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What Fascinates You About Geocaching?


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I am currently taking a college english class, and get to write a research paper. As a geocacher, I chose the topic of what fascinates people about geocaching. I know why I continue to look for the tupperware in the woods, and my two children have different reasons as to why they want to keep coming with me.


In order to do accurate research, I am asking the community at large (at least those who visit the forums) - What fascinates you about geocaching? What is it that makes you keep looking for the tupperware?? is it the smileys? the woods? solving puzzles? finding things that others don't even know exist? etc...


I plan on consolidating the responses, if anyone has any special reasons and they do not mind me quoting directly (credit will be given by username only) please note that in your comments. I do plan on referencing this topic in my report, and have no control if the instructor or other classmates will want to visit and read.


I will thank everyone in advance for their participation (including lack thereof if it comes to that)


I will start -


I am fascinated by geocaching because it takes me to places I never realized were there. I Germany I would go visit the "off the tourist trail" locations to find fantastic historical places, many with their own story, beautiful nature trails, parks, and even small monuments. All with or involved somehow with a cache. Here in the states I have done the same thing. I found out about a greenway just about one mile from where I live. I don't think I ever would have found this trail (growing to be a collection of trails connecting parks throughout the city) without there being a few caches along the route.


My oldest daughter loves finding stuff that others don't know is there. When we were in California I was looking for caches, and my sister, looking over my shoulder, said I go there all the time, you mean there is a cache hidden there (she doesn't cache, but understand the game). That is what my oldest finds fascinating


My second daughter likes finding cool stuff in the caches (pencils, foreign coins mostly), walks in the woods, and the thrill of finding the cache.


That's my story, eagerly awaiting others responses.


BTW thanks in advance for providing me with research information.


the brewmeister

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I enjoy the "find" regardless of the cache. I also enjoy going to places I never knew about or that very few others seem to know about. I do like that geocaching seems to be an invisible activity but I would still be an avid geocacher even if everyone knew about it. I just think it is fun!

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I like to find those "out of the way" places that I would never know of. Geocaches are a good why to find those places.


I also love to find the "hard to get to" but easy to find type, I guess the higher terrian type caches. There aren't as many of those near where I live but they sure are fun.


My son only goes to find "treasure". He really enjoy's trading swag. He'll only play with a toy we found for so long then it goes into a drawer to trade again at another cache.

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I love that "AH-HA" moment, and in caching they come in so many forms. A virtual that takes you to a location that you drove right by for 20 years and now you have a reason to stop, and the new knowledge is priceless. A puzzle cache that drives you crazy & then on your way to work one day you suddenly figure it out. A fiendish nano that you spend 45 minutes looking for & suddenly discover hidden in plain site in an extremely clever way. A cache that takes you to a breathtaking view. A challenge cache that takes you all over the countryside, pushing you to explore your little corner of the world. The thrill of FTF - not necessarily because you are driven to be first, but have discovered a friendly competition between you & other cachers you never would have met if not for caching. The way you begin to look at your world in a new light as you search for places to hide a cache that will give other cachers an "AH-HA" moment.


Edited because as I was typing twotfd was responding & we obviously have a lot in common!

Edited by m.austin
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I certainly enjoy the outdoor and exercise aspect of the game, and discovering places I never knew were right there under my nose, so to speak, but for me it goes deeper than that. I like the blend of the physical and technical aspects of the comuter/palm pilot/gpsr stuff, and figuring out how you can use this gadgetry efficiently to go out and find the caches. I like the creative angle when it comes to designing and building the "perfect" camo for my next hide, and I would be perfectly happy if all I did was hide them :blink: . I like meeting other cachers, and even more, I like introducing someone to the hobby and watching them outdistance me! :)



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Over the past several decades, I've discovered some pretty kewl spots that most folks don't know anything about. When I go into the woods, I like to wander about, rather than following established trails, which has often led to some interesting discoveries. Geocaching gives me an outlet to share those spots with like minded people. Also, I am a lifetime introvert who doesn't socialize well. In most activities, I'd much rather sit back, watch & listen, than participate openly. Geocaching is the exception. The percentage of open, honest, friendly, giving people in this game, as compared to other activities, is overwhelming. It's like a great big extended family! The Secret Squirrel aspect is kinda kewl, as is playing with electronic gadgets, and getting my duff off the couch is just icing on an already formidable cake. :)

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Nothing really fascinates me about caching, I have enjoyed getting out in the woods since I was a boy growing up in northern Wisconsin. Now it gives me something else to do while I'm in the woods. I don't enjoy doing micros in lamp posts or any cache in town unless it's in a large park with some wilderness areas. I also enjoy doing the virtuals when we travel as they take me to places I would probably never know about.

