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Fave/most Personal Aspect Of Geocaching?


Pyewacket
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Let me preface this post by stating that answers may be included in an article I'm writing for Today's Cacher Magazine (www.todayscacher.com). If you're not willing to have your post published in that venue, please reply accordingly.

 

What factor(s) of geocaching most appeals to you? Because I don't want to "lead" anyone in an answer, I'll not offer a list of possible aspects. However, my main reasons for caching are:

 

The sense of accomplishment I get from finding a challenging cache, especially when I frequently find myself questioning my self-worth.

 

A reason for spending more time outdoors, in new places that I might otherwise know nothing about.

 

Chime in...why do you cache? Please elaborate as much as possible, and remember to include a request that your reply not be published in Today's Cacher if you're not willing to have it "printed" there. Thanks!

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I would have to say: a reason to spned more time outdoors and see places I wouldn't go if not for caching. Before I started this RASH, a walk in the woods meant going down the right side of the fairway looking for a sliced drive. :P

I also really enjoy the solitude, as I work in a very public place and deal with demanding people all day long. That said, I also enjoy spending time caching with the new frineds I have made in the past two years who share this addiction.

Quote away.

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For me it was a combination of getting more exercise and the adventure of the hunt. This sport offers me the opportunity to get both. If I only walked around a mall or a track, I would get bored very easily and stop. Once you get the GPS in hand, the thrill and adrenaline kick in and I can't stop until I have found the cache or died trying. There have been a couple of caches that I have had to stop and come back another day, but I did go back.

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I've never much of an outdoor person, so geocaching has done some good things for me on that branch. However, during my so far about 1,5 year career of caching I've found the global nature of this activity to be the most fascinating aspect of this activity. You can go almost anywhere on this Earth and find caches in exactly the same way you do at home. I've also tremendously enjoyed most contacts with other geocachers from different corners of the world, both face-to-face and correspondence.

 

I've done a fair share of traveling during my life, but have known geocaching for only during two trips to abroad. I can't wait for my next summer trip to Central Europe!

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Geocaching has shown me parks that I've never known existed before, and places in those parks that I didn't even know existed. I also find it a great way to bond with my dog and parents. Often, I'll get to spend a nice day with my dog, and she'll usually get more exercise than she would any other day...

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In no particular order:

 

1. Exercise

2. Going to places I have never been before

3. A cache to me, is kind of a secret. I just think about all the caches I have found, that 99.9% of the people in the world don't even know about. It's right under the noses but *I* know it's there. It's neat to be sneaky and know about something like that. :P

4. A sense of accomplishment I get from finding a cache and seeing my numbers go up. (No, I am not in competition with anyone, I just like to see my own numbers rise).

5. Spending time together with my husband, doing something we both enjoy.

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Pretty much everything that everyone has already said. One thing I would like to add is that sometimes it is good to go out alone and just get away from everything. I do love to go caching with my boys, but they did not like going out in the winter. I conversly love to go out in the snow and cold, so most of my wintertime travels were alone. They were also some of the best times I've had caching.

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The boot group agrees with all that have already responded to this forum. We are getting outside more to places we didn't even know about in our own community and elsewhere. We are getting exercise and time outside. We love the thrill of the hunt and trading cute "stuff". We enjoy the virtual caches that often teach history lessons and lead us to amazing views. We also recently enjoyed meeting other cachers at a local event cache.

 

The thing that we like about caching that hasn't been mentioned yet is the logs and logging on-line. We like to read the logs at the cache for pure enjoyment. We must admit, however, during the cold months we didn't write too much in the logs since our hands were cold. It's like reading a secret diary. We also really enjoy returning home and logging our cache on-line. Sure, we love the on-line proof that we have found "x" number of caches. That's a numbers game. I'd love to have our numbers be 3 digits (or more). The thing is, the numbers are proof that our family has spent "x" numbers of hikes together. Sometimes we do more than one cache a day, but the number on-line still represents that this busy young family has spent that much time together.

 

We also love picking up travel bugs. We pick and choose the ones we want and go to the cache only if we think we can help the bug along. I've seen some discussions in the forums about bug ethics. For example, some say you should only take a bug if you have one to swap. We feel that bugs should be moved along according to the owners wishes, and only take one if we can help it. We also make sure to leave something in the cache, even if the only thing we took was the bug.

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For me it's about solving puzzles. I enjoy going places that I wouldn't otherwise have seen, but the real thrill is the challenge of figuring out what the creator was thinking and what odd thing nearby might be what I'm searching for.

 

I like the creation aspect of it as well. I'm currently working on a series of four linked caches, all of which will be fairly difficult, and finding just the right locations plus just the right deception tactics is amazingly fun.

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I love geocaching because I am finding trails/hikes I was previously unaware of. That's rally pretty much it. I've always had a love of the outdoors, but not the time or resources to research where the new trails are, the special sights... all sorts of goodies.

 

*edited to clarify/add*

Edited by New England n00b
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Geocaching has taught me delightful surprises about the area I live in. I've learned about new parks, interesting areas, etc. And of course, it appeals to the little boy in me who enjoys playing hide and seek; only now I can play when it's convenient for me and choose the field of play from an almost infinite number of locales.

 

I've generally found that the other players share a similar ethic about our responsiblity to the outdoors and are willing to put in some effort to make sure that others can enjoy it too.

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I've always liked walking but sometimes you just don't know where to go, the main draw for me is that searching for a cache gives me a target and somewhere nice to go - most caches are placed in nice countryside and I've had some great walks whilst caching. The initial intrest came from the fact that I've always been intrerested in geography and maