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New cacher, how did you get started

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Hi all im meatball85,


I started geocaching last month and it all started because of too much redbull on the way back from a meeting up north. Essentially I heard the call of nature and pulled over by the side of the road and headed for a nearby tree, when I looked down I saw the corner of something poking out from under a broken branch, I picked it up and saw "this is an official geocache", googled it on my phone signed up, downloaded the app and logged it there and then and ive been hooked since (and before anyone asks I waited until I got home to answer the call of nature)


Anyways thats my story, I was just wondering how did you guys discover/get into geocaching?

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A friend introduced me and several others to geocaching. We were at a church retreat, and Saturday afternoon was unscheduled free time. We found 4 geocaches that afternoon. The following week, I created an account on geocaching.com and started finding caches on my own using Google maps and satellite photos. I found hundreds of caches before finally buying a GPSr.

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I want to know why you had to tell us you waited to go home in order to answer the call. Not really that it matters much, but it is interesting why you feel compelled to tell us that.


Back on topic, we started by stumbling across a cache while scouting out fishing holes (along a stream), of all things. Looked through it, remembered reading of such, signed the log and went back to checking out fishing spots.

Used my old GPS12(the "brick") for the first finds up through 200.

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Two friends of my wife & mine told us about geocaching back in 2008 and we just more or less blew it off. Two years later we are camping out with these same two friends and wife & I invited the other couple to go hiking with us. We like to go hiking off the beaten trail. Our friends said that they would love to go hiking with us but asked if we minded if they looked for some geocaches along the way that were in the park. We told them, "Sure, bring your gadget". Wife & I both got bit by the geocache bug that day. We became Members as soon as we got home from camping.


Three years after signing up with geocaching.com we both still love going out hunting. As of date we've already have found every active caches within 30 miles of our house, completed the Jasmer Challenge, gotten all of the 81 Grid, found a cache on all 366 Days and 366 Placed Dates, have found geocaches in all 254 counties in Texas and all 77 counties in Oklahoma. Currently we are working to get all the counties in Kansas and Tennessee. Our friends have mentioned several times that they've created a monster, lol.

Edited by Love Cachers
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I'm a gamer (think about dungeons and dragons type gaming) and one day my husband mentioned I should try geocaching. I downloaded an app and gave it a go when my father, who was visiting from the states, and I went out for a bike ride.


I was pretty much hooked. Some caches I've found so far are kind of like a real life dungeon crawl or hunt for treasure. Plus, we really like the looooong multi caches that take us on a several kilometer walk. What's funny is my other gamer friends had all started this way before I did, I knew it but thought it was too hard and complicated. It's not.


In fact, several of them are coming over this afternoon to help on a few that are hiding from us. ;-)

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I had been thinking about trying orienteering. Then I bought my first GPSr, an eTrex Legend, on 2 July 2005. I really do not remember where or when I heard about geocaching - perhaps there was some mention of it on the unit's box or something. But I think it wasn't until about 2 years later that I did a web search and ended up on, I think, geocaching.com. I didn't register, but just looked around to see what was in my area. There was only a couple of caches in my area; and I was just bemused more than anything else.


Then at the beginning of 2012 I happened to think about it again. I got onto geocaching.com and did a search, and was surprised to find tons of geocaches in my area. And to my delight, a lot of them were in the nearby conservation area, placed there by fellow geocacher ActMoritz, who I've have met a couple of times since. It was his nature caches that I started out with and got hooked on. On a couple of trips my wife came with me, but she remains at the bemused level.


I got so tired of writing everything down and not having the description, hints, and logs, that I finally sprang for the eTrex 20 on 2 July 2012 (exactly 7 years after the Legend). For the next 4 months I held off on Premium membership. I simply used the Send Geocache to GPS feature, then edited the .gpx file on my unit to copy/paste in the description (carefully handling things like <, >, &, and so on), and replacing the "You need to be a premium member..." in the hint tag with the actual decrypted hint. It took me about 2 to 4 minutes to download and fix each cache this way; but it saved $30 for a while.


