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Why geocaching?


Guest Cache-potato
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Guest Cache-potato

I am sure this subject has been hit upon before now. But with the population growth as of late I thought it might be interesting.

Questions:

1-Where did you first learn of geocaching.

2-What about it most appeals to you?

3-How was your first expierence?

 

Be as brief or detailed as you like. icon_smile.gif

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Guest Cache-potato

OK I wanna go first....

 

Read a small snippet in canoe and kayak mag. and was immediately intrigued. Sounded just up my alley. You know what? IT WAS!

 

After logging on the website, doing a zip-code search and explaining to my wife, we were on our way to our first cache (actually 5 that day cause wife couldn't stop)that weekend. We both were SO excited on our first find. It was hanging in a tree in the middle of the woods just waiting on us. Just for us. It said 'here take anything you want, it's free help yourself'. How many times have you heard that? Reward! Been hooked ever since!

 

IT appeals to my sense of adventure and love of the outdoors. Sit in office all day and I crave fresh air and wind thru the trees. I could hike 5 miles and feel so refreshed. Good clean fun!

 

Cache-potato

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Guest Hard Slate

I actually bought my gps first.

 

I went to a local map shop looking for topos.

The gentleman there showed me the website, I started reading caches and became so entrigued that I had to try it.

 

I enjoy the hunt more than anything, but the excuse to get outdoors and see places close to home I've never been to are very good reasons. Also as I'm getting older and heavier, the exercise doesn't hurt that much either. rolleyes.gif

 

My first experience was two caches in one park,the first waas a little anticlimactic, but the second was a multileg, that had me hooked, deep!

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Guest Moun10Bike

Great topic!

 

I am a longtime outdoor enthusiast, and have owned a GPS of one model or another since 1995. I've also always been fascinated by maps.

 

A regularly read the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup, and so when the first posts about geocaching appeared in early May of 2000 after the removal of Selective Available, I was immediately intrigued.

 

I started planning my first geocache right away, and placed it in June near my family cabin in northern Idaho. It was the first cache in Idaho. (In case you are interested, it was the Camels Prairie Stash near Priest Lake.)

 

As summer progressed, I really thought that geocaching was going to die -- I had no visitors to my stash all year (the first visit ended up being a year after I planted it), and there were only a handful of caches placed all summer, which I figured would be a peak time for hiding if it was going to happen at all. (You can see a graph of cache placement activity here to see for yourself how flat things were to start.)

 

Fortunately, and as you can tell, things really turned around! Jeremy launched his website and the media started running some stories on geocaching, and by the end of September the activity really started to grow. That's when I started seeking caches. The first that I found was Jeremy's SAVI Stash, which at that time was the closest one to my home near Seattle (my, how things have changed!). That experience consisted of many of the same things that I continue to experience on cache hunts, and that make geocaching so fun for me -- poring over maps, exploring new (as well as familiar) areas, trying to determine the best route to a cache, and overcoming obstacles and problem solving when the direct route proves not to be the best route.

 

------------------

Jon (Moun10Bike)

25H/56F/3C/2S/2X

N 47° 36.649', W 122° 3.616'

www.switchbacks.com/geocaching.html

 

[This message has been edited by Moun10Bike (edited 09 July 2001).]

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Guest John Swarey

I first read about Geocaching on Slashdot. It seemed like a good excuse to buy a GPS. I certainly don't regret it - I am having a great time!

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Guest bigmancam2

Well I'm new to Geocaching, but I first heard of it in an article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution back in April I think. My first thought was "WOW!" However, I was so busy that I quickly forgot about it. Then, 2 whole months later (June), I was sitting at my computer with nothing to do. Then "geocaching" popped into my head. Yep, and the idea hadn't crossed my mind since I read the brief article. I found geocaching.com and... 2 days later I bought a GPS. I planted my first cache on July 4th and loved seeing all the attempts and reading the logs, especially what cachers thought about the location as well as the hunt. Already placed 2 caches and planning a third, as well as hunting for some caches in my area. (I know, it might be strange that I started with hiding, BTW, it would be interesting to know who started with which??? (seeking or hiding)? I would expect that the majority began with searching, since there are obviously more hunts/attempts than caches themselves.

