewing of that episode, as indicated in their log entries. On another occasion I was driving by the cache when I noticed an ON plate car plate with "Geocacher". I stopped and waited for them to come out, it was a family (TrimblesTrek), and we had a great chat. One spring I had to go in and dig my "bucket" out of the snow. I learned next year how to winterize! I always enjoyed seeing what people left, and on several occasions visited the cache just to view the contents. In the early days people seemed to leave less "junky" things. On one visit someone left a "care bear" that I gave to my daughter. At that time it wasn't unusual to see a pocketknife in the contents. Of course now thats a no-no. In the begining there were no pictures, when digital camers began to get real popular then images were available at the website and this added a lot more interest. I have three caches now, GCBBA, one very near the border of Kedjimkujik National Park, and one on the Aspotogan Trail between Hubbards and Eastriver. The one near the Park was put there after trying to get permission to put one in the Park itself. It is accessible from both inside and outside the Park and seems to be quite popular with those camping.

I see from reviewing all the "logs", that GCBBA was the "first" for many new geocachers, and some used it as a "milestone". Groups have visited it, and the Lunenburg High School (15 ) actually started their own cache in the same area. At one time I offered a frameable certificate, which I mailed out, to those who requested one. Unfortunately my printer "went west", and I had to discontinue this activity. I have a new printer now and may re-activate this pursuit during the summer of 06.

It was a long time before someone visited my cache. On October 5, 2000 GCBBA was visited by rowsell and her fiance. They had just bought a GPS that day and came to the cache after work. They had actually tried it the day before without a GPS. She had heard about geocaching on Much Music and thought it was something they could do together. On Jun 16, 2001, I managed to get to my first cache GC67B (now archived). There were by then several caches in the Halifax area, but I had not visited them.

I had some DNF back then, and it was due to the software in the Magellan itself. At that time the Proximity Alarm would only indicate that you were within 100 ft of your chosen waypoint. Imagine only being within 100 ft of a microcache today. Manufacturers began offering software downloads on their websites.

Anyone with a computer and their GPS hookup cables could then upgrade their software to the latest version. This was tricky sometimes and some guys ruined their GPSr as a result. But with the help of others on the -nav , and by watching the questions and answers, I was able to upgrade mine, and several others at a certain hardware store. With the upgrade, now the Proximity Alarm, and other features were down to 1 ft readout, as a minimum distance. Man what a change that made to the accuracy. Now it was a whole new ball game. Not so much physical searching now, but more using the GPS itself to find the cache.

So geocaching has been a lot of fun for me. it is only part of what I do with my GPS though. It is my constant companion when in the woods, whether hunting or on a photo hike. I use it a lot in conjunction with the computer and recently purchased a scanner. So now for me, it is a whole new ball game again.

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I still don't understand why GCBBA is being referred to as the First Canadian Cache.


I understand that what I am about to say might seem the same to others but...


GC41 at the same location by the same placer MUST be earlier.


Page for GC41


I know it's the same spot... but a new listing for an Archived cache doesn't make it the original.


The original listing should be the one that gets the credit.


:rolleyes: The Blue Quasar

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I still don't understand why GCBBA is being referred to as the First Canadian Cache.


I understand that what I am about to say might seem the same to others but...


GC41 at the same location by the same placer MUST be earlier.


Page for GC41


I know it's the same spot... but a new listing for an Archived cache doesn't make it the original.


The original listing should be the one that gets the credit.


:laughing: The Blue Quasar

But they are not by the same placer. At least not according to the profiles of each hider as shown on the cache pages.


GC41 Geocache by Ken Kane (profile shows registered name as iryshe)

GCBBA Geocache by ken kane (profile shows registered name as eastriver)


I'm confused! Olar

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Olar  Posted on Nov 12 2005, 05:40 AM

  Ah, I now see that iryshe is/was with Groundspeak. The profile mix-up must have been during a subsequent changeover or archiving.


Our belief is that IRYSHE is Jeremy Irish, and this was the Geo-Alias he used when he was transferring the pre-Geocaching.com caches from USENET and other sources into the new Geocaching.com database.


He probably then edited the name of the owner from his account to the proper placer, but the direct link would still go back to the user (Jeremy) that entered the data on the site.


Another thing that Logger discovered is that many of the original caches were moved over out-of-sequence. The dates don't necessarily reflect the GC ID# system. Also there are gaps in the order. These may have been left on purpose to allow for other caches to be transferred into them as they were taken from USENET or other locations.


Still though... GC41 to me is the proper FIRST cache.


Kinda like "Pyscho" with Anthony Hopkins is, not the new version with Vince Vaughn, is the one that should get the credit as the first Pyscho movie. Remakes are still remakes, not originals.


