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Just read how geocaching all started


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I knew the outline of how it all started, but having just read the full story it made very interesting reading.

 

But how did it all start for you?

 

For me it was a visit to York. UK to meet up with friends who were already geocachers. They had their GPS and showed us how it all worked. The first ever cache for me (helping) was a virtual one , after that I was hooked. Whilst the men went to the pub my friend and I walked around York caching. Then once we were back home I was online searching for a suitable GPS.

And the rest, as they say is history.

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I was taking a pee behind a rock wall at my favorite (macabre, I know) cemetery. Found a big metal box, figured it was a bomb or a dead animal in there. Hauled a downed tree limb over to box, tried to pry it open from 15 feet away, couldnt....

Curiousity got the better of me, so I went and shook it and heard loose items. Opened it, read the log, remembered hearing about it, signed the log with the story and traded some swag....went home, made an account, logged my 1st find. :anitongue:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=e697d9fd-f6b1-44d8-b468-31682dc462b2

Edited by Mushroom420
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I was doing IT support in a school and the Geography teacher asked me to price a data cable for their Garmin eTrex

 

When I found out how much it was, I made one by hand using instructions I found on the internet. To test it, we needed to send data to the unit and he showed me this website.

 

Downhill from there.

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I had bought my wife a Garmin auto GPSr and while registering it online there was a link to geocaching.com. Went out the next day to the nearest cache (without the hint) and couldn't understand why the cache wasn't exactly where I was standing since the GPSr was zeroed out. Went home and read up some more on geocaching. The next day I brought the hint with me and made the find quickly but about 20 ft away from my initial search. This is when I first learned that the GPSr won't necessarily bring me to the exact spot. Bought a handheld GPSr a month later and the fun hasn't stopped since.

 

c5d5ea7b-4617-457e-8514-91c1ca653eb8.jpg?rnd=0.5158915

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Well at least no one has dropped "this question has been asked 500 times before" on you. I think it's an awesome topic, enjoy reading the stories of others, and answer every time. I stumbled on Geocaching twice while surfing the web in 2003, and the 2nd time I decided if I'd heard of it before, I'd better check it out for real this time. The 2nd time was at a website called epodunk.com, which has all sorts of useless statistical information for any municipality in America, and has a "find geocaches in this municipality" link.

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We knew about geocaching years ago and knew it was something we would enjoy but never really had the tools to do so. Over the years it sorta slipped our minds. One day this past April while the kids were out of school for spring break, we were visiting a local park on the river. While exploring around, my brother-in-law came across a cache tube zip-tied to a tree and said "hey, look! It's a geocache!". That's when the bug bit us! We signed the log and went home and created an account! We started looking into it again and realized that our phones now have GPS capabilities and we quickly got the app to start geocaching. We spent the rest of that weekend finding our first caches. We quickly realized that geocaching on a cell phone eats up battery and data! We have since purchased a GPSr and go every chance we get! We're still beginners but in the first month of caching, we've logged 60 finds! This is such a great hobby and a great motivator to get outside and spend time as a family making memories!

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A friend of mine bought an eTrex Legend and hooked it up to his laptop running Microsoft Streets and Trips and showed me how he could track the location of his vehicle on the map in real time. I thought it was the coolest thing ever and wanted to do it too, especially when traveling on vacation.

 

Problem was I knew my wife would never allow me to buy a GPSr just for vacation purposes so I needed another reason. Well, she was always pestering me to go for walks with her but I never could see the point. I remembered I had read about this Internet game involving hidden containers and so I looked it up online and told her "Hey, we should try this geocaching thing -- it might motivate me to get out and walk. We just need to buy a GPS."

 

So, caching was just an excuse to get past the wife filter. :rolleyes:

 

I didn't even know if caching happened in Canada or not! I figured it might just be an American thing. Right up until that moment when I found my first cache container I thought the whole thing might just be a big scam. Once I moved the piece of sandstone and saw that plastic toolbox tucked into an alcove in the rocks I was hooked!