Since I didn't know the XML format of the logs, I couldn't put them into the .gpx file; and there were several times that I found that I would have really benefited from the logs. So I finally sprang for the Premium membership. The only thing I do as a Premium member is download the .gpx files of caches that look interesting to me (not available to basic members), then use BaseCamp to keep them organized in lists (To Find, Found) and transfer them to the unit. I don't bother with PMO caches; and I've only used PQs a couple of times to find GCs along a route. I'm very picky about the GCs I might go after; so I use the map and click on potentials until I find what I want, then download the .gpx.


When we go on an annual vacation trip, I pick about 10 to 16 GCs near the areas where we're going to stay. On the trip, I'll only look for about half of the ones that I actually downloaded. (Geocaching is secondary or tertiary to the rest of the vacation trip interests.) My wife helps with those GCs. It's how I pick up GCs in other states. At home I go geocaching primarily in the cool/cold months when I don't have other things to do. I have so many hobbies that geocaching is just one of them.

Edited by MountainWoods
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I was on a bike ride today and one of the other riders was looking for a cache she told us about it and I signed up as soon as I got home am looking forward to seeking out my first one on my own tomorrow!


Congratulations, and welcome to the game!:antenna:


Anyway, my earth science teacher told me about it. He also let me borrow one of the schools etrex legends (not the H, the OLD kind!:P) I found 5 caches that were in the woods near my house and I was hooked! I also got myself a nice etrex 20.


Thanks Mr. Belluscio!!:D

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I first heard about it from a colleague at work (that was at least 13 years ago). Then in 2008 my husband bought a new car with a navigation system in it. I liked it so much (I'm navigationally challenged) he bought me a Garmin Nuvi for my birthday in 2009. Not too long after that our city councilman was holding some kind of neighborhood event in the park nearby where I go walking. Someone there was handing out flyers about geocaching. I chatted with her for several minutes as I recalled the conversation with my colleague many years before. After checking out the website and discovering a cache less than a mile away and that my Nuvi would take coordinates I dragged my husband out to go find it (he found it first) and was immediately hooked. :D I purchased my Oregon 550T about 2 months later.

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August 2011: On work during shift change the leaving colleague told me between door and angle, that I really should try that new "geocache" out in the near forest. He somehow thought I was into it already. Up to then I heard occasionally about it, but never gave it a real thought. So I looked it up and - what's this?? - found something near my home. From the description I instantly knew where to look, tried it and logged it. Got home, created an account and wanted more.


Then, while I surfed a bit on that site, there suddenly was a new one! A multi. I took my car navigation system and did the stages. Made FTF on my second cache. :)


From then on, it was my game.

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I'm just getting started. I'm so excited! I have been looking for something interesting my fiance and I can do together on our one day off and the weather will be SO NICE for this, starting this weekend.


I find it interesting that so many people seem to have stumbled on geocaching by accident, as did I!

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I don't remember how I started. I had heard of it previously, but for some reason it came up again in September 2012. I was helping with a youth group, so I decided to scout out some nearby caches for a youth activity. Searched for maybe 12, found 10 using my in-laws' car GPS - no compass, no cache located on a map; all we had was the GPS coordinates updated as we walked around. LOL!


The youth activity never materialized. Since we didn't have any kind of GPS, geocaching fell by the wayside until we moved into the current decade with the purchase of a smartphone. (Yeah, we're one of those notorious smartphone cachers.) We've been caching ever since. :)

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We started 2 weeks ago and now have 11 caches under our belt. We were introduced by friends - they told us about it last year when they stayed with us. This year she logged us in with an account and made us go on a hunt in our local park which is beautiful and showed us 2 caches. The kids and I were hooked. 1 cache on a pulley system behind a tree - 4m up and another in a wall. The next day my boys begged for more and I looked a bit more closely at the map of caches around us - there were loads!!! We chose another walk and off we went with our geocaching teachers who taught us the rules and respect for the game. I love walking my dogs in new places and I really love that my kids beg to come with me if geocache is mentioned. The dogs love it too!