Perhaps Ken Kane should OFFICIAL ADOPT the original cache back into their profile, whatever it is, be it Eastriver or some other alias.


:laughing: The Blue Quasar

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In the interests of history records accuracy I would suggest that GCBBA be edited to include a statement to the effect that it is the re-birth of the archived GC41 and made quite clear that it is in fact the original but due to the official creation of gc.com it ended up being re-numbered to GCBBA. There are numerous find logs of cachers who specifically travelled from afar just to find this first cache of Canada and I doubt they could be transferred to an un-archived GC41. Possibly "iryshe" could step in and straighten this out so that a historical plaque can be placed without any cloud of doubt existing.



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Well we could put on the plaque that the gcbba is the first successful cache. the other one maybe first but this one is still active after 6 years. lets not get technical about htis now and just use the GCBBA for the plaque. it is the same person that placed both, and thay are the same location and name so maybe just change the placement date to the GC41


Anyway I got a quote from Niagara casting today for the plaque cost and a shipping price to Nova Scotia.


The plaque is going tobe 12"x8" bronze with lugs form concrete mounting, it will take 30-35 days to make.


now for the price 571.00 and 38.42 for shipping plus taxes. It doesn't seem bad when there seems to be alot of people wishing to donate towards it.


another thought was to put both on the plaque

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GC41 and GCBBA are the same cache. Originally the caches were all in 1 account, once things got going and individual accounts were created, it was desired to have the caches in the accounts of the cache owner. With this one, a second page was submitted in the owners account and listed, instead of transferring ownership of the cache page, the first page was archived, but it is still the same cache. Things were really new at the time, but both cache pages belong to the original cache that was placed at this location, the cache box (unless swapped during maintenance) and location has not changed.

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I just looked at both pages and noticed that the current cache has a date earlier than the archived version june 18 2000 and june 28 2000


So as cache-tech has pointed out if they are the same cache thenI say we put on the plaque GC41/GCBBA and the june 18 2000 date.


the coords are the same, just the container has been changed by the owner for maintenance.


Technically both are the first Canadian cache, but are the same container and coords

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For the record there's a listing of the world's first 100 geocaches at:




Ken Kane's geocache is #53 on the list and you can see that it's listed both as GCBBA and GC41. Note that the GC numbers don't line up according to dates and the date listed for Ken's cache is June 28th - if it was in fact June 18th it would be about 10 places higher up the list. It's also the only Canadian cache in the top 100 list of oldest caches.


Note that it's now in the top 20 of oldest caches in the world that are still active.


You can see the original listing via the link on this snapshot of the the pre geocaching.com Mike Teague GPS Stash Hunt web-site here:



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Sorry gang but I'm still not in agreement about this.


GC41 was the first cache placed in Canada.


GCBBA is a remake.


The owner of GCBBA should officially adopt the Archived cache GC41.


I understand why things happened like they did in the past, but now is the time to set history straight


Ken Kane placed GC41, he should officially own it. Jeremy has no claim to it by today's standards.


I won't under any circumstances support GCBBA being on the plaque.


That makes no sense in an official code number timeline.


And to spend over $500 on an inaccurate piece of data is foolish to say the least


:ninja: The Blue Quasar

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To be technically correct there should be no number at all. When the cache was placed there was no GC.com so there were no GC numbers. That came later which is why they are out of sequence and, as in this case, there can be more than one for the same cache.


A plaque should just say that the first cache in Canada was placed here (although again technically, when placed, it wasn't a cache, or a geocache, it was a stash)

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how about just putting june 2000 on the plaque and canada's first geocache anlong with the gc logo which I have pemission to use and the map of canada, the coords , and the town and province

That sounds good to me Jeff. I certainly would be willing to contribute towards the cost of the plaque and it's installation.

One thing I've been wondering is what became of the committee alluded to in Ken's initial post and an indication of what resulted from the first meeting:


A Maritime Geocaching Association member (Tucats) has volunteered to form a committee to look in to this. Their first meeting is on Sat 12 Nov. Tucats has asked me to tell some of the history of this cache and myself.


One other historical reference that might be included in the plaque's text is the name of the FTF cacher and the date. Geocaching is all about "hiding and seeking" so the FTF'er is as significant as the original cache owner.


Cheers, Olar

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It is proper in any reference to use to most up to date name. (ie. a womans married name then her maiden name after in brackets if necessary). Especially if the cache is still active. If it is the same coordinates then it is the same cache irregardless of what has changed (name, owner, contents or container). Caches(or stashes) come in all types and sizes) it is the location that defines it. (Language of Location).

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here is the mins of the first meeting of Canada's first cache commitee.


