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Guest bunkerdave
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Guest bunkerdave

This is a thread where I would like everyone who has a "story" about how Geocaching got them off the couch, away from the PC, or got them to turn off the Nintendo, or whatever sedentary activity you used to engage in before you discovered geocaching. I wil be taking these to the BLM as evidence of the benefits of Geocaching for its participants. I am not sure it will sell them on the fact that they should allow it on the land they manage, but it might give them a feel for the kind of people we are.

 

Anyway, send 'em up. I will enjoy reading them, and it will save me a ton of time compiling them. If you have already sent one elsewhere, maybe you could put it here anyway.

 

I am sending my proposal to the BLM this weekend, so don't dawdle.

 

Thanks

 

[This message has been edited by bunkerdave (edited 07 August 2001).]

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Guest Markwell

Wow - after looking at the map of the BLM territory, all I can say is I'm glad I live in Illinois. I see the problem out by you since apparently the BLM manages almost all of Nevada and a good 80% of Utah.

 

You wanted my story - here it is, for what it's worth (since I live in Illinois). Eight months ago, I was a 33 year old couch potato and computer geek with a 5 year old ADHD kid. Between the two of us we were driving my wife mad with the fact that we never wanted to go outside and get exercise. I was steadily putting on weight, and my son was following in my example.

 

I discovered Geocaching from the "Cool Site of the Day" award in January of 2001. In March, I went out and purchased my first GPS receiver, and found my first Geocache March 13, 2001 (my 34th birthday). Since then I have found 20 caches in 3 states (with four eluding my grasp so far), which works out pretty close to one find per week. These are not little jaunts into the neighborhood parks. My soon-to-be-six-year-old and I are going out on full fledged hiking, complete with proper gear and educational experiences. We have hiked Fermilab Accelerator, the Cumberland Trail, Local Forest Preserves and even the occasional park district parks. Always, we try to leave as much undisturbed as we can - a lesson I heartily teach to my son.

 

The three physical caches I have hidden have been so far out of site that the average passerby could not possibly see them - and one is even camoflagued to match the surrounding scenery (stumping a few Geocachers).

 

My health has improved and my relationship with my son has improved. We both also have a newfound appreciation for the open land even within 20 miles of my home that until this hobby took hold of me, I didn't know existed. My ADHD boy now has a hobby that actually can be done better without rather than with medication. My wife is ecstatic that I've found a hobby outdoors. I had originally felt guilt at leaving her at home with the 1½-year-old, but now we specifically try to find caches that the whole family can go on - and my wife is just as happy when I just take the oldest boy out.

 

My family has learned about ticks, poison ivy, copperhead snakes (and how to avoid all of them) and we've learned to get out an enjoy the fresh air. We've hiked in weather from 45° with a brisk wind in Chicago, to 95° - 80% humidity in Chattanooga - all with the same results: fun for the whole family, and a good hike. Of course, all this could be done without the GPS and the cache boxes, but those rewards give motivation to the children to come out and hike. Without that extrinsic motivation, I'm just a Dad dragging his kids out to the wilderness, when there's a Gameboy waiting back at home. More likely, without the joy of knowing I've been to the same spot the hider wanted me to go to by finding a box, I'm just a Dad sitting at home in front of the computer.

 

While there are repercussions on open lands that need to be addressed, I've found in online discussions that overwhelmingly, Geocachers are as intent on preserving the enviornment as any other group out hiking on the lands. The trend to limit Geocaching on open or preserved land taken to its furthest extreme will eventually culminate in caches restricted to pristinely manicured parks in pre-approved containers no more than three feet from the path. Once that happens, I fear, I'm back in front of the computer screen and my son wouldn't go hiking with me unless I dragged him kicking and screaming the whole way.

 

[This message has been edited by Markwell (edited 07 August 2001).]