 

9+ years later I'm still caching...

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I got started when my ex asked me if I wanna caching with her on our second date. Those caches never been logged under my sn and I wont say who she is. Yep, shes around and nobody know who shes. It did became a guessing game for three years and nobody got it right and they never will. :laughing::laughing:

Edited by SwineFlew
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I was searching a parents website for fun things to do with the little one during the school holidays. Right at the very bottom of the list, and the only thing that appealed to me and my nerd senses, was Geocaching.

Made an account, spent two days reading and re-reading the rules/guidelines, googled it for a while before downloading the really bad free app for my iPhone and finding my first one.

Two days later, I downloaded the paid app, found my second and then bought a premium account.

You know you're hooked on this game almost immediately! :lol:

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I was looking for some new apps for my iPhone. I somehow stumbled upon the free version of the Groundspeak geocaching app. I thought to myself, "Geocaching... that's a thing, right?" I had heard of it before, but didn't quite know what it was (I thought you got to keep the item you found, etc). I did a bit of research, learned about the game, and found out that there was a cache about 500 feet from my house as the crow flies!

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A friend of mine sent me a link about it probably 7-8 years ago and I mentioned it to my husband (at the time) he kinda poo poed it and wasn't interested.....forward about 2 years and he says to me.....u heard about this geocaching thing? We should try it. So since it was his idea....lol.....we gave it a try, and I really enjoyed it. Then we split up....(not because of this lol)..I always wanted to do more but had no idea about gps units or how to use them, then found the app for my phone and that started our mom/daughter caching time....my daughter and I now own a dedicated gps super simple to use and we are looking forward to a summer full of adventure!

 

And although this may have been asked a million times before, it's the first time I've seen it asked.....so thanks for the thread! ( yes a newbie to these forums)

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The evening of December 27, 2010 we found our first cache. Someone mentioned geocaching on an online parenting forum and, intrigued, I asked them to tell me more. They directed me to geocaching.com, so I watched the video and signed up. We were really surprised to see the map of all the geocaches near our house for the first time. I wish I had videotaped that moment, it was quite something to see all this 'hidden treasure' in parks and next to walking paths we'd used for years!!

 

Violet and I went out that night after dinner with our car GPS and cell phone flashlight determined to see what this geocaching thing was all about. It was a short walk from our home, the air was chilly and it was very dark. We got to the right area and of course our car GPS wasn't very accurate. We stumbled about in some blackberry vines for a good 15 minutes, our only light the pitiful glow from my cellphone. Our hands and feet were getting cold and we were just about ready to give up and try again the next morning when I glanced up and saw a tree not 20 feet away. Something clicked and I thought that maybe between that tree and that fence would be a good place to hide something. I made my way over to the tree and poked around in the bushes. Suddenly, I saw the words 'OFFICIAL GEOCACHE' staring back at me. Time froze for a few seconds. It was surreal, like in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when they walk through that closet and are suddenly in another world. Remembering to breathe again, I called Violet over and I think her jaw hit the ground when she saw it. It was an ammo-can with the words stenciled on its side. After struggling to open it, we spent some time sorting through the interesting contents. We traded some stickers that we'd brought along and logged our very 1st find.

 

Over 800 caches later and the joy of discovery is still there. For us, it's not just about finding the cache, but about discovering all the best places in this beautiful city of ours. There are parks and beaches not a 5 minute drive from our house that we probably wouldn't have found without geocaching!

 

Edited to add: I wrote this up thinking we'd do a 1 year anniverary cache. I havne't got around to making up the cache yet, so maybe it'll have to be a 2 year anniversary cache. :P

Edited by The_Incredibles_
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You want to know more about how it got started?

