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How did you start Geocaching and what kept you geocaching?


scottmcblane
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Sorry in advance.. I realise there are post of this exact nature.. I made this and now cannot delete it and I just hope that you will be willing to tell your story again.

 

I'm interested in how people got into geocaching. As for me, I'd heard a couple of times from friends as to what geocaching is. Then one day I was watching YouTube and came across this video and that day I had found my first cache. Loved it so much and haven't stopped since. The thing that kept me geocaching was all the amazing places I find that I had no idea existed and the adventure on the way.

 

So how did you get introduced and what kept you caching?

 

:)

 

Edited by scottmcb
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Well my friends in Germany showed my other half after their other friend from my town showed them. My other half showed me and I've been caching since.

 

Edit: ooops forgot the second bit.

What kept me caching is the enjoyment of finding something... Oh and travel bugs and geocoins. I like to move those on. I have loads of them too considering I've not even had 100 finds :P

Edited by sparklefingers
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My husband and I started while on vacation in the Mojave Desert. We'd started trying to use our vehicle GPS. It went poorly. When we made it to Las Vegas we bought a Garmin eTrex. The next day in Kingman, AZ we found our first cache, an LPC. We found about five more that day were just hooked. We discovered lonely cemeteries, abandoned settlements, incredible views, and had so much fun. When we returned to home to West Virginia we found it was just as fun as it was out west. Successfully finding something and solving a problem (seeking the cache or solving a puzzle) feels like an accomplishment. Yet it is also basically the only thing in my life where if I fail it's no big friggin' deal and that's also nice. Probably most importantly, it's something my husband and I can get into together away from the stress of work.

 

And it's exercise, and I'm trying to keep the growth of the spare tire around my waist to a minimum.

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I am of an age where they recommend that we work on neuroplasticity. I am doing that with Harry Dolphin /Andy Bear puzzles. Last week I did it with PMolan puzzles, it is fun and my neuros remain plastic. I also continued to cache because somewhere in the mix I got to meet some like minded folks who are just great people to be with--social interaction is a nice part of this game.

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I read a bit about community mapping in the newspaper (I have always been fascinated by maps and would have been a cartographer or surveyor if I hadn't failed my geography over and over) and the article was explaining that the GPSs that were used were also used for geocaching. there was only a paragraph about it in the paper, but a bit of interwebbing revealed it as something that was for me. I ordered a GPS on the web and the rest as they say is history.

 

What keeps me going is the opportunity to use it as an excuse to travel to places I haven't been before.

 

Looking into the future though, I can see a point where I simply drift away amid a world filled with film cannisters that have nothing to recommend the location other than a smiley. Dull caches will kill this game in the end other than for people who are interested in accumulating smileys wherever they come from.

 

PP.

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I heard about it back in 03 and was instantly addicted. Back then I spent a lot of time telling others about it and have recruited absolutely no one. It seems to be either something you want to do or it just an interesting pastime.

 

An observation. I've seen people log 5000 caches in three years and get burnt out. I think, I'm going to take it easier than that so I can enjoy it longer. So it takes me 20 years to reach 5k and maybe then I will decide to move on. Well, since the math is the same I don't criticize power cachers for seizing the day,

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I overheard two of my coworkers talking about it. Something they wanted to do with thier kids. They didn't even call it by the right name, or know much about it at all. A quick google search of "caching" and I found what they were talking about. The next weekend my boss let me borrow his GPS from 1995. My wife and I found 3 caches that day, and as difficult as it was with that ancient GPS we went and bought a Nuvi for our car. Thinking that if we didn't like it, at least we had a GPS for our car. Well we did like it, and we are still hooked.

 

I continue to do it because it has gotten me in to many outdoor activities. Hiking, backpacking, camping, kayaking, 4 wheeling, biking It has changed my life. It's gotten me in shape, and the thrill and satisfaction of finding that difficult cache makes it so much fun. Plus we have meet many cool people in our area.

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I was introduced to geocaching whilst working at an outdoor store by a colleague who was doing a GPS training session.

 

I've stayed caching as it is something that can be done alongside other outdoor pursuits like walking, cycling, camping, and even when just visiting new towns or areas. I've always been into collecting and logging things and caching is a good way of logging places that I have been.

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I first read about geocaching on a website for a nearby park / campsite -- the park hosts some earth caches and regular caches and has a link to the geocaching website.

I thought it sounded like a lot of fun, so I bought a gps and off I went! I still haven't gotten a chance to go to that park that inspired me to cache in the first place (I hope to do so this summer).

I really enjoy geocaching so it's not something I've had to work particularly hard to 'keep myself in it' per se. It's hard sometimes because of a busy schedule, but a day outside can really make me feel great when I'm otherwise stressed or overwhelmed with work. One strategy, though, that has kept me going out fairly often is getting others hooked on caching! I introduced it to a friend who lives in another city, and now he wants to go every time I visit, which is great.

