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What have you learned?


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The question "What have you learned since you started geocaching" came up in our local DixieCachers.com forum and I thought the answers might make an interesting article for The Online Geocacher.

 

Select answers posted here may be used to compile that article.

 

Here are some of the answers from our local thread.

 

Stephanie2427

I believe it was at this cache,Gulf State Park #5 - Beach Time!, that I learned about sea oats. I had never heard of sea oats before this. Now I'm reading a book where the author has a serious fascination with sea oats and mentions them on every other page. Thanks to geocaching I'm not confused on what she's talking about.

So what have you learned while geocaching?

 

TazDevil091102

I have learned not to believe someone when they say " This hike in the woods won't be to bad"

 

Frodo_13

The fact that there is no cash in a cache really blew me away. I thought folks would roll up twenty dollar bills and tuck them inside a match container for the fun of having me extract it. Real drag that no cash thing.

 

Joefrog

I learned that Rambler's idea of a quick cache run is similar to Skipper's idea of a "3 hour tour!"

 

GoodolBoy

I learned what reverse azimuth is. I plan on using it in a new cache some time.

 

ParrGolf

When I first began geocaching I used to read a forum called Alacache...something. The people on there were always planning events and I was worried that I would have to handle snakes, bite the heads off of chickens, or dance around a fire naked if I attended one. Turns out that doesn't happen....most of the time.

 

WheresDIB

I have learned that lamp posts in parking lots have skirts around them, almost universally in any state.

 

4Ps In-A-Pod

We have learned a lot in a little over a year. That Steph hates hiking, Taz can bring cookies at some of the most inopportune times, Blue is not as nimble as he would have you to think, if you want an FTF in Montgomery you better sleep with your eyes open and glued to the computer, Caver's "strolls" are....well they just are, Frog is a heck of a graphic designer and has this thing for burning pumpkins, Bamagirl and the Muggle always seem to get the RV backed in somehow, I really can turn a 3-4 into a drive up (with the right vehicle); and last but not least; there are still a lot of good people around – you folks!

 

Gryphonkin

Things I have learned while geocaching:

 

The laws of gravity still apply to you, even if you never studied law.

 

Gravity is not a fat man's friend...

 

The term "wagon trail" has a lot more room for interpretation than I realized.

 

Puzzle caches are pretty darn hard to find if you've only loaded in the parking coordinates.

 

At the end of almost every long bramble filled hike is a nice big paved road that you could have driven right to the cache on...

 

Like certain other activities, it is possible to cache alone but it's a heck of a lot more fun if you have a few friends to help out.

 

There are mountains in Alabama.

 

You don't have enough water for that hike. Seriously. No matter how much you have, you don't have enough...

 

When a group of "friends" all gathers just to "see you off" on your Green Mtn. hike, they aren't wishing you well, they're taking note of the clothes you are wearing so the police can ID your corpse.

 

There is no mistake that can't be rectified through a strategically placed semi-circular course correction.

 

:anitongue:

 

So, what have YOU learned?

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After 25+ years of living in the same area....I learned that there are a bazillion more parks and nature areas within a few miles than I had ever imagined possible!!!!!!!

 

And yup...I too learned that the thing on the bottom of the lamp-post actually lifts up!

 

I also have to agree on the ticks! ...but that led to another learning experience...Permethrin is AWESOME!

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That I should buy stock in companies that produce sunglasses and that shatter-proof is not the same as break-proof :(

 

Deet to mosquitos what tabasco is to us. Just adds flavor for the tough ones.

 

Buy a compass. Seriously.

 

Batteries wear out at the worst possible time and a gps screen is really just not enough light for night-time navigation.

 

Carry a big stick. The time to look for one is not AFTER you need it.

 

Triple-check your coords and if you think you're going the wrong way still, you probably are.

 

Stop to read the sign. It might just save your life.

 

Gravity wins... every time.

 

Cache with a friend. The entertainment value alone is worth it.

 

Don't be afraid of mud. I don't know why I forgot that over the years, but now I remember why kids love it.

 

Buy decent boots. A couple extra bucks makes a mountain of difference.

 

last buy not least... carry duct tape :anitongue:

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That no matter how difficult that cache seems, no matter how many DNFs you log on that cache, the next 5 people will log "easy cache", "got this one right away"....

 

That no matter how closely you try to monitor your time, that cache "right down the road that will only take a minute" will turn into 10 more caches, 50 more miles, & 3-4 hours longer than you planned (and that is IF you are lucky to get away that quickly!)

 

That showing up to work with weeds stuck to your pantyhose & stickers in your hair is ok if you get a FTF!

 

That once you hide/find your first cache you will dedicate a large portion of your trunk for ready-to-place caches for when you find that perfect spot, repair kits, jackets, old shoes/boots, variety of swag items, & whatever else you needed & didn't have last time.

 

That leaving the house without your GPS is just as awful as forgetting your cell phone.

 

That not checking your email in the morning might cause you to miss out on a FTF.

 

That explaining to your non-caching friends makes you realize that telling people about this hobby makes you look like a dork. You have to drag them out in order for them to fully appreciate it. (although they still think I'm a dork even after getting addicted to caching... :anitongue: )

 

That work interferes with caching.

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Make sure someone taller than you is going down the trail first to clear out the afore-mentioned spider webs (Wait -- I'm the tallest one in our caching group..... :unsure: )

 

When your partner says -- it's only .35 away, and this parking area is in line with the arrow -- check and see if there is another place to park further up, because that may put you within 500 feet of the cache, and keep you from turning 1.5 terrain into 3.5 / 4 terrain (has happened to me TWICE!)