How about this one:

 

http://groups.google.com/group/sci.geo.satellite-nav/browse_thread/thread/b71fac54967c8eae/d31b5976e24696ce?lnk=gst&q=GPS+Stash+Hunt+#d31b5976e24696ce

 

The way it started for me was when a carpooling friend said he was almost arrested doing this hobby because a neighbor to a canal trail mistaken him for a burglar. It piqued my interest.

Went out bought a gps and started finding the ones nearby my home.

Edited by jellis
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My "start" in geocaching was when I read this article in Wired magazine. I have always been a geek for electronics (if it's shiny and makes a whirring noise, I want it), so this was right up my alley. I browsed online for handheld GPS units and it was a big letdown. I didn't have any disposable income, units were about $400-$450 and there were relatively few caches in the world (25,000 compared to the 1.75 million today), so I just let it go as an expensive hobby that I probably wouldn't be a part of.

 

Fast forward to 2008 and I bought a Nuvi for my navigational needs. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, that Wired article floated to the top of the brain and I did a search for geocache and it led me to geocaching.com and I was floored at how many caches now existed. I think the number was around 550,000 but it may have been higher (or lower!)...whatever it was, it was a heck of alot more than 25,000. I knew this was the hobby for me, so I signed up right away for a premium membership and haven't looked back.

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I was off by one day. But by George I finally found it.

http://groups.google.com/group/sci.geo.satellite-nav/browse_thread/thread/99c847733cb3547a/78ecbcc171b3f4a7?lnk=gst&q=GPS+Stash+#78ecbcc171b3f4a7

 

&

 

http://groups.google.com/group/sci.geo.satellite-nav/browse_thread/thread/bc5e45a8542e4526/1256e6953148b1cf?lnk=gst&q=GPS+Stash+#1256e6953148b1cf

 

And I just love this line:

Soon we will have

> thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.

 

Great idea Dave!

...er.... perhaps if you left the 'American' bit out of the name, if you

want it to be worldwide?

Edited by jellis
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There were a couple of events which led up to me getting into Geocaching.

 

As an avid sea kayaker I have attended several sea kayaking symposiums which offer various training sessions. One was a half day session on navigation and although it was primarily using maps and a compass in one of the exercises we shared a GPS to find a specific beach on an island.

 

On another kayaking trip in the Florida keys one of the other kayakers had a GPS and a good set of charts which had some waypoints on it for some interesting features. One set was for a sunken sailboat a 1/4 mile or so from land. We followed the GPS to that spot in the ocean and then did a shallow water dive to check out the boat (it was only about 15 feet down).

 

A few months later I was planning on going on a 4 day kayak trip with several other to Georgian Bay (Lake Huron). We had a trip planning meeting a few weeks prior to leaving where we went over charts of the area and planned out some potential routes between the islands. Most of the others that were going on the trip had handheld GPS receivers and were entering waypoints into them that we'd use for our route. When I got home I found a piece of software called ExpertGPS that I could use to take scanned images of the charts and the plot waypoints for the potential routes and then save them in GPX format so that they could be uploaded to a GPS (even though I did not yet have one).

 

Then a few months later my wife was doing some web surfing on some topics related to her occupation and came across some books which had a link to the authors blog. On that blog the author listed Geocaching as one of the activities he liked to do. My wife then asked me if I had heard of Geocaching (I had only heard of it) and that it sounded like something that would be fun to do. I told her that we would have to get a GPS (thinking in the back of my mind that this might be a good excuse to get a GPS for kayaking). I ordered a Garmin 76Cx the next day (noting that it was not only waterproof but it allegedly would float if dropped into the water...an advantage if used for kayaking) and after it arrived we went out and found our first cache. She's only been with me for a few caches since, and my son is only now started to become a little more interested in it.

 

I think I have only used my GPS a handful of times for kayaking.

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We found our first cache on 4th April 2010. Had read something on the internet about geocaching and had a jailbroken ipod touch and a bluetooth gps so we went out for a walk locally and have been hooked ever since.