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Guest faithwalker

I'm a 45 year old father of 4. Printer by trade, 6 months ago my Dr. told me I had high cholesterol and I had early signs of arthritus. I told my wife that I needed to start walking and get some exercise for our health. I would spend my evenings and weekends on the couch in front of the tv or in front of the computer. I have another hobby, metal working but that too produces harmful fumes and gases and no exercise. My wife read an article in our local paper about Geocaching and suggested that it might be something I might like, I was an avid hiker, fisherman, hunter, general outdoor person when I was growing up. My son had a GPS unit and we had used it for traveling a few times and thought it was a neat toy. Well I decided to give it a try, we had 4 of us on our first hunt and it was the most fun I had in years. It was hot and it was a long walk but when we got to that cache and found we were the second to find it we were ecstatic. My 12 year old was so excited to be able to get something from the cache and I was happy to be able to post my name in a small time capsule for others to see, HEY I CAN DO THIS. Now for the really good stuff (if that isn't enough) I visited my Dr. about a 2 months ago and he was astounded, he said you are doing great. My cholesterol had dropped 40 points in just 1 month (of course I have changed my eating habbits too). My energy level is rising every day. My boss asked me today what I was doing after work tonight and I told him I was going for a 25 mile ride and a 3 mile walk looking for a Geocache, he said why can't I get the energy to do something/anything after work. Maybe he too will become a Geocacher. Now for the really REALY good stuff. My wife and I have been married for 23 years, needless to say the honeymoon has been over for a while, but because of Geocaching we are going out every weekend together we hunt and place caches together. We shop for the stuff to fill the caches together(you should see her shop for this stuff, she goes bannanas especially for the caches we put together for the kids.)We spend more quality time together now than we ever have. It would be a huge understatement to say Geocaching has changed my life, it has given me my life back. My joints don't hurt anymore, my cholesterol has dropped to under the danger zone, my kids and I do more outings together, my wife and I have a much better relationship, I'm back out in the weeds and woods that I loved as a young man. I have been to many new and exciting parks and management areas that I didn't even know were there. We have been able to teach our kids about the right outdoors attitude. We cache responsible and take care of our areas. We all contribute to the effort. We have been on 22 hunts, 19 found, 3 not yet. We have rebuilt 1 that had been opened by racoons. We packed out the garbage and placed good stuff in it. We placed new log books in caches that had gotten wet. We picked up trash from the hike in and the area around the cache and the hike out. We do our best to make sure the area is better when we leave than when we come. We let our kids choose what we take from the cache and what we put into it, this gives them a small momento of thier time spent in the woods. This IS A GOOD THING, at least at my house. I thank God that I was able to find this activity and I thank you for allowing me to share the REALLY GOOD STUFF.

...Faithwalker and DaMama...(Pat & Heather)

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Guest WaylandersMA

I write this letter to encourage the Bureau of Land Management to allow "Geocaching" on BLM land. Geocaching is an activity where one person places/hides a small weatherproof container containing a logbook in a location which has certain attributes, usually a scenic location which is far off the beaten path. The GPS coordinates are then placed on a web site. One can learn more about the activity by going to http://www.geocaching.com

 

At first glance this activity could easily be perceived as having a potential for negative impact to the area in which the "cache" is placed but I believe the active participants of the activity are policing themselves so that this will not occur. They are placed so that no environmental impact will be caused by the placing of the cache. In fact, one of the first stated rules of the activity is "Cache In, Trash Out". To explain some of the beneficial effects of the activity I will describe part of the vacation my family and I took to the Colorado plateau the last two weeks.

 

Before leaving Massachusetts I had downloaded descriptions of Geocaches in Colorado and Utah. during the first week at Snowmass, Colorado, my five year old daughter, and my eleven year old son and I found a cache on a very out of the way cache north of Basalt, Colorado. A beautiful part of the area I had never visited before. The cache was fifty feet off the forest path but was in a place that caused no damage by getting to it. My daughter's reaction is always the same. She gets very excited about finding treasure in the "wilderness" even if it is in the suburbs of Boston. This excitemnt gets both my son and daughter on longer hikes enjoying the outdoors. My son was getting overweight "pre-geocaching" and would rather sit home in front of the computer but if you mention "geoaching' he is out the door. At the Basaalt cache my daughter obtained a small "Ewok" character that she is still carrying around. The next week we were traveling up from the north rim of the Grand Canyon on the way to Moab. I had the GPS coordinates for "Muley Twist". Muley Twist and Valley of the Gods is an area I had never visited and would not have this time except I knew of the geocache placed there. This cache had only been visited once in the months since it had been placed. My family and I had a very pleasent visit at Muley Twist and enjoyed the drive and the view. I learned later after my trip that the reason I failed in finding the cache is that the BLM is currently considering geocaches as "littering" and are removing them from BLM land. Although it was disappointing to not find it the trip up was the main point. My daughter was disappointed but she had fun helping me find an empty Arizona Tea bottle, a beer can and a few cigarette butts that we trucked out.