Canada’s First Geocache Plaque Project – Meeting Agenda 30 Nov 2005


In attendance: - Mike Kenney (Tucats), Brian Shaw (The Lost Geeks) and Jim Cyr (thecyr). Missing: - Todd Beal (dragonflys), Ken Kane (eastriver).


Generally the “Geocache” history and posted issues from the MarGA Forums in regards to placing a plaque at the Geocache site were discussed.


The Plaque


Size – It was agreed that the plaque should be approx 12x9


Material – Bronze, as it would likely stand up to weather the best


One plaque or two – two; one for the actual cache site at exit 7 (7x4) and one for a public area (12x9). The public area plaque could possibly become a Waymarking cache.


The design (Logo) – GC.com logo (if they will sponsor it) otherwise just the outline of Canada map. Jim is our expert on artwork so we will have him produce a draft that includes the logo’s etc.


What information will go on it besides a Logo? –


Canada’s first “Geocache”

Placed by K. Kane (eastriver)

XX June 2000

N44.xx.xxx W064.xx.xxx


How should it be mounted? – attached to large rock with expandable bolts and/or epoxy if possible.


Where should it be purchased? – since the price estimate from the Lunenburg Foundry in NS seemed comparable to the Niagara Foundry in Ontario provided by Jeff Mackenzie; and the online estimate from The Plaxx Companies of the USA; it was decided to have it made here in Nova Scotia. This will stop a lot of grumbling from MGA members. Mike will contact those concerned and the Lunenburg Foundry for lead times etc.


The Plaque Location


At the actual site (Exit 7) – yes; a smaller version (abt 7x4) but without the logo


At East River Provincial Park – yes; the larger version (12x9) with logo of GC.com or a Canada Map


At the nearby Park and Ride/Carpool – no; it won’t get seen there.


What approval is needed from landowner (NS Provincial Parks, or Dept of Highways) – obviously we will need to ask for permission for the provincial park placement from DNR, or whomever. As for the actual site plaque; it is remote enough that we should not have to involve DOT.


Passing the plaque – across the country from cache Assoc to cache Assoc


We can’t afford a paid escort like the Stanley Cup has. So, we decided no on this as it would take too much time and the plaque may go missing. * Another option that could involve all Canadian Geocaching associations is being looked into.


Sponsors (if any)


None of the local Geocaching associations with any interest in the plaque were formed at the time of cache placement OGA, MGA or AGA; therefore, as it was originally posted on GC.com then only Groundspeak/GC.com would be asked to sponsor the plaque; and in return they will get their logo put on it. Brian has a contact at GC.com and will investigate this.




How much money will we need to raise? – For 2 plaques and some event funds; a Min of $1000 is our goal


Should we approach Groundspeak/Gc.com for funds? Yes – Brian has a contact, suggest $100 to $200.


Should we collect donations thru FarSideX web site (MarGA)? – Not yet; we will look into another option first. It was also suggested that The 3 Geeks Outdoor Store could (and would) collect donations for the project if needed.


What should we do with any overages in funds/donations?

Give some $ to host a National Plaque Cache Event? – Idea to be pursued in Jan/Feb 06; Give some funds to support MarGA website? Yes


Cache Event – Details To Be Determined (TBD) at a later date


BBQ/family day


- At the small Provincial Park? (TBD)

- At the Graves Island Provincial Campground about 5 kms from exit 7? (TBD)


Publicity - Shall we look for publicity (TBD) – Yes / No


CITO - Shall we hold a CITO event as well (TBD) – Yes / No


Next Meeting - Wednesday 11 Jan 06 in Lwr Sackville NS

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I am confused. While looking for the oldest cache in Canada, I came across two caches dated earlier than the GCBBA June 18, 2000 cache placement. One is GCN11N dated March 6, 2000 and the other, which would be the oldest, GCPCVP dated January 1, 2000. Could someone please clarify this. Thanx.

D from Team GMD

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I am confused. While looking for the oldest cache in Canada, I came across two caches dated earlier than the GCBBA June 18, 2000 cache placement. One is GCN11N dated March 6, 2000 and the other, which would be the oldest, GCPCVP dated January 1, 2000. Could someone please clarify this. Thanx.

D from Team GMD

Fake Dates!!! See this thread about that very subject.



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I am confused. While looking for the oldest cache in Canada, I came across two caches dated earlier than the GCBBA June 18, 2000 cache placement. One is GCN11N dated March 6, 2000 and the other, which would be the oldest, GCPCVP dated January 1, 2000. Could someone please clarify this. Thanx.