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I began working with military GPS in 1994 and did a fair amount of aircraft testing. Using survey grade GPSr's we needed to do a significant amount of pre-mission planning (satellite coverage and constellation) in addition to post processing for cm level accuracies.

 

Needless to say the pre-SA off handhelds I saw were fairly useless units and wildly inaccurate. I did hear about geocaching in 2000 but did not consider hunting Tupperware in the bush (based on the handheld's accuracy) an enjoyable experience. Fast forward to 2009, when the Mrs read an article in “Our Canada” magazine and wanted to try it. I tried to dissuade her but she persisted. So after purchasing a relatively good handheld GPSr we went for our first hunt on Father's day that year and the family was hooked.

 

The “game” allows such a wide variety of motivations and experiences to the participants that the game continuously renews itself. Our motivation can include any and all “approaches” to the game. The one ethos we stick to is we need to have fun and play it our way.

 

I discovered this article online that explained some of the motivations of cachers, http://wing.comp.nus.edu.sg/~forecite/services/omnipage/thang/CHI08pdf/p1177-ohara.pdf.

Armed with that knowledge you can avoid most of the “angst” present in the forums as well as the righteousness (open and hidden) that my way is better than your way. As they say if you’re not having fun you’re doing it the wrong way.

 

Motivations for Caching

Social Walking

One of the primary motivations for doing a geocache was because it created an opportunity to get out and walk. In this respect it is important to think about the activity not simply as a destination or a find. Rather, an integral part of the experience is the getting there. An important question then is why people simply didn’t just go on a walk. What is significant is how caching was used by people to give a walk a sense of purpose. This sense of purpose helped motivate participants to walk and engage in physical activity and without which they would be less inclined to go.

To get out as a family and have and adventure was our first and primary motivation.

 

Discovering and Exploring Places

A key motivation underlying participation was its use as away of discovering new places to go. In this respect, it was not so much the finding of a cache that was primary motivation but where it led to as a consequence of doing this treasure hunt.

Since starting geocaching we have been to more small towns, back roads, and "off the beaten path areas" when engaged on our travels that the trip there is fun and not just a race to get from Point A to Point B as fast as possible.

 

Collecting

As an activity, geocaching was more than just the sum of the individual caching experiences. For many of the participants, there was a “collecting” ethos that was a

significant part of the experience. The geocaching web sitekeeps a record of all the different caches a particular cacheror caching team have done. Their “collection” of cache finds as a whole was a demonstrable record of what they have achieved. Building this up was an important and ongoing driver for continued participation. Participants mentioned that they would not want to give this up visible sense of achievement. In this respect we cannot look for motivational and behavioural factors simply within the context of an isolated geocache experience. The significance and meaning of the next cache is dependent upon the context of what they have already collected andachieved.

You may discover from reading the forums that the only people that worry "about the numbers" are the people who say "its not about the numbers". Although not driven by numbers, it is nice to see your acomplishments grow. But having said that we only compete against ourselves, setting and striving for goals, milestones, or "challenge caches" is motivating.

 

Profile and statistics

Part of the value of these collecting practices within geocaching comes from being immersed within the social context of the geocaching community. As discussed in thesocial psychology literature on collecting, a person’s collection becomes bound up with doing identity work [15].Consequently, there was value not simply in these collecting achievements per se but how they came to be represented to others. With this in mind, it is important to consider the ways this was enabled through the on-line environment and how this inextricably tied the location-based experience with accompanying on-line behaviour.

 

Challenge: individual and social aspects

For many participants, one of the key driving factors for ongoing participation was that geocaching provided a number of sources of challenge.

“I mean it’s a terrific challenge to be able to find it. I suppose that is it – it’s a challenge. I don’t like to be beaten. The longest we have spent looking is about an hour and a half and I don’t like to give up until I have found it.”

 

This is in line with the claims made in [18] about the location-based technologies providing value not simply by making it easy to get information at the right place and time but also by making it difficult. As we can see from the above quote, there was a sense that participants did not want to be beaten and will spend what on the face of it seems

rather an irrational amount of time trying to locate the cache. But this gives a sense of the commitment to the challenge and level of motivation. Others spoke of how they would

reluctantly give up on a particular occasion, but would often revisit the site again in an attempt to try again.

 

For the Puzzle Caches there was also the additional challenge of solving problems to discover the particular coordinates for the cache. What was significant about these puzzles was they required a large amount of time investment to solve them and much of this work occurs away from the cache site. Because of this distribution of the experience away from the actual cache location, participants would sometimes email the cache owners to confirm that they had correctly solved the puzzle before embarking on a long journey to actually find the cache. This extension of the experience beyond the cache site was also an important part of how people maintained participation in the activity even when not convenient to be out and about.

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I was a competitive orienteer before I started caching. I did a Web search for orienteering sites, and geocaching.com popped up.

 

It's the "thrill of the hunt" that has kept me going, as well as the great people I've come to know. That, and the fact I can no longer orienteer like I used to, due to injuries.

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