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I enjoy the things that others have mentioned above, but (mostly) from the opposite perspective: that of the hider. I enjoy bringing people to unexpectedly cool, hidden places. I enjoy knowing that I have this odd link with people that I did not know before and many of whom I'll never meet. I have hidden something in an out-of-the-way place ... they will obtain coordinates or clues that will lead them to this place ... they will search for the spot and the container that is hidden there ... they will hopefully find both and sign the physical log ... then they will log their find on the website and I will be notified by email of their find and be able to read a description of their search and find.


Really interesting, a compelling way to interact with others.

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Great idea for your english paper!


We are fascinated by the extra dimension caching adds to things that we already enjoyed, like exploring the outdoors (on land and water), visiting historical places, and solving puzzles. We love finding out about special and little known places. Like others we are fascinated by the fact that there are thousands of secrets hidden around the world, that caches are all around us. We enjoy the bond with friends and family who also cache. We're fascinated by how incredibly positive and supportive our local caching community is even though we're not social (event) cachers. Because we are a caching team we also have the extra benefit of sharing this sport together and discovering how our different skills and abilities work and complement each other. We also enjoy the trackable component (it's pretty amazing how some of these objects move around the world being passed from one to another for years!).

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I am fascinated by all the games-within-the-game:


a) collecting geocoins, path tags, etc, personal sig items, etc.


:) FTF races


c) Most finds (in a day, week, month, year, etc)


d) Finding a cache in every level of the Difficulty/Terrain "grid"


e) Finding a cache in every County, State, country, etc.


f) Travel Bug releasing/monitoring


Everyone has their own game-within-a-game, but we still all play TOGETHER!

Edited by 6 Feet More
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I love that Geocaching provides me with a wealth of topics for my college projects and conversations :) .


The ability to find a container the size of a watch battery hidden anywhere in the world by someone I have never spoken to fascinates me. I will never get over the fact that human ingenuity has created such an advanced system. Especially when I think about how only 100 years ago steam ships were in their heyday and the only practical way to go wireless was a telegraph. From 1908-2008 we mastered radio transmission, created computers and the internet, used the power of the atom to make the atomic clock, made reliable rockets, and constructed satellites that could stand up to the rigors of space. When these seemingly different fields combined we got the GPS and later Geocaching. I could write pages about this aspect alone, but I think I have made my point.


I am also fascinated by the global community caching has created. Through the game I have met cachers from all walks of life and communicated with people through out the world.


Good luck on your paper. I know research projects are no fun. At least you were able to pick a great topic.

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I was describing geocaching to one person who was looking at me with a sense of wonder while I described it. I thought I had a convert by the look on his face, but when I was done he said: "People actually hide these things to entertain people that they don't even know and will probably never meet. That is amazing."


I think that is indeed a fascinating part of the sport. That and the fact these containers, sometimes valuable (e.g. ammo boxes) or filled with valuable items, are largely left unmolested by other participants is pretty cool.


And like others, I find the great places it takes me to be fascinating.

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On the way to work yesterday I heard a quote that summarizes Brian's encounter: "the purpose of life is to plant trees, the shade of which we will never enjoy."


I'm fascinated by the utter variety that exists in this game-creative/mundane hides, amazing and not so amazing locations, FTF hounds, coinnuts, swag traders and so on. There are many aspects all wrapped up in this one simple hide and seek activity, and we can feel free to participate in whichever parts of geocaching we want to.

I also really enjoy seeing the world through a geocaching lens as it reveals facets that other non-caching people may never see. A tour of Arlington National Cemetery is a perfect example of this. I don't want to spoil any surprises for future visiting cachers, but lets just say that the virtual caches placed there are not your routine 'walk up to the monument and get a number' type. And the final location of the ones we found were fascinating sites that the normal visitor to the cemetery probably never gets to. The same is true for the WW II Memorial. There is something special there that 99.9% of the visitors will never notice, but we will be led right to it.