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As mentioned on another similar thread: I got my yellow eTrex using Marlboro Miles in 2004. Wasn't sure what to do with it. Then I read the techie column in the Newark Star-Ledger that mentioned Geocaching. Checked it out. Hmm... There was a cache near the trail I was maintaining in Wawayanda State Park. Only a 2/3.5. Hidden by someone named BrianSnat. Mile in. A couple of hundred feet climb (but not far from the trail I was maintaining.) Gave it a try. Took me a fair while to find.

And I've been hooked ever since. It's all Briansnat's fault! Working on my third GPSr. Having a great time nine years later! Still enjoying it!

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Our son found a cache whilst playing in the woods. He read up about it and begged us to take him out. I had also done some reading up on it after a friend mentioned it in a facebook post. Unfortunately we didn't have a GPS or a smartphone so we told our son we wouldn't be able to do it.

Fast forward a year or so-we had moved house and our new neighbour mentioned it as a way of getting the kids out of the house as there weren't any other children in the neighbourhood. By that point we had bought smartphones and so did a bit more research and downloaded the official app. We went off and found a few local caches and we all loved it, the family dog included. That's how our username was born, she's called Willow and we mainly geocache when walking her! In the short time we've been goecaching we've introduced it to my parents in law, sister in law and her family, my niece and my nephew who in turn is trying hard to get his dad to take it up as a hobby! We've also visited many places we would never have known existed if it weren't for geocaching and Willow loves the variety of walks she gets! Now we only have to pick up our "geocaching bag" and she knows she's in for a good walk!

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I love hearing the stories about cachers that started by stumbling onto a cache on accident and getting into the game!! Thats pretty awesome. I got into it because my aunt told me about it and took me on a hunting trip with her.


Funny note that was in a geocache I logged in an ammo can. This not was written on the log by a muggle who had stumbled upon the cache, "Man, I thought I'd stumbled across something cool here. You guys are weird!" Funny thing was that the muggle didn't steal the cache or take anything or mess with it. Simply left the amusing note and went on about their business! Gotta love nice and friendly muggles!!!

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I got a Garmin Nuvi for the car in 2007. In researching cool add-ons like poi-factory.com I ran across Geocaching.com. I saw there were 3 caches within a couple blocks of my house so the next time I took the dog for a walk I found them. For some reason it just didn't interest me that much. Maybe because a car GPSr is such a poor tool for that.


After some knee therapy in 2011 I got back into hiking again. Every weekend I would load up the dog and find a new forest preserve to explore. Just happened to stumble across geocaching.com again last year and saw all the caches that were out in the forest preserves! Totally hooked at that point.


And we went from hiking a couple miles to 5-10 miles in an outing. With a 'mission', we were pushing ourselves to hike farther than we would have otherwise. My dog lost almost 10 pounds last year (she didn't really need to) and I dropped about 20 (I did, and could afford 5 or 10 more). Both the vet and my Dr are quite pleased with the shape these two seniors are in. :-D

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I read about Geocaching in this months Texas Parks and Wildlife e-newsletter. I sounds fun, and seems like something we can do with the grandkids! All I need is a smart phone and I am on to my first cache.


For less than the price of a smartphone you can purchase a nice lower-end GPSr and not have the monthly data charges to your cell bill.

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Two local cachers were being interviewed on the radio about the sport/hobby just as Popoki Nui went into nap mode. On awaking, geocaching was Googled, a GPS was received a short time later and we were off, printed cache sheets and all.

Going for a walk/hike with another purpose (geocaching) makes the exercise fun!

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This is a copy/paste from the log of my first find...