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Things I learned while caching in the desert:

 

Scorpions like to hide under caches (happened twice so far - scared the **** outta me)

 

Rattlesnakes make a noise for a reason

 

A 4.5 difficulty/4.5 terrain cache should NOT be attempted during the summer months

 

Bring extra water - all you can!

 

Bring extra gas - gas stations are few and far between

 

Never cache alone in the desert

 

Always let someone know the area you will be cachin in and when to expect you back

 

SAFETY FIRST!

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Things learned while geocaching:

 

A good handful of Tylenol in the trail mix helps a lot on on long hike.

 

Rattlesnakes are not very polite.

 

When nearly stepped on, a turkey is very loud and flappy.

 

We will cheerfully scoot backwards up the face of a nettle-covered slope to find a $5 chunk of tupperware.

 

As soon as we find the $5 tupperware, we will find a nice, wide trail that could have saved us the backwards scooting.

 

It's always on the other side of the fence.

 

I need a new knee.

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A few more lessons learned:

 

In some places, mosquitos should be the state bird.

 

More hours of sleep have been lost to chiggers than to any 7-month old wanting a midnight feeding and another viewing of the "Happy Little Elves".

 

Calamine lotion and TechNu should be sold in 5-gallon containers.

 

Give an ammo can, spray glue, and a pile of leaves to the nicest, most decent and respectable person, and they can turn into Mr. Hyde!

 

A 1/1 DT rating means so many different things to so many different people.

 

Seeing turkey vultures circling overhead as you take off on the "quick" 0.25 mile hike for the last stage of a multi-, on a HOT August afternoon, is NOT a good thing!

 

This game is addicting. You've been warned!

 

:unsure:

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I've learned that my wife gets a little touchy when I'd rather go out on a Saturday morning to geocache instead of helping clean the house. I've learned that I'm not a big fan of urban micros. I've learned that wasting time trying to find an evil cache hide just isn't worth it and I move on. I've learned that this can be a fun, addicting hobby, but also that there isn't much point (as in, what have you really accomplished at the end of a geocaching day?) At least that's the way it seems to non geocachers.

Edited by vwaldoguy
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Spiders build their webs at face level. Always.

 

They are also in the middle of said web...about nose level!

 

-We have incredibly large spiders in Okinawa.

-Japanese policemen have no idea what Geocaching is.

-Those bushes that look really painful? They are, and the cache is in the middle of them.

-Japanese mosquitoes wait to attack until all of their friends have shown up to the party.

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D) Metal gets pretty bloody cold in the winter!

 

 

Metal is hot here. Always. So are the sharp rocks that are covering said hot metal. Gloves are good.

 

And it isn't just the lights at Walmart - they are all over the place here. Now we can't walk past the light in any parking lot without my 4 year old running over and lifting the skirt.

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I have learned that every DNF is helpful.

 

I have learned that no matter what the GPS says your eyes are much better than any 400.00 piece of technology.

 

I have learned that if you hide it they will come.

 

I have learned that Geocaching is not about Cash, unless you are doing all of those drivebys..

 

and last but not least. I have learned that no matter how many times you drive by a 7-11 I will always wonder if Witz has hidden a cache here.

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I've learned that my wife gets a little touchy when I'd rather go out on a Saturday morning to geocache instead of helping clean the house.

 

Man, I just lived that last week, except my day is Friday!

 

Other lessons I've learned:

 

It is easy to become a cache snob. And yet, the cachers I like aren't.

 

There's always a new trial somewhere in this small town.

 

Cachers are cool people. Most of them, anyway. (Opps - that one slipped out. As you can see, I can be a bit of a snob.)

 

Lame can be a game.

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I've learned that my wife gets a little touchy when I'd rather go out on a Saturday morning to geocache instead of helping clean the house.

 

Man, I just lived that last week, except my day is Friday!

 

Other lessons I've learned:

 

It is easy to become a cache snob. And yet, the cachers I like aren't.

 

There's always a new trial somewhere in this small town.

 

Cachers are cool people. Most of them, anyway. (Opps - that one slipped out. As you can see, I can be a bit of a snob.)

 

Lame can be a game.

Vancouver Island isn't exactly a small town when you consider the geography. Sorry that you seem to have a snobbery element there. The Seattle caching scene seems to me to be pretty open to anyone without a lot of judgement being bandied about. Of course there are squabbles from time to time but they certainly do not dominate the landscape.

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I've learned that I don't have to find every cache in my state, or even my town.

 

It won't hurt the feelings of the hider if I don't find their micro hidden on the back of a street sign. It won't mean I'm a bad cacher if I don't want to spend my time looking for it. I don't have to beat myself up if I can't locate the bison tube.

 

I've learned that if the location is interesting, the cache is just icing on the cake. I've seen parts of my area I didn't know were there and learned about musicians and actors I didn't know were born, or lived, or were buried nearby. I didn't find the cache, but I learned some history.

 

I've learned that caching is an individual sport and folks play it for different reasons. I do it to relax. Others do it to see if they can find all caches in a series and others do it to solve puzzles. Each of us is doing it right.

 

I've learned I have to get a third job...to travel to New Zealand, Australia and Europe with my lil eTrex.

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Lamp post make a weird twanging sound when you scrape the skirt on the side.

 

There are WAY more parks near me than I thought.

 

It's hard to roll up a tiny piece of paper in the cold and wind, and easy to drop the top of a container.

 

If you drop anything in the leaves it will become invisible 81% of the time.

 

Gravity isn't just a good idea, it's the LAW.

 

The reason for the game is to have fun, not to collect smilies.

 

If you're caching to get toys and key chains you are wasting your time.

 

You can be 500 feet from a cache and need to drive three miles to get to it.

 

DON"T FORGET THE PEN!

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