Geocaching has also led me to places and caused me to do things I wouldn't otherwise do. That's pretty fascinating too.

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I always say it is not about the destination but the places you see along the way


It just so happens that the people you meet along the journey are just as interesting as the places you go to see


and of course placing a cache in a spot that drives cachers crazy is another good thing.


Creative cache containers is another thing, what can the imagination think of.


ME I like it alot!!!!

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Frog says:


Its hard to put into words, but there is something inherently cool about making a human connection with strangers through geocaching. Both a connection with the cache owner and the others who have found the cache. Cache owners generally place caches somepleace interesting and frequently off the beaten path. The Pig and I have found many new and interesting places we never would have found otherwise. I know of some cools places that I want to share too.


Its facinating to know that dozens... maybe hundreds of other folk undertook the same adventure, and you don't know any of them. But, you have something in common.


I would say that there is the "secret" element of geocaching. Its like being in on the joke. I drive-by several caches on my to and from work every day. In one case, I come within 50 feet of a cache. Maybe 50 people know its there.


In a sense, geocaching is a secret society, with its own jargon, ethics, tools, etc. We come from all walks of life, yet share common interest in the outdoors and EXPLORING.


I think that sums it up.

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I find it fascinating that people get sooooo into the game, that it causes some of them to exhibit such obsessive behaviour. I'd kind of expect that from teenagers in front of WoW (although I can't really tell you why), but quite how grown adults can get so torn up over whether this or that detail of the game should be allowed or whether this or that constitues cheating, amazes me. There's a PhD in anthropology in there.


(And yes, this rather grimy pot knows that the kettle is only a couple of shades darker sometimes. :blink:)

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I'm just in it for the McToys and rusty keychains!


No seriously, the fact that I can be lead to a small container, in a place I've never been but am pretty sure I will enjoy, and know that it is within plain sight of dozens of oblivious people every day, tells me I have something in common with the cacher who placed the cache even though I've never meet them. Maybe it tells me something about our nature as people, but I'm not a good enough philosopher to know.

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My wife and I like it for several different aspects.


The way that we can get out as a family. It gives us an opportunity to bond and explore at the same time instead of staying inside. Keeps us active.


The satisfaction that we found something that is hidden.


Going to places that I would have missed normally and learning about any history (if any) of the area.


Being able to go on vacation, visit family and still be able to Geocache.


They way that this can be as casual as you want (go caching on a whim) or make this an obsession.

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I have lived in the Antelope Valley in Southern California for over 10 yrs now, but until I started caching a year and a half ago I thought that this was a really boring place. I'm an outdoor enthusiast and never in a million years thought that the desert would ever be able to compare to Montana (where I grew up) as far as hiking went. Since I began geocaching however, I have discovered so many cool places close by that I never knew existed and now I am never bored.


For example, just the other week my geocaching team (TEAM NIGHTWATCH) and I discovered a massive abandoned silver mine shaft in the mountains about an hour and a half away that none of us knew existed. Not only did we get to find a cool cache with an awesome historical background, but we also found a new place that we will be able to explore for a while to come.

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I'm facinated by Geocaching because it gets me out of the house and gives me an excuse to go hiking. I love the hunt and the satisfaction of finding that one cache that's been driving you nuts for weeks. I love to see how ingenious people are with their hiding techniques. Geocaching is FAR better than using some printed tourism magazine. When we go travelling it takes us to places we'd never have reason to visit otherwise. I've seen trails, waterfalls, parks, gardens and other natural and man made features that I never knew existed. I know in my own city there are a few places I didn't know existed and I thought I knew my city pretty well. It's a good way to get out and meet people too who have the same interests. I've met a few people who I now consider to be good friends. Never would have met them if not for Geocaching. I can sum up Geocaching in 3 words....GEOCACHING IS FUN!

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It fascinates me that you can meet a total stranger at a cache, find out that they are also a cacher and spend the next several hours caching together.


I also love the knowing the fact that at some point hundreds of cachers in your area have all been to the one same spot at one time or another.

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Thanks to all who have posted responses so far. It is really cool to read the very similar, yet sometimes different things that fascinates all of us about this sport/hobby/addiction we have.


Keep them coming, I truly do appreciate it.


Once the paper is graded, I will either post it here, or post a link of where it can be read at.