I found this tag with Santa attached on the ground near the Greenridge State Forest Headquarters near Flintstone, MD on approximately 4/17 or 4/18/2013, tossed it in my glovebox and kinda forgot about it. At the time, I only had a slight idea of what geocaching was. Fast forward about five months, I found Santa again still at the bottom of my glovebox, looked it up and figured out what this trackable thing is, and I am now interested in trying geocaching.


Since I found Saint Nicolas, he has been camping twice, been to Loveland, Colorado, Estes Park, Colorado, Trail Ridge Road in Colorado(not going to be able to do that one again for a while), and everywhere between there and MD on I-70, and he has even been in a car accident with me(don't worry, he's fine).


I don't have my new GPS unit just yet, it is en route, should be here later this week. As soon as I get it, I will make it my mission to get Santa into a cache so that he can be on his merry way to spread Christmas cheer again this coming season.


I have since received my GPS receiver, a Garmin Oregon 450T, and am figuring out how it works, hopefully I will start finding actual caches this week in the afternoons.



Edited by joe schlubb
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Two events started me geocaching. The first was the death of my wife in March and much too much time on my hands. The second was an article in our local newspaper about geocaching. I went to the website, signed up, saw that there were about 200 caches within 10 miles of my house, got a DeLorme PN-60 and started caching. My wife would have loved this, so in a way I do this in her memory as well.

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I was internet searching looking for an answer to a question about my Nuvi. The search brought up 'Groundspeak'. I was curious and went to the site. Hmm, this looks interesting. I ride a motorcycle and thought it would be a great way to find out of the way roads and destinations.


As life has it, I didn't actually do a Cache search for a number of months. Well, today I did my first one and 'I FOUND IT'.

I started with one that was .9 mile from my house. It took me about 30 minutes to find it, once I learned how to use the compass feature in my new (and first) iPhone.


Now I just have to figure out how to post that I found it. lol

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Hi My name is James from Waterford City Ireland, I first learned of geocaching online several months ago when a few friends made you tube videos etc. A month ago I got a new smartphone with gps apps, and located several well over 20 in my local area. So far I have found several of these and plan a major geocaching hunt soon. Its great fun and am hooked and found my first geocache on sat sept 21st you never forget your first.

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I've been a long time letterboxer and will occasionally discover a cache while on the hunt. I finally decided to "leap the wall" to the dark side ;-) and figure out what geocaching is all about. Gotta say I'm having a blast, at least for the last 2 days.


The two activities are like 2 sides of the same coin, letterboxing is all about the journey, and a simplistic view is that geocaching is all about the endpoint. They both have creativity built in, whether it be in the form of clues, locations, missions, puzzles, carving etc... Geocaching wins on the 'how much stuff do I need to lug around' scale which is great! Letterboxing wins on the 'keepsake' scale, as I love to peruse my old logbooks to check out the stamps people have carved. Plus, when you've cleaned out an area on one front, there's a whole 'nother set of things to find.


I'm hooked, just need to invent the 36-hour day.

Edited by Sub.Genius
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I was out camping on top of Dark Mountain in Uwharrie NF and two guys ( from looking at the logs from this weekend I assume were AdamBA and Cary Owl) came up near my camp. One chatted with me while the other was poking around with his walking stick about 30 feet or so from me.


The older gentleman explained about Geocaching while the other found the log and they signed it and moved off. They directed me to this site, I signed up, went out this past weekend, found a couple of caches and now I'm hooked.


Loading the 51 point Star in Uwharrie into my old as crap first model ETrex and will do that the next weekend I go camping up there.

Edited by AKA Pete
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I was introduced to the hobby 2+ years go on a multi-day bicycle event. One day had the option of a short ride, hunting for geocaches along the way. None of us had a clue what the hobby was, but the short ride option sounded good. We used a borrowed GPS and floundered around for hours, mostly trying to figure out how to work the GPS unit. The hides were all very easy, and set up specifically for the day.

This year they added a class the night before on how to use GPS and a brief intro to geocaching. Several of us had borrowed GPS units in anticipation of the activity. The class meant we spent more time looking for caches, and far less pushing buttons at random on the GPS unit.