 

I hope that BLM reconsiders its decision to remove geocaches from BLM managed lands. I believe geocaching is a worthwhile endevour which allows enjoyment of the wilderness without environmental impact. Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

 

Sincerely,

Paul Morrison

 

[This message has been edited by WaylandersMA (edited 07 August 2001).]

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Guest celts

he fresh air a long way in the last month. We've found 6 state parks in our state (Illinois) and 2 in Indiana within 75 miles of our home. We used to spend our time in front of the television or computer--now, we're out in nature--side by side with spiders. After a hunt, their webs are on my hat and I don't even care. I think that's probably a benefit too. Better mental health to go along with the improving physical conditioning. We've become better stewards of the land, always trying to leave an area in as good a shape or better as when we were there. And now it's truly a multi-generational adventure in this family: we go with our daughter, our grandson, my sister and my brother and his family--and yes, even my 79 year old father. We've all benefited from this sport/game and I'm glad we found it when we did. The computer is still fun too, but now it's added an extra dimension to our lives by affording us physical excersise disquised as the joy of hiding and seeking trinkets.

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Guest bunkerdave

Just putting Sluggo's here:

 

Well I feel obligated to weigh in here. (No pun intended).

 

I am the poster boy for couch potatoes. I am 53 years old, I weighed (a few months ago) 360lbs. In the last 5 years (previous to June 2001) I did not visit any city, county, or national parks, BLM managed land, public wildlife refuges, ecology preserves or wilderness areas. I did not drive around the countryside looking at the scenery or for/at interesting places. The exact same thing can be said for my wife (except the age and weight).

 

Then I discovered Geocaching while surfing the web. Though my wife didn?t think the game made much sense, she was willing to go along as long as it got me ?off the couch?.

 

Since then we spend all our spare time, hunting caches, placing caches, and scouting for cache sites. My weight is down about 30 lbs. My blood sugar is down (I am diabetic). My stress level is down. We spend more (quality) time together. We have gotten other family members involved. The list goes on and on. As a result I have visited (since June) city, county, and national parks (not for geocaching), BLM managed land, public wildlife refuges, ecology preserves and wilderness areas. I have driven around the countryside, for hours, looking at the scenery or for/at interesting places.

 

It would probably be over-dramatic to make a statement like ?geocaching saved my life?, but that is very near the truth. So now I am a Geocacher (with a big G) and there is a land-use/permitting issue rearing its ugly head. So, what should I do? Go back to the couch? Become an official dissident? Say ugly things about the people in charge of our public lands who are trying to do their job with little or no resources? I DON?T THINK THAT IS THE ANSWER!

 

I think the answer is a dialog with everyone that needs to understand geocaching in order to make a decision about whether it will be allowed on the land that they are accountable for managing. The BLM and other agencies were not charged with the responsibility of getting Sluggo ?off the couch?. They were charged with making sure that land use served the needs of the people. But because geocaching got me ?off the couch? I am now responsible to PROVE TO THEM, that geocaching (when done responsibly) can actually create stewardship of the land in individuals (like me) who didn?t give a hoot about land use 5 years ago. We can WORK AS A TEAM and help them show that they are discharging their responsibilities appropriately while allowing us to responsibly conduct geocaching activities.

 

So Dave (and Jeremy), count me in! I will travel whenever and wherever it takes to get this dialog started on the right foot and protect the game/sport/hobby that I have (in a few short months) come to love.

 

I believe that we can demonstrate that the geocaching community, a loose-knit organization, without any (official) governing body can demonstrate stewardship of the land and act responsibly when participating in a game/hobby that we love.

 

Thanks for letting me say what I feel I have to say.

 

Sluggo

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Guest McIrish

I am a forty seven year old mother of five and grandmother of one. I have been a type one diabetic for eleven years and have high blood pressure. I have always been athletic, but in the past few years my high blood sugar got the best of me. I have been tired and out of shape for several years.

 

My seventy seven year old father read about geocaching and decided it sounded like fun. We got a GPS, signed up with geocaching.com and headed for the hills with my 16 year old son. Since that day we have been hooked. In the past year I have started rollerblading and geocaching and enjoying life. My father and son and I hike several days a week. We have found approximately twenty caches so far and placed four. I have hiked endless hours looking for just the right place to put a cache. We just took a vacation to Hawaii and found a cache there too. We hiked down a 250 foot cliff and back up without losing our breath. I am in much better health with my blood sugar and cholesterol dropping dramatically. We are three generations enjoying a sport together.