D from Team GMD

Definitely fake - check the profiles of the cache placers and you'll understand....maybe ;) . Funny that there are only two fake 2000 placed caches in the whole GC world and they were both placed by Canadians. Is there a message there somewhere :)

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I'll make my reply simple


GC number is the true way to determine which cache came first.


Date is not.



While it is true that you can create a cache page and not list it for test purposes and you could then one day list it, this would be the exception. I use one page over and over for creation of caches, with a GC# that was never published, then copy the info to the new page.


For me, I trust GC # much more than Date of Placement.


8) The Blue Quasar

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How can there still be doubt on this subject? Geocaching got its start as a USENET forum where people posted the first 'geocaches' for others to find. Since only 1 cache is listed for Canada at the date shown in the earlier posts, which is Ken Kane's, how could any be registered before hand? Without a cache being listed for others to find how could it be a geocache? Even if others were placed before Ken's, which there is no evidence for, the fact that no one could find them due to them not being listed does not qualify them as 'geocaches'.

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Research and evidence should come up with the corret answer. Any one wishing to prove a claim of which is the first cache, simply poste what ever evidence they has to support their claim. An ID number in a system is not gaurenteed to be accurate as BQ has demonstrated. I could reserve a number right now, wait three years to use it, and then claim my cache was around for three years.

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this was posted by Cache-tech on the MGA website


To my knowledge, Ken's Geocache was the first placed and listed on Geocaching.com cache in Canada. I researched the cache when I started reviewing as I had found a cache in Quebec, GCBB, had a lower GC# then GCBBA. By doing a search for nearest caches (I see all caches that were ever submitted) I found GC41 at the same location and asked for more info from the other reviewers and Groundspeak, GCBBA was relisted when the caches were taken out of the site admin account and placed into the cache owner accounts. Geocaching.com was very new at the time, I think the history and status of the caches should remain as is, as that is what happened and how it happened.


With the newer GC#ed caches, as far as when placed, well, only the cache owner can tell you that, as far as being listed on GC.com, both were listed this year. The date is set by the cache owner and there is not much that really can be done, the GC# will tell you about what period the cache was submitted, March and June timeframe for these 2 caches if you go by the other caches submitted around the same time.


This post has been edited by cache-tech on Dec 22 2005, 03:15 PM





Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer

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Because Star Wars: 20th Anniversary Edition that was released in theaters in 1997 is not the original Star Wars that came out in 1977.


Repackaging the idea, with the same name and mostly the same content does not make it the first it makes it a remake. What compounds this one is that the remake is fake-dated to appear as the first cache.


Just because a person can mint a coin with the date 44BC on it, doesn't mean that's when it was made. I doubt Caesar would make a coin and stamp it "Before Christ" since obviously Jesus didn't exist yet.


The original is the first cache, IMHO, and no other date alteration can sway my opinion from me. Sorry if it sounds petty, but it matters to me.


I'm not planning on starting some big campaign to inform people that found GCBBA that it was not the actual first cache but a revision.


All I am saying is that if a GC# is going to be on the plaque, IMHO it MUST be the the GC41. If the second is included also in something like...


This is the site of the first Geocache in Canada - GC41 - Placed by Ken Kane in June of 2000.  It was later replaced with the current Geocache - GCBBA.


then that would be fine. I think I've just about beat the horse to death.


:antenna: The Blue Quasar

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Why even put the cache id on the plaque? The first id is archived and will not show up in a search. The second id, if it is really the replacement for the original cache, is exactly that, a replacement, not the first geocache placed in Canada. What is the point of having the id on the plaque. All that anyone is going to care about is this is the location of the first geocache placed in Canada. A date would be nice, and the placers name if they wish for it to be on there.


Why fuel controversy by placing the id on the plaque, just let the issue die and place the plaque.

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:D My understanding is that the physical cache itself was not replaced. It has always been there, in the same spot. My understanding was that the cache ID was changed when the original numbering system was replaced by the current numbering system, or the original cache pages were brought over to gc.com, or something of that nature. It has nothing to do with the physical cache. Saying it is not the original cache would be like saying that you have placed a new cache every time you replace a container during cache maintenance. That's just the way I read this thing - and I have been watching the Nova Scotia cache pages & Ken Kane's cache since 2001 - believe me, when I first signed up here there were not many Canadian caches - Ken's is the first whatever ID you want to give it.


-Donna G

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Donna: Excellent summary and I don't know why this ever became an issue. I hope that no one's questioning that this wasn't the first geocache in Canada. It is regardless of the GC number.


Curiously the oldest cache in this area has had the container replaced, it's been moved a bit when it got flooded out, the name has been changed and it has a new owner. The only thing that hasn't changed is the GC number since it was placed after the numbering system was well established. Is it still the oldest cache in the area? As far as I'm concerned it is.

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