When I got back home, I ordered a GPS unit. At the suggestion of the class teacher, I joined geocaching.com as a basic member to get an idea what this was all about. I got my hubby interested and it has become a regular weekend activity.

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I had set up an account long ago (2001) to get into the GPS Forum. In 2009, I went on an internet date with a girl who thought that geocaching would be an interesting activity. When I went on the website to find caches where we were going to meet, my old account was still there. I'm still not sure why I picked my screen name. I guess I thought that I would not actually have to use it. End of story - she's long gone, but I became addicted.

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Wife Jane gave me a Sportrak for Christmas 2003 and the next day our family went out and found some caches. I do the vast majority of our caching. Less than 60 days to our 10 year anniversary! We still get out there and I still love the game. Hope to make it to 3,400 finds before the end of the year. Would love to get to 3,650 to get our average back up above one per day but that isn't likely to happen.

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I had read a story in our local fish wrap. It sounded interesting. We had been looking for something to get our rear ends up off the couch, after Stew dying on me at the end of Feb. (don't worry they brought him back and he isn't a zombie!) we had to quit drinking beer...we were getting really bored, this was in June 2013

I suggested we give it a try, so we looked it up on a friday evening and went out that next day. As everyone says...we were hooked.

When they announced the 31 days of caching challenge, we were ready and eager to do it! Until August 24....I guess it was my turn to try the dying thing and I had a heart attack, followed up with a 6 bypass open heart surgery. (I am not a zombie either!) lol

My husband knowing how important the challenge was to me, managed to get out and finish the finds for the rest of the month for us while I hung out in the hospital recovering! Gosh, I love that fellow!

We just celebrated out 21st anniversary Oct. 4th, we have so much to be thankful for this year, with us both having the death scare. We had to do something special to celebrate......We went out caching!!! Love this game!

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I want to know why you had to tell us you waited to go home in order to answer the call. Not really that it matters much, but it is interesting why you feel compelled to tell us that.

He "found religion" (along with the cache) & realized that GZ is sacred ground. Heeding the call of nature at such a time would have been a piss-poor decision. B)

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Wife Jane gave me a Sportrak for Christmas 2003 and the next day our family went out and found some caches. I do the vast majority of our caching. Less than 60 days to our 10 year anniversary! We still get out there and I still love the game. Hope to make it to 3,400 finds before the end of the year. Would love to get to 3,650 to get our average back up above one per day but that isn't likely to happen.

Oh, no? Don't throw in the towel so soon, my friend! I have one word of advice for you: powertrails. Ladies & gentlemen, start your engines!

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The precursor to the start of my geocaching activities was rather rough; I only discovered geocaching after resisting a close family member. I bought a GPS from a local electronics store, showed it to him, and he immediately turned Luddite and berated me for wasting my money on a gadget that, IHO, I did not really need. :mad: It ended up briefly degenerating into a shouting match as he tried to pressure me to return the GPS and get my money back, but I still kept the unit. A couple of days later, I was out looking for my first find, getting out and exercising as a result.

Edited by DENelson83
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I have a caravan I let out to tourists in the summer - a couple of years ago some visitors mentioned they were going geocaching locally. I had never heard of it till then. Last year bought a Garmin Etrex 20 to log ruins/archaeological sites. I just wanted to know the grid refs. For navigating I was happy with map and compass. Then realised how much more the GPS could do but didn't really know how to use it. Thought looking for geocaches might give me practice locally. Googled and asked around - signed up just a month ago and am now boring everyone with my tales of geocaches found or occasionally not found. Placed my first own trackable yesterday. Still trying to work out how to use GPS properly:-) no maps loaded but it is finding the caches for me and taking me to some lovely local places I had never thought to visit. Thanks to all those who place caches. Picked up a few further afield too. Am now checking on geocaches before any journey - just in case I can add a few more.