 

My son has learned about responsible hiking. He used to run down the path breaking tree branches, pulling on leaves and leaving a path of destruction behind him. Since discovering geocaching and reading how to hike responsibly, he has become very aware of hiking without leaving a trace. I have also learned how to hike responsibly. Until reading the geocaching forum, I never really understood what a difference you can make in a small animals or plants habitat by just moving rocks, stepping on plants or just walking off trails. I understand much more now and am very cautious to not disturb the land.

 

We recently took a vacation in Hawaii and took a hike that we never would have found without geocaching. It was an experimental forest on Maui. They were trying to grow pine trees on the volcano Haleakala to see if it was possible to create building wood in Hawaii. It was magnificent. Instead of lying on a beach, we were out hiking a volcano.

 

I would like to encourage the Bureau of Land Management to allow geocaching to continue. It is a healthy, responsible sport that has improved many peoples lives. Families are are discovering the land around them for the first time. The caches are small and most are watched and maintained by the owners. I cannot maintain one of my caches because of the distance it is away from my home. I enlisted the help of a local geocacher to help me maintain it and let me know if it time to archive it. This website encourages responsible geocaching. Please don't take this sport away from the families and people who enjoy it so much.

 

Thank you,

 

McIrish aka Nancy McDonald

 

[This message has been edited by McIrish (edited 07 August 2001).]

 

[This message has been edited by McIrish (edited 07 August 2001).]

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Guest Campeon1981

o capture the interest of many friends in and around my age group to grab a backpack, some water, and enjoy a hike out to a cache. Of course its obvious the positive things that a hike through the woods does to your body and well-being, but more so we grow to respect the beauty and serinity of those natural places. That respect for the environment in turn promotes a certain awareness of keeping it clean for those after us to enjoy it as much as we did. And these are some of the things that I personally preach to them, and they no doubt see my perspective and will carry on the torch to those with an open ear.

 

I truly believe its those who do not venture out into nature and therefore do not respect it that cause more damage to the environment than those few of us who find a means to enjoy it, preserve it, and spread the word about positive actions towards it. I see firsthand on this website how pro-active and involved these geocachers are in preventing any sort of harm or trouble when it comes to hiding and finding these geocaches. I know even as a beginner to the sport, I involve myself in these discussions concerning proper placement, maintainance, and retrieval of the geocache containers that are hidden throughout the world, and in my honest opinion the awareness throughout the forums only gets better every day.

 

As with all of society, you have a select few who are deadbeats and don't care to play by the rules of the game. Those rules are well known to anyone visiting the web-site, and a standard common-sense doctrine to all; Leave the area in equal or better condition than you found it. The percentage of us who live by that rule and apply that here within the geocaching.com community has to be far greater than that of the remaining, uncaring society who do not think twice about leaving garbage and thoughtless acts of that kind.

 

I notice we're currently working on an efficient method to maintain better vigilance and upkeep on the containers we place out there. That way, no container is unaccounted for and considered an unmistakably legitimate piece of garbage. I feel we're dealing with some issues or problems for the first time in this new and booming adventure hobby, but the members of this group are putting in great amounts of efforts to make sure they are not reoccuring ones.

 

My thoughts,

Mike G.

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Guest sjs102

I'm a 40 year old mother of 4. For the past year or so I've been looking for an activity that my entire family can do together. It's not easy to find something that fits that need for ages ranging from 8 to 45. When I first read about geocaching, it sounded like a neat idea, but I didn't realize how much my kids would enjoy it. Now we spend 1 or 2 weekends a month hunting caches in our area. We have been to parks that we have always heard about, or driven by, but never had a "reason" to stop and see. We've found a real great playground in Walton, KY (Picnic in the park cache), learned a lot about the first settlers in our area (Pioneers Honor cache), and discovered an amazing view of our city from Devou Park in KY (Cinti Vista cache). This past week while on vacation in KY we actually saw a bald eagle at Cave Run Lake because we were out hiking for a cache (Daniel Boone #2). And if it hadn't been for looking for the cache we would never have been on the trail, much less stopped at the lake.