 

[This message has been edited by bigmancam2 (edited 09 July 2001).]

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Guest Tronapoke

My first introduction to geocaching was an article in the Casper, Wyoming Star Tribune in early June, 2001. I got a GPS for Christmas, love maps, the internet, playing with my GPS, and just riding around in the desert and mountains. It is a natural for me, especially in an area like this that is almost all public land. In that month we have went from 2 in Wyoming to 12, 2 of which are mine. Doesn't sound like many but in Wyoming that is a major accomplishment!

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Guest PneumaticDeath

I had heard about geocaching late last year, and looked at the web-site. I liked the concept , but didn't have the gumption (or time) to buy and GPS and the goodies. In April, I got laid off, and I realized that I needed to do several things: 1-get in shape, 2-get out of the house more, 3-find a way to spend some of the severance package on cool gizmos.

 

Geocaching fufilled all three (sorta). I'd always liked hiking, but hadn't done much of it, and this was a way to discover whole new area, with the added incentive of searching for hidden treasure.

 

My first cache was while I was visiting an old college roomate. He, his wife and I went to dinner in Ferndale, CA and afterwards, decided to try the Rolling Rock Cache just about 5 miles outside of town. After much pacing back and forth and consulting of clues, we found the cache, and adpoted a pair of pet-rocks from the cache. I was hooked. Not only was the search fun, but i discovered a whole new area of Humboldt County that I never visited in the 6+ years I lived there.

 

-- Mitch

 

[This message has been edited by PneumaticDeath (edited 09 July 2001).]

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Guest Iron Chef

Like a few others here I saw an article on Slashdot.org and then watched the site for a while. Once I saw that things were really picking up in January/February of this year I decided to jump in :~) i've never regretted it. The money spent on the gps was probably the best money I have ever spent on a, what seemed at the time, whimsical impulse. It gets me out and adventuring more than ever. It's not too often that you find a spot that parallels your interests so exactly.... the buried treasure part helped too though. =~) As for my first experience... utter failure. No, worse than utter failure... I had failed to read the manual thinking that I could figure it out as I go. *smacks head* Doh! Needless to say I got a bit better as time went by and I started figuring out how to use the various features to their fullest extent. Now, I've even moving on to my second GPS unit, I mean what good is an addiction if you can't get that high feeling if your under some trees? *grins*

 

------------------

-Iron Chef

_ _ _ _ _ _____ _ _ _ _ _

agefive.com/geocache/ ~ Fe-26

Lets Drive Fast and Eat Cheese!

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Guest bunkerdave

I heard about it from a guy I work with, who has a friend in Wisconsin who caches.I bought a Palm-based GPS, and tried it out a little, and hated it. TOok it back 3 days later and was glad I found out what a waste of money GPS units were before the return window ended. Told this guy at work about my experience, and he told me about Geocaching. I went down that day after work and bought a REAL GPS, my Magellan Map 330. Two days later I found my first cache, and 72 days after THAT, my 100th cache. I witnessed an EXPLOSION of the sport in the greatest geocaching state of all - Utah - and I am pleased and proud to say that I have been in the thick of the whole of it.

 

What appeals to me? Where do I begin.

 

1. Navigation. I love maps. I got a globe for my 5th birthday. Some guys hung basketball stars and half naked women on their walls - my room was papered with National Geographic wall maps. I had the whole world. I own about 12 different types of mapping software, and still buy everything I can afford. I never use most of it, as I have my favorites and mostly use those.

 

2. The outdoors. Navigation is fun to me, whether city or country, but there is something extra special about navigating in the backcountry because there is little if anything to go by. As unique as everything is, it all looks the same in a strange way. You really have to know what you're doing to navigate in the wild.

 

3. People. I think people, in general, are rotten. This sport, however, has introduced me to some rotten people who seem to be on pretty good behavior when I meet them. Or maybe they are just good people. Whichever, I have enjoyed meeting those I have met. I even went so far as to organize a campout where a bunch of us will gather and see who is the craziest of all. I also never thought there were so many people into maps like I always have been.