 

Strange thing is, when I went to sign up for an account on gc.com I found my username had been taken. Thought that was quite odd, tried logging in under that username and using the password I often use and.... I was in! Turns out I had registered on the site on 17th July 2006. Thinking back I vaguely recall wandering around some local woods with my car gps and never finding anything and giving up. Then a 4 year break before returning. Am gutted at all those wasted year in between! If only I had managed to find that original cache...

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My wife's brother and nephew live in Maine and were coming to visit us in CA. Her nephew emailed us about wanting to find some geocaches while here. He gave us the website and his account info. I signed in and thought that geocaching was dumb. Oh well, got to humor the guest. While they were here we went to three caches a day for a few days. It was during that time that I became amazed at the interesting places around us that we had never seen before. After they left, I wanted to get involved.

 

Our good friends had a top of the line gps they bought for biking and I borrowed it to see if I could figure it out. Once I knew how to use it, I ordered one and signed on to the website. About that time, our friends mentioned that they saw the geocaching section on the gps, looked up the site and figured they might be interested. Since then we have cached together locally and in different states and countries.

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I don't remember how I originally found the site, but I signed up four years ago and found a couple of caches using Google Maps (which was ever so accurate :P I'm actually amazed we found any!). I remember wandering around in the car with my laptop and getting frustrated... don't think we've found that one yet, actually, we should do that.

 

Anyway, fast forward through buying our first house, having a baby, being diagnosed with several chronic illnesses and dealing emotionally with that, and a bunch of other life events. We had a friend move in, with her parents, which has been a little rough financially (and medically, weirdly enough). One day we had to take their computer into the pawn shop so I could get to one of my knee surgeries, and I was wandering around looking at everything, since this was the first time I'd been in a pawn shop for any length of time and it was surprisingly nice. Check out the electronics, since I love gadgets, starting at the mp3 players, working my way around to the cameras, hey, this case over here has GPSes. And... WHOA. ONE handheld Garmin, and hey, I could really do something with that...

 

When we got our tax return, I made my husband go back and buy it for me. Turned out it was originally over 4 times the price we paid for it, and it's been serving us well. We haven't gotten out to get a whole /lot/ of caches, but what we have gotten (and attempted!) has been fun, and has given us lots of stories. I got everyone in the house involved, when they can, but mostly it's me with the itchy feet. I'm currently waiting for my blisters to heal so I can get back out there!

 

- Lady Loki

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So I was reading thru the newsgroups that I subscribed to. I saw some chatter about SA being turned off and some people in Oregon hiding something in the woods for others to find. I didn't have a GPS at the time so I just filed it away as something neat but not something that I could do. Also Oregon was very far away. Two years later I get a GPS for Christmas. I remember the thing someone hid in Oregon and wonder if maybe some other people hid something to find and hopefully they did it a little closer than Oregon. I Asked Jeeves (now called just ask.com) and got directed to Geocaching.com. I was in luck. The nearest cache was only 80km (about 50 miles) away!

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So I was reading thru the newsgroups that I subscribed to. I saw some chatter about SA being turned off and some people in Oregon hiding something in the woods for others to find.

 

I'm surprised that I didn't discover geocaching earlier through usenet newsgroups. I was quite active on usenet in 2000 and had already been a newsgroup site administrator for five years.

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I heard about this on the news and around work. It all started when someone wrote a Geo program for the Blackberry phone i had, i now have a LG REV with a better cache program. My first cache was right down the road from my house. It's been fun ever since. O, one nice thing about this, I'm finding Little public parks in the area i never knew about.

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09/19/2009 we found our first,

we went to a company dinner party the whole company, with wifes and all that, nice,

one of my co-workers a very active geocacher, said he wanted to walk for ½ hr during the dinner

to find a secret tressure some one hidden near by,

he said he found the info on the web and downloaded alot similar locations to his GPS,

OMG i just had to see this !!