Thanks again


the brewmeister

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I enjoy caching for many of the same reasons you do. I think it is a great way to learn about places I have never been or show me new spots in my own city. Basically you have a local telling you what off-beat places are worth visiting. Caching is a great excuse to get off of the couch and go outside.


I also like it because it means I always have something to do, regardless of where I am. This fall my family rented a house at the beach in North Carolina. Although I like the scenery of the ocean, I'm the type of person who gets bored of just sitting on the beach pretty quickly. So I rented a bike and took a day to ride around the island and geocache. I found some nice spots with great views.


I have found that caching is a good way to break up a long road trip. Although caches at rest stops are not usually in nice and fascinating places it is nice to have an excuse to get out of the car, move around, and use my brain a little.


I like the whole ethos of people who enjoy this particular hobby. Its about getting out and engaging with your environment.


Finally, I am fascinated by the technology involved. It think that its pretty cool that there are these things all the way up space that can show where on Earth I am located.


So, essentially I like the journey that each new cache presents. Although I am always disappointed when I can't find the cache I am looking for, I never view the trip as a waste. I am not one who gets excited about what is inside the cache or just wants to earn as many smileys as possible, although I can't say that I don't have goals in that department.


I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your essay!

Edited by Maganou
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Things that fascinate me:


-- It used to be the "secret society" aspect of things. As caching has gone more mainstream this aspect has faded a lot, but when I first started I found it amazing that people were hiding things for others to find that no one else knew where there.


-- The "unknown gems" of various locations also appealed to me, and still does when I travel. There were parks and places in and around my city that I didn't know existed despite living here for years. It's been about a year since I've had that sense of wonderment in my local area. We have traveled places with people who have been going there for years and discovered things that they didn't know about.


-- The fact that it works at all. When I first heard about the concept I thought "Oh, that would be cool to try sometime if we are ever in the States." I figured that like so many technological advances, Canada would have to wait before it came to us but I was pleased to discover that not only could I look up caches outside of the US but there was one several kilometers from my house. I'll never forget the thrill of finding that first container and saying "Holy crap! It works! It's isn't some sort of gigantic inside joke or internet hoax."


-- I love the technology. I love finding new features of my GPSr or new ways of using features I already knew about. "Cool, I can use Custom POIs to store hints." or "Hey, I can create custom icons so I can see the cache type at a glance." I love creating macros in GSAK to automate my common tasks. I love sorting and filtering caches.


-- I love maps and navigation. Before vacations I used to spend hours with paper maps planning routes, making notes, and figuring out driving times. Now I do it all on the computer with things like Mapsource, although I keep paper maps in the vehicle as a failback.


-- I love numbers. I love slicing and dicing my Finds in GSAK. I love to see how my caching has changed over the years and correlating slow downs and busy times to "real life" events. Oh, we went three months without caching back then. Right, my stepdad had died, we helped my mother move and we moved ourselves. Oh, we found a lot of caches at that time -- right, I had the week off work or we were on vacation.


-- I love the people. I love how cachers come from various backgrounds and experiences. I love how whenever I meet other cachers I instantly have something in common with them, whether they are numbers hounds or newbies.


-- I love how caching can be whatever I want it to be. I can manipulate the game as I see fit. If I want it to be a physical challenge I can use it as a reason to climb mountains or go on long hikes. If I want it to be a mental game I can solve puzzles. If I want it to be a timed challenge I can do a numbers run. If I want it to be a social game I can do that but I also can do it when I want to be alone.

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I love the fact that a stranger can hide a small container on the globe and post the coordinates in a virtual community of like-minded individuals to provide others with a wonderful opportunity to be led on an adventure to a precise location where you can pick out a trinket and then share your experience with others.


Seriously, think about it...billions of people and billions of wonders in the world and we lead each other to precise places on the earth to share a common experience.

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:blink: Like so many others, I love all the things mentioned above...but most of all: :blink:


I have been married for 26 years so I am a wife, daughter inlaw, sister inlaw

I have 3 children so I am a mom

I work hard at my job which can be demanding at times so I am a professional

I am the youngest of 10 children so I am a sister, aunt, cousin...