 

4. Treasure Hunting - I will grant you that most of the caches are full of varying qualities of garbage, depending on who you listen to. However, if you have to find 10 caches before you find one with anything worth trading for, then it is an even better treasure hunt than if you find good stuff in every cache.

 

5. Internet/Computers - I like the fact that even when I can't get out to hunt, I can do so much when I am home. I plan caches, multicaches, cache hunts, etc, all in the comfort of my own home. The internet is an amazing piece of technology, and this game really uses it to its fullest. Discussion boards, e-mail, websites, etc. I have learned a lot just from geocaching. I receive a bunch of digests from discussion groups on the Map330, and those who do not geocache just do not have the familiarity with their GPS that I enjoy. I even use it when I golf to measure my shots. WAAS will let you do that rather well.

 

6. Creativity - I love to dream up new ideas for caches, and I see great new ones every day. Geocachers are incredibly creative.

 

7. Off-Highway travel - I drive a Subaru Outback, and used to take no small amount of grief from friends who drive "real" 4x4s. I have enjoyed keeping up, and indeed, from time to time, showing up those buddies with my Subaru. I will admit, it's no Hummer, but show me a hummer that will do 120 mph and get 28 mpg.

 

8. Hiking - This is the best part, well, probably a real close tie with the Maps thing. I used to hike in Idaho some when I was growing up, but when I moved to Utah, I didn't have anyone to go with or to show me the good trails. Geocaching has shown me lots of great hikes, and many great places to drive to.

 

I could go on, but this will do. I am a lifer.

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Guest Silver

I also saw my first mention of geocaching on slashdot.

 

After deciding to move to Washington state in January, I went out and bought a GPS unit. I love the outdoors and thought that a GPS unit would be a great way to keep from getting lost in the mountains. (I had gotten semi-lost elk hunting in Idaho a few years ago.)

 

I found my first cache in Florida in January, and have been going strong ever since. This is a great sport/hobby and anything that gets me back outdoors is a plus!

 

Silver

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Guest Exocet

etting the Geode (a Handspring springboard module for their Visor unit) ...so Geocaching was an obvious and cool fit.

 

The unit arrived in early February and I started Geocaching. I found my first cache on Feb 4 and my 43rd cache last Saturday. Every geocache I've visited has been with one friend or another, but mostly a fellow outdoors enthusiast friend of mine named Chad.

 

The appeal, for me, is getting outside. Secondary is seeing new places. Although I've lived my entire life in Oregon, I don't seem to have seen much of it. Or southern Washington, for that matter. Nearly every Geocache has lead me to a new place.

 

To answer question three: my first experience was rather dismal! I tried to find the River View (ID=479) cache and had a hell of a time. After a few hours of searching, we gave up. The next weekend (after Chad and I had found the "Inspirational" (ID=253) cache) we tried again and finally found it after another hour or so of searching. The bummer was that I emailed the author of the cache and never got a reply. We were going nuts, trying to figure out if we were in the right spot or not. It turns out that the cache was just *very* well buried. Subsequent visits to geocaches have been a lot more fun.

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Guest Markwell

I actually heard about Geocaching from "Cool Site of the Day" from it's January 8, 2001 award to this site. I was really intrigued by the idea, but it wasn't until my birthday in March that I could convince my wife to let me buy the GPS I wanted.

 

Soon after, when I got my big doofus out of the La-z-boy and started taking my 5yo hiking, my wife started condoning our cache trips, and even encouraging them.

 

Reasons to enjoy it for me:

Exercise - I wasn't getting enough, and probably still am not getting enough. But I'm getting more now than I was.

 

Hiking - I know, it sounds like "Exercise" but not really. I've always enjoyed walking in the woods or in nature areas, but B.G. (Before Geocaching) never had a good excuse or the time. True, my lawn is getting tall, but I'm really having fun.

 

Toys - Cool hobby with a really neat gadget. I also get to play justified hours on the computer at night - with no complaints from the Mrs. about duration.

 

Bonding with the Boy - My kid's got mild ADHD, and this sport is FABULOUS for him. Goal oriented, interesting and keeps him on target. It's a great experience for him, and helps him learn to focus. I'm also having a great time doing this with him.