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So I was reading thru the newsgroups that I subscribed to. I saw some chatter about SA being turned off and some people in Oregon hiding something in the woods for others to find. I didn't have a GPS at the time so I just filed it away as something neat but not something that I could do. Also Oregon was very far away. Two years later I get a GPS for Christmas. I remember the thing someone hid in Oregon and wonder if maybe some other people hid something to find and hopefully they did it a little closer than Oregon. I Asked Jeeves (now called just ask.com) and got directed to Geocaching.com. I was in luck. The nearest cache was only 80km (about 50 miles) away!

Did you look at my post above you. I found some of the original messages. They are still there but not sure how much longer.

Edited by jellis
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So I was reading thru the newsgroups that I subscribed to. I saw some chatter about SA being turned off and some people in Oregon hiding something in the woods for others to find. I didn't have a GPS at the time so I just filed it away as something neat but not something that I could do. Also Oregon was very far away. Two years later I get a GPS for Christmas. I remember the thing someone hid in Oregon and wonder if maybe some other people hid something to find and hopefully they did it a little closer than Oregon. I Asked Jeeves (now called just ask.com) and got directed to Geocaching.com. I was in luck. The nearest cache was only 80km (about 50 miles) away!

Did you look at my post above you. I found some of the original messages. They are still there but not sure how much longer.

I sure did. I spent most of my time read the alt.* newsgroups back before you could do everything on the web. I find it funny how most people think that the world wide web and the internet are the same thing. That just shows you how flexible and powerful that the web has become.

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So I was reading thru the newsgroups that I subscribed to. I saw some chatter about SA being turned off and some people in Oregon hiding something in the woods for others to find. I didn't have a GPS at the time so I just filed it away as something neat but not something that I could do. Also Oregon was very far away. Two years later I get a GPS for Christmas. I remember the thing someone hid in Oregon and wonder if maybe some other people hid something to find and hopefully they did it a little closer than Oregon. I Asked Jeeves (now called just ask.com) and got directed to Geocaching.com. I was in luck. The nearest cache was only 80km (about 50 miles) away!

Did you look at my post above you. I found some of the original messages. They are still there but not sure how much longer.

I sure did. I spent most of my time read the alt.* newsgroups back before you could do everything on the web. I find it funny how most people think that the world wide web and the internet are the same thing. That just shows you how flexible and powerful that the web has become.

As you read the messages it is funny how what they said back then about newbies to this new game is the same messages you read about what we say now.

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Mrs Team Dennis and I had her friend & husband from CA stay with us over Memorial Day weekend in 2009. They had been doing this "Geocaching" thing for a while and wanted to know if we wanted to try to find a few in my hometown of Beautiful Stilly. We went out and found 3 of the 4 we searched for that day and I was hooked. I went out that week (Tuesday if memory serves me correct) and bought my first (and only...thus far) GPSr. After figuring out how to use the darn thing we started caching on our own the following weekend. We "only" found about 200 in our first 10 months of caching before we got our dog Inga. At that point I began to look for places where we could go caching while taking her for walks. It was also at that point that my* caching career really took off. 3100+ finds later and I'm still loving it!

 

*Mrs Team Dennis likes to get out and cache, but she just doesn't have as much spare time as I do.

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Went out with some friends, who mentioned giving this thing a try. I had read about it on Slashdot, back in 2000, but work and career moves delayed my entry. Not much of a matter as there were fewer than 100 caches around the area back then and a big day of caching was making 3 finds.

 

I found it exciting and bought my first GPSr right away and bought some ammo boxes, too. Only got around to hiding one within that short period, before more crap hit the fan in my life.

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I believe I might have heard about it in passing before, but the first time I really looked into geocaching was back in June 2008. A then friend (we kind of just drifted apart, I suppose) and I were in my bedroom and he brought it up. He and a group of his friends had gone recently and he suggested I look it up on the geocaching website, which I did.