My kids have learned to hike responsibly (we "cache in and trash out"), seen numerous animals (deer, turtle, fox, etc), and this is one family activity, that while being good for us, they actually enjoy. An added benefit is that I've found that on those hikes we actually spend a lot of time talking to each other. I've learned a lot about whats really going on at school, with friends, etc since we started geocaching. Also this is a sport where skill level doesn't have anything to do with age. Often the kids figure out where the cache is before the adults do.

We've also placed some caches, and the kids have learned quite a bit about responsiblity with checking on them, replacing worn out or soaked logs, cameras that have been used up, etc. We talk about where to place our caches so that there is minimal impact to the environment, and will periodically move our caches if it looks like a trail is being worn to them.

I'd like to think that if we go at this responsibly the BLM will see this for what it is - a wholesome family activity that gets people to enjoy (often) less well know portions of our public park system. I sure know I'm not sure what we'd be able to replace this with if we couln't do it anymore.

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Guest brokenwing

I think this says it all...

 

37937_200.JPG

 

Can you tell I'm a proud papa?

 

brokenwing

 

[This message has been edited by brokenwing (edited 08 August 2001).]

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Guest GeoForse

If geocaching ever needs a poster child, guess who gets my vote!! (and I've got two beautiful g'daughters who themselves would be serious candidates. icon_biggrin.gif

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Guest GeoForse

If geocaching ever needs a poster child, guess who gets my vote!! (and I've got two beautiful g'daughters who themselves would be serious candidates. icon_biggrin.gif

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Guest T-storm

e parks we've never (or not in years) been to simply because we have an incentive to think of that first. Those parks would be chosen before national land simply because of the GeoCaching opportunity. I'll be paying entrance or parking fees they never would have received. I may see something (or be reminded of it) I think really worth the trip and send others to see it, with or without the geocaching activity attached.

Pictures. Well, we have made it habit to "cache in, trash out" at least 50% of the time, maybe as high as 75% of the time. We always have the garbage sacks with us so that if there is a lot of trash we are reminded to start picking it up. But I don't think I've taken pics of that aspect yet. I can start. And I use a digital camera, so I can e-mail pics to you. We do try to remember to take a picture of our 2-year-old daughter with the cache box in hand. We have the biased opinion that she is adorable, while we fat adults should not have our pictures made. Brokenwing has posted one above. One other thing that might be a data point for the land managers... when we pick up trash, we're not leaving it in the park waste barrels. We take it home and put it out with our own trash. They got some waste picked up, and the volume which they had to pay to have carted off reduced. Not everyone does it, and it's a small thing, but it's something.

I would love to see a reasonable, thoughtful policy adopted by the national land management agencies.

 

T-storm

 

 

[This message has been edited by T-storm (edited 09 August 2001).]

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Guest bunkerdave

Just posting another story I received via e-mail.

 

What a great selection for our first cache! Thank you, Alastair, for

introducing us to the wonderful world of GeoCaching. And, thank you,

MV2 for planting this cache. START is a non-profit community service

youth program that gets elementary school children doing various projects

to make a difference in the world around them, on weekends throughout

the school year, and in the midst of camp programs on school vacations.

During the summer, we hike every Monday, (and help clean the trails as

we hike). We have hiked Will Rogers before, but thanks to GeoCaching,

(and those mentioned above), we found a new journey there. Other than

worries of poison oak, and encounters with spider webs, it was a terrific

trek. We found the cache with no problem, and it added an extra exciting

dimension to our hiking day. Now to determine which cache we will seek

out next Monday . . .

 

We have done a maintenance trip to this cache and you should have seen the kids' enthusiastic entries in the logbook! And yes, they are really doing a cache each Monday now.

 

Wolf & Ingrid (user name 'sr.hikers')

Los Angeles, CA

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Guest Cape Cod Cache

I live in a 'tourist' area. Cape Cod is well known for our beaches, but many people tend to stay in the well known areas and miss what we really have. I placed my first cache in a local conservation area in my childhood neighborhood. It is well off the beaten path that most visitors would see. The boardwalk over the salt marsh is a fantastic place to go after fiding the cache. Most people think a salt marsh is 'just a swamp', and not as the 'nursery of the ocean' which it is. I placed my second in another off the loop area as well, this area shows the transition area from woodlands to a tidal salt water river. The third cache is on the same river, but in the purely tidal area. Most people would pass by the area on the way to the beach, which would be a shame as there is a great bit of local history there.