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I was working for a GPS dealer in the early year of consumer GPS. Selling the old Magellan that was the first consumer model. When geocaching started to catch on I took one of the store demos, a yellow Garmin e-trex and found maybe two caches in a two day period, there were not many around then. In those days there was no such thing as a GPS with a map, I get a kick at it when people say you must have a GPS with a map to find a cache Ha!

I got so into caching that the company I was working for made be the GPS buyer and I started running geocaching seminars for the public on some days 60 people would show up. The hard part was knowing how to use each model that the stored carried from Garmin, Magellan and Lowrance. I did take a bit of a break to go back to school but now I am back geocaching every day.

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Lunchtime boredom.


I'd had the geocaching app on my phone for months...never really "getting it" before. So there I was on my lunch break from work, eating at a Chipotle and wondering when someone would play the next round on Words With Friends against me when I decided to see what else I could do on my phone. I pulled up the app and looked at the map and saw that there was a cache just a couple hundred feet from where I was sitting. I thought "cool...let's see if I can find it". So after I finished eating, I walked over and kind of did a cursory search, not really knowing what I was looking for. Some people walked by and I just sort of felt a little silly, so I started to leave...but it was bugging me. What kind of object was this thing supposed to be? I had no preconceived notions. I guess I assumed it would be obvious. I was in a little 'alley' between two buildings with a stair going up to the shops above, so I ducked under the stair and looked at the underside of the landing. Didn't see anything remarkable...just the framing, cobwebs, electrical junction box, dirt, etc.


Started to walk away again, then thought to myself "hey...what was the purpose of that junction box? I didn't see any conduit." So I walked back and tentatively pushed on the box and lo and behold it moved! I pulled and it came off easy and inside was a plastic tube. I thought that was the coolest thing ever...something that normally I would overlook, until I really started to think about it and realized it just didn't belong.


From there I was hooked. I then started to realize just how many hidden objects there were around me and in places I never would normally notice or go to. Many of those places were (and are) unremarkable, but I came to understand that this doesn't matter to me. For me, it's more about finding the unknown (or under-known...a word I just now made up) places that exist EVERYWHERE. It's fun finding these spots tucked away that aren't along the line from Point A to Point B...that people ignore or don't bother thinking about because they aren't normally a destination. This game gives one a new perspective...showing me great - and not so great - little corners of the world around me. I know I'm probably alone - or in a very small minority - when I say this...but I don't care what sort of hide it is. Sure, many of these spots are ugly or boring...but that's not always the point, in my opinion. I'd be bored to tears if every cache was an ammo box in the woods. What makes ammo boxes in the woods fun (for me) is the fact that I rarely ever get to find them. They are a treat. The variety is key and I honestly don't think there are any caches I regret finding/trying to find.

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I was having a sleepless night late June of this year and was watching TV around 3:30 in the morning when a documentary about Geocaching came on. I watched and was fascinated. Pulled out the laptop and searched my immediate area...BINGO, about 3 within walking distance. Still wide awake at 7:30am, I headed out the door, loaded with a pen and my BlackBerry. I was stunned when I found it...in a tree no less!!


I've tried to get my Husband interested, but it's just not his cup of tea. But he'll occasionally join me (but he does slow me down!!) I haven't yet met any other GeoCachers in my area, and I know there are lots, but I'm familiar with their logs and they feel like old friends....one day, I'll get to meet one or two of them


In the meantime, I'm enjoying actually getting out of the house and exploring a bit more of my town

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We first heard about Geocaching when a family member of ours thought we would enjoy it. She sure was right, and we've been telling others ever since! Unfortunately, the first cache that we ever found was recently archived.... It's amazing how fast time flies when you're having fun. Good luck and happy caching!

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Hi...we are Alan and Jayne. We met a lovely couple who were cacheing on our honeymoon cruise last month in Norway. Got chatting to them on a train journey and Alan and I both immediately knew it was something we would be really interested in. Thankfully they let us tag along to quite a few of their finds so we had very good initial training from 2 very experienced cachers and it has stood us in good stead the last few weeks! We love walking anyway so this has just added to our enjoyment of the countryside!