 

Found my first cache in a local park's parking lot (which later became the location of my first hide two years later) that same month. Four years later, here we are.

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My brother-in-law and sister began to do it. I tagged along with him once and was hooked immediately. Made my own account when I was sixteen and began hiding my own.

 

Now I'm nineteen, with a new account and just started again. After taking my girlfriend geocaching randomly, great memories of adventure came back to me... and luckily she loved it too!

 

It's just a great way to get outdoors and add a little more fun to hiking and traveling.

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After discovering how to hack my old HTC Touch (Vogue) to enable the GPS, I was looking for cool GPS apps, and kept seeing these Geocoaching apps. Turns out they were not geo-coaching, but geo-caching. Eventualy my curiosity got me and I wikipedia-ed geocaching, and the rest is history.

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Initially I heard about the game as a kid in the scouts but you know kids, in one ear and out the other. Then a little over a year ago my coworker (nastychef) brought it up as he had just came in from caching. Well I looked up the app, went out to find my first cache, and failed. Spent an hour walking in circles in the woods. A week or so later I gave it another shot, while I was digging about in some bushes a film canister attatched to a string bopped me on my forehead. That was the moment I decided I can't give this up. (I did wind up finding that first cache, a year later two feet from where I was searching)

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I originally found the site years ago. (Not sure how many years, but it's been a while.) I might have been looking for computer benchmarking software and found the benchmarking page, or I might have been looking for a GPS based game. (At one point I wanted a GPS pretty much because I didn't have one. But couldn't really justify a use for it at the time.) I know I looked around the site a bit and thought it was interesting, but I didn't have a GPS or transportation to Geocaches so I forgot about it.

 

Fast forward to early 2011. My mother was planning a winter family road trip down to Alabama to see some family members who were spending the winter down there and decided she wanted to buy a GPS to help navigate. And I vaguely remembered some game I'd read about where people hide stuff and find them via GPS, so I did some web searching and found this site. As I wasn't a Premium Member at the time and only had a Nuvi GPS, I figured out that I could save copies of the cache web pages and put them on my Dell Axim Windows Mobile PDA. But that took some time, loading caches and saving web pages one by one, so I didn't actually do any Geocaching on that first trip.

 

As I'm not much for the cold, my first good chance to go Geocaching came about a month later when we flew out to CA to visit my sister. I'd contacted her about Geocaching online (trying to get some idea of places we might go so I could start loading the GPS/PDA) and she actually made an account and she found there was a cache at a spot where she planned on going for another reason and suggested I start there. I spent more then a half hour looking for a 1.5/1 micro cache near the edge of a parking lot. The GPS pointed me towards this big hedge, split into two sections by a light post. I'd read that GPS units aren't always totally precise, so I was looking all over the length of that hedge, in it, on it, under it, even taking pictures with my camera inside a curious artificial hole in the ground (some sort of sprinkler thing) until finally I got stung by a thorn on the bush, jerked my hand back, and bumped the skirt of that light pole. That, of course, was where the cache was hidden. By that time everyone else was about to leave until I told them I finally found it. :P

 

After that we looked for a bunch of other caches in CA on that trip, some we found, some we didn't. (My sister and I were mostly the ones searching.) Oddly enough I think my first find was the only LPC we looked for on that trip. I also moved a travelbug on that trip. (Bringing it back with us to place locally, since a year or two after it was set free, it was still in the same county that it started in, and it was trying to get to Australia. :b )

 

A while later I bought an older model used smartphone (with GPS) from Amazon for far less then most handheld GPS units, became a premium member, and have gotten interested in Benchmark hunting. In addition to Geocaches I've now found some NGS benchmarks, both new and old, some Waymarked Army Corps of Engineers benchmarks, and am interested in finding accessible PLSS marks. I'm also thinking about getting a proper GPS before the end of the year as well, since my phone isn't the most accurate under tree cover and does not have an electronic compass.

Edited by EdrickV
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