The comments in the log books are all positive, ranging from "never would have gone there, learned alot" to "havent been there in years, brought my wife for the first time, one of my favorite areas" and "I'd forgotten about the place, thanks for the reminder." .

I spoke with the head of my town's Department of Resources before I placed my first goecache, and he was very receptive to the idea. He has since visited it and was VERY ENTHUSIASTIC. He liked the idea of more vacationers seeing the hidden treasures we have, and was pleased with the location of the cache. I hid it off a maintained trail down a well used deer path, behind a tree with a few bits of dead fall to keep it in place. My third cache has been well recieved by the town's Historical Society, they love seeing people walking around the small beach trying to look inconspicuous with a GPS in hand. Quite a few cache hunters stop in for a tour of the windmill, leave a small donation behind and bring with them some town history.

I would encourage geocaching on National lands as a non-disruptive activity. I can only suggest to actually go with a few cachers on a fews finds and a few hides. I think you will be pleasantly suprized.

 

Mark Baker aka Cape Cod Cache

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Guest Ttepee

t here except to say that I think this an excellent activity for anyone with ADHD. Most especially for families with ADHD children.

 

For myself... geocaching has been a great rebirth to the outdoors. I have always loved hiking but have not done much of it in many years now in typical couch potatoe style. When I heard about geocaching just once in a mention I jumped and searched and found...ahhhhh .. yes.. satisfying!

 

These days I plan hikes between end of work and dinner time...when possible.. (dadgum that kids just too busy these days;-)... we've had a 5 week planned (camp type) summer so far.. from sat on the team's back together ...watch out for us ;-)

 

BLM we are out of your area mostly I think... but from a distance it seems that you will either have to come to an agreement with geocahers, which is all anyone is asking for .... or hire on another (? how many ?) staff just to smash caches.

 

Isn't this all about setting up guidlines for a new sport in the parks? I look at the maps and I see how threatening you are to many western states (nevada, utah, etc ) Here in the east we have the option to place caches in state or county parks with enthusiasm from local rangers.

 

Why does so much more acerage make it so much more sacred? There are definitely features of the west that we all are trying to preserve but why are parks officials so aggresive to the possibilities? Geocachers are in no way trying to change anything in nature and the sooner you acept that the sooner we can work together.

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Guest ajkwan

I've been a computer geek for more than half of my shortlived life (18 yrs)... and anything techy has always sparked my attention... saving money has been too. After I got my Palm IIIxe through a really sweet deal back in March, I couldn't put the darn thing down and I participated in a discussion forum at pdabuzz.com. Less than a month later, word got out of an AWESOME deal for a GPS attachment for my Palm. Regular retail price of this sucker was around $130, but it dropped to $60, and there was a 20% off for first time purchases. What a DEAL. I spent less than $50 for a new toy-accessory that I wasn't even sure what I was going to do with (maybe map out my highschool, who knows icon_smile.gif)... then, thanks heavens, someone in the UK named wishus suggested geocaching. The name was catchy, so I checked it out... when I found out what it REALLY was, I was in a state of excited shock. This really tickled my fancy, as I really wanted to get out and see beautiful places (even if only a few miles away), while combining it with my geeky new toy(s). Well, I setup an account on geocaching.com in April, and watched the cache-flow increase in my area... When I first joined, the closest one was 15 miles. Now there are at about 8 that are 10 miles or less. I'll be honest though, geocaching wasn't the reason for me getting out... It was a new friend that I made at the end of my senior year (just graduated highschool in june '01), and her love of the outdoors and desire to go out was equal in me... I always wanted to go, but I didn't want to go alone. Oddly enough, the very first time going was July, Friday the 13th... We didn't find the cache that day, but we definitely had a blast, and the forthcoming geocaching days proved far more exciting as we started to engage in more difficult caches. As others seem to have generally agreed, it hasn't been entirely about the find, but the experience of searching, and at least getting out to know my region of California better... "Life is a journey, not a destination." I've lived here 18 years of my 18 year-old life and now I'm a lot more adept at sounding like I'm from here (people will probably ask when I move north to UC Santa Barbara for college).