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My husband had tried it, a few years ago, before we were married. One day he asked me if I would like to try geocaching. I wasn't all that enthusiastic about it but said, yes. I am not the "outdoors type". He got his GPS and we went to look for one called Black Hawk Down that he had remembered finding. He gave me the GPS and showed me what to do. That one little cache changed everything! I am hooked. We have 362 finds since March of this year and are currently on a streak...116 days in a row so far. We have found a variety of caches...from skirtlifters in parking lots to virtual caches in The Lost Valley to island caches on Lake Ouachita only accessible by boat!! I have gotten chiggers (first time), ticks, and ant bites but loved every minute of these adventures.


We love just getting out and doing things together, seeing new places...and if a cache happens to be there, or even lead us there...BONUS! We get a smiley! :D

Edited by jdpc3
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I had purchased an eTrex Vista about a year before starting caching, mostly to mark hunting and fishing spots and some work-related activities (I know, using a GPS for something other than caching...heresy!) :) I had seen the geocaching icon on the GPS menu before, but never really gave it any thought. (Games?!? Play GAMES with this thing?!?!!!) The next spring, I was poking around the Wildlife and Parks fishing reports and found a link to a statewide geocaching challenge (find a two-stage multi in every state park, win a weekend at a cabin). I remembered seeing that strange word on the GPS, put 2 and 2 together, loaded up the nearest waypoint and ran off to find our first ammo can at the park about 5 miles from home. This made me realize caching could check-off two of my bucket-list items, visiting every state park and finding something outdoors that we could do with our then 11-month old. Instant addiction! Even our now 6 year old has his own account.

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I probably heard about this hobby from some magazine or newspaper, well, maybe it was in 2007. It was either before Alva came into my life (2009) or during her puppyhood. I believe it was before her.


At the time being, I was extremely curious but hesitated. I don't know if coordinates were visible back then for unregistered visitors but I could locate one traditional cache on the map and went to find it. I picked that one, because it was in a place I passed by often and I thouvht it would be an easy one and with less spying eyes.


It was hidden under a bridge near my home, between big stones in a wall. I looked around and then deduced it had to be in the wall and checked every hole. It actually required me to climb a little. It was dark and I feared all the time that some night owl jogger would come and see me. I had not an user name or a navigator and I was not sure if I wanted to register. So I did not feel that I was a real cacher at all. I did not dare to open the box and thus my name was never written in the log book.


Then I got Alva. I was busy socializing and then training my pup and never gave geocaching another thought. I was well on my way to have a trained obedience and agility dog. Then the truth was revealed to me. Alva has health issues, discovered by a routine check, and we had to quit agility. I hated it for I had waited for doing agility for ten years or something. I could not afford another pet.


The snow melted and it become spring. I suddenly remembered something. Find hidden little containers and solve puzzles. Something I had found very interesting years ago, making my brain itch for trying. I like crosswords and puzzles but they are indoors, silent and lonely. I needed something to do outdoors. I decided to try geocachin again. It would offer destinations for my walks, little everyday adventure and pleasant use for my brain. I might even try to train my dog to find them too.


This time I registered an username, picked the closest cache, which was a micro, took my dog and went where the arrow had pointed on the screen of my computer. It took three visits until I found it. So it is my first official cache found. The really first one, that I cannot log because I never signed it, has unfortunately been archived.


This was a year and a half ago. I've found 90 caches since then. Alva has learned to sniff caches out and I use her as hole checker. Last spring I moved and there are few caches where I now live so I cannot cache any more. I think I should step a level up and make my own cache. I also have my restrictions: no car, no gps. I use online maps and sometimes I have to visit ground zero more than once to find the cache. Often I have misread the map, turned wrong somewhere or I've left important information out of my notes. Thus I can read the map better when I've seen the terrain.

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