My parents have passed away but I am A daughter to my women mentors

My parents relatives have passed away, but i am a niece to so many of their surviving friends


:ph34r: I LOVE FILLING ALL OF THESE ROLES...BUT when I am geocaching and:


discover "secret gardens" and waterfalls that can't be seen from the road...

have climbed over/under/up obstacles that at my age most would find a way to avoid...

don't worry about looking silly and laugh at my blunders...

get dirty and sweaty...

get scrapes and scratches...

breath the fresh air...












Edited by sharom12
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I’m fascinated by grueling hikes to beautiful remote locations.


I’m fascinated by hidden-in-plain-sight urban caches.


I continue to be fascinated that otherwise normal honest people will totally sacrifice their integrity and lie, claiming to have found a certain geocache when it isn’t even there.

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I’m fascinated by grueling hikes to beautiful remote locations.


I’m fascinated by hidden-in-plain-sight urban caches.


I continue to be fascinated that otherwise normal honest people will totally sacrifice their integrity and lie, claiming to have found a certain geocache when it isn’t even there.


I have the same fascination you have. :)



I'm fascinated by the historical, scenic spots that some geocaches lead you to.


I'm fascinated by geocachers who spend all day driving from parking lot, to guardrails looking for micros, and have fun doing it. :)

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All I can do is reconfirm what has already been stated above.


Finding places and things I would never had known otherwise.


Spending time with my daughter who would otherwise rather be playing video games or the boob tube.


The thrill of the hunt and the sometimes multiple attempts until found.


Tweeks the pirate in me. Treasure Hunt


Having to use the space between my ears for problem solving instead of holding my hat on better.


*** Being able to express myself through my blogs, videos, photographs and creative hides. What an outlet.


Oh and it's good for my health too.


-HHH ;)

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I continue to be fascinated that otherwise normal honest people will totally sacrifice their integrity and lie, claiming to have found a certain geocache when it isn’t even there.

Yes, I've seen that too.


There will be a bunch of DNFs on a cache. Previous finders have said it's missing, and then someone comes along and finds it, saying, "Quick find. TFTC!" Then there'll be a few more DNFs and the owner finally checks on it and says it's missing. ;)


Perhaps the finder accidentally logged the wrong one, but similar things happen quite often.

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My very smart and pretty wife often says that the attraction is that we can play out in the woods like little boys and girls all over again.

She's soooo right!


I once found a cache in the woods that I did play in as a child when I was visiting my parents. The memories that came flooding back to me as I stood there holding this little tupperware box were mighty powerful.

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Before I give my answers, I want to say that I have enjoyed reading everyone's answers. Sharom12's answer hit me hardest, because I could really feel that one.


When I started this in May of 2008, I thought this would be a good way to do something with my 13 yr old son. Then after we cached that first day, we came home and told my 17 yr old about it. I figured my 17 yr old son would never care about something like this. His first words were, "Can I come with you?" So the next day he was out there looking with us! Wow, something a single mom can do with her two teenaged sons....is this some kind of dream???


What keeps bringing me back?

The thrill of seeing a new cache pop up in the area. The scramble of the locals for FTF. Visiting the same place several times and going home each time and pondering where I went wrong. Trying to think like the sneaky local geocache hiders. Showing up at a cache site and seeing a person with a GPS in their hand. Going to local events and discussing our latest finds. Having a local cacher email and beg for a hint, because you know something they don't - you found it. Visiting a road or a park or a site that you'd never have seen if you weren't a geocacher. Going on vacation and stopping to find caches along the way. Seeing places along the road and thinking that might be a good cache site. Finding an email in your mailbox that says someone has found your cache. Even better, finding an email that says they COULDN'T find your cache :) Best of all is an experienced local cacher that emails and asks for a hint because they can't find your cache!!! ;)


But I think the most fascinating thing about caching is knowing that there are little treasures hidden all over the world, and I have the tools to go out and find them, wherever they are! I love to drive by places where I've scored smilies and think to myself, there is a cache over there. I drove by that place for years and now I share a secret with others about that place.


The first cache that I ever hid is behind a business. I picked this site because I frequent the business and had come to know the owner. I told him about geocaching and asked if I could place my first cache there. He thought it was a great idea. About a week later I was checking the cache and met the business owner's father who cares for the landscaping at the site. He laughed as he said to me, "You have never gotten over growing up and not being able to hunt for Easter Eggs any more, have you?" That is what caching is like for me, finding Easter Eggs. I never get tired of looking for them.



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