 

Spending Time with the Rest of the Fam - After a cache hunt in Tennessee, my wife got hooked. We've now extended our caches to include the Mrs. and a 20 month old "root toucher" (every root that crosses the trail must be touched and explained "roo?" Yes, Sam, that's a root.)

 

Anytime, Anywhere - We've always loved to travel to distant parts of the country for our vacations, but have worried about taking the two boys just to enjoy the beauty. Now we also have something fun to do while we're at these distant spots, and that makes the trip worth it for everyone.

 

The People that I meet - having talked with many of these people in the forums, having run across the same names logging the area caches, and even having our first gathering this Saturday, I've found that Geocachers are the nicest group of people you could ask for. In what other activity could you have 3000 containers, and maybe close to 1000 registered users, all using the honor system - effectively!?!

 

Admittedly, this next one is low on my list, but the self-esteem portion is neat: I'm trendy - Having always been the nerdy geek in HS and College, it's neat to talk about my hobby for a couple of weeks, and then have my co-workes come up and say, "Hey, I saw something that Peter Jennings did last night on Geocaching. Isn't that what you've been doing?" This isn't why I got into Geocaching, nor why I continue to do it. It's just a nice perk.

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Guest McIrish

I read about geocaching in the local newspaper. I didn't save the article, but kept the idea in the back of my mind. My father is 78 and bless his heart, he kept it. I needed a diversion from everyday life and Pops and I agreed that this would be perfect. I am a gizmo kinda girl and my son and my father also love gizmo's.....so we bought one and off we went. The McIrish newbies found their first cache and we were hooked. We placed our first cache yesterday. This is a great sport.

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Guest BGSkierNC

Always have been an outdoors kind of guy, camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, sailing, etc. Went on a hike in Aug 2000 and our leader got us lost and we ended up crossing the stream about 12 times and crawling on some goat paths in a thunderstorm. So, I knew about GPS's and decided to buy a Garmin eTrex Summit in Oct 2000 to "enhance" my hiking experience (translated: so not to get lost!).

Searching for GPS topics on the internet led me to Geocaching.com about Jan 2001.

Severals aspects appeal to me: getting out of the office and getting some exercise, what kid (-at-heart!) doesn't like a "treasure" hunt, mentally challenging (it's supposed to be right here, at my feet!), a reason to buy a a new tech-toy, and it's easy to get your friends to go with you. Geo-caching is similar to Orienteering which I tried several years ago, but didn't care for it.

My first attempt I was alone and made all the classic first time mistakes, and ended up not finding the cache. The biggest thing I learned was the inaccuracy of GPS receivers in general. But, that same disappointment led me to *think* more about hunting the cache.

Basically, a new fun sport for me that I can enjoy and promote according to my schedule.

These discussion boards are a great tool. They allow the users to share ideas, tips, etc. that can benefit all. We need to realize that this sport is a new animal is still evolving in many ways. It will be interesting to see the paths it takes.

BG

P.S. I think Jeremy is doing a FANTASTIC job.

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Guest tecmage

Heard about Geocaching from a CNN Headline News story. I LOVE gadgets! I also happen to work with a professor that worked on the GPS System. Bought an Etrex Legend and Mapsource software.

 

We love getting outside and hiking, sweating, and visiting places we never knew existed.

 

Richard

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ow the phone rings distracting me I was kinda half paying attention to the both the call and the set. When I got off the phone the spot had passed and I was desperately fidling with the name of the site in my head thinking that looks intresting to try out. Hey I own a Delorme Earthmate and have a laptop I can use the excercise. I went to Techtv's site to look throuh the recent stories of the day but came back empty. I headed over to google and did a search and found the site geocaching.com I poured over the site that whole night gathering info and found a cache bout 1.5 miles away from me. The hints he gave looked very familiar to a place I used to hang out in a few years back. I figured out how to plug in the cords to my mapping software and anticipated the next days hunt. I took a friend along and we walked out to the cache with latop and gps attached in hand. The next day I started looking into handhelds and by end of week I had ordered and received my Garmin GPS III plus. Im hooked 5 finds in the last 2 weeks and one hide.. =)

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