 

If nothing else, this is what geocaching has done for me:

 

It has given me more appreciation for nature and the areas I troddle in... it has shown me places that I never even knew about, and if nothing else, has made my last summer before starting college a heck lot more memorable than what I initially thought I'd be doing this summer... sitting on the computer or looking for a job (bah, no one wants a temp! icon_smile.gif I'm really interested in meeting others who geocache as well and actually like to trek around at my age too... seems most of my friends just go to movies, stay home on the computer, or other trivial things that are associated with just being a teenager. Maybe I'm just growing up too fast, but I'm having a blast and so are the people I go with. Cache on!

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Guest ajkwan

I've been a computer geek for more than half of my shortlived life (18 yrs)... and anything techy has always sparked my attention... saving money has been too. After I got my Palm IIIxe through a really sweet deal back in March, I couldn't put the darn thing down and I participated in a discussion forum at pdabuzz.com. Less than a month later, word got out of an AWESOME deal for a GPS attachment for my Palm. Regular retail price of this sucker was around $130, but it dropped to $60, and there was a 20% off for first time purchases. What a DEAL. I spent less than $50 for a new toy-accessory that I wasn't even sure what I was going to do with (maybe map out my highschool, who knows icon_smile.gif)... then, thanks heavens, someone in the UK named wishus suggested geocaching. The name was catchy, so I checked it out... when I found out what it REALLY was, I was in a state of excited shock. This really tickled my fancy, as I really wanted to get out and see beautiful places (even if only a few miles away), while combining it with my geeky new toy(s). Well, I setup an account on geocaching.com in April, and watched the cache-flow increase in my area... When I first joined, the closest one was 15 miles. Now there are at about 8 that are 10 miles or less. I'll be honest though, geocaching wasn't the reason for me getting out... It was a new friend that I made at the end of my senior year (just graduated highschool in june '01), and her love of the outdoors and desire to go out was equal in me... I always wanted to go, but I didn't want to go alone. Oddly enough, the very first time going was July, Friday the 13th... We didn't find the cache that day, but we definitely had a blast, and the forthcoming geocaching days proved far more exciting as we started to engage in more difficult caches. As others seem to have generally agreed, it hasn't been entirely about the find, but the experience of searching, and at least getting out to know my region of California better... "Life is a journey, not a destination." I've lived here 18 years of my 18 year-old life and now I'm a lot more adept at sounding like I'm from here (people will probably ask when I move north to UC Santa Barbara for college).

 

If nothing else, this is what geocaching has done for me:

 

It has given me more appreciation for nature and the areas I troddle in... it has shown me places that I never even knew about, and if nothing else, has made my last summer before starting college a heck lot more memorable than what I initially thought I'd be doing this summer... sitting on the computer or looking for a job (bah, no one wants a temp! icon_smile.gif I'm really interested in meeting others who geocache as well and actually like to trek around at my age too... seems most of my friends just go to movies, stay home on the computer, or other trivial things that are associated with just being a teenager. Maybe I'm just growing up too fast, but I'm having a blast and so are the people I go with. Cache on!

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Guest LoCache

I decided to post my message before reading anyone else's so that my thoughts wouldn't be influenced by the things others said.

 

For me, quite simply, Geocaching gave me a hobby that brought untold amounts of fun, excitement and happiness in to my life.

 

I am a HARD worker. Some might say a workaholic. I have been working 60-80 hours a week for the last five years at my company...WILLINGLY! This leaves me with little time for fun. After five years, I have started feeling the impending burn out. Geocaching kept that from happening. When I discovered Geocaching, I had a compelling reason to quit SAYING I wanted to go hiking, and actually get out and do it.

 

A couple of years ago I decided I needed to get outdoors more since all my time is spent at a computer. I bought camping gear like crazy, hiking gear...you name it. I used it ONCE, and never made time for it again. When I started Geocaching, I dusted off the hiking shoes and backpack, and bought a GPS.

 

With less than a $100 investment, I found a hobby that is fun and exciting and best of all....FREE!!! Hardly a weekend has passed since my first Geocaching experience that I have not made it out of doors to some new park I never new existed, to see beautiful sites that I may never have seen! I have learned MUCH about GPS Technology, Nature and wildlife in the process.

 

If it weren't for Geocaching, I would still be sitting at my computer looking for cool places to go camping, but somehow never finding the time.

 

And, lastly, I have met a multitude of extremely cool people from all ages and all sorts of backgrounds that I might never have met, as well as made contact with a friend from the past that I hadn't spoken to or kept in touch with for over 10 years!

 

Thanks, and KEEP ON GEOCACHING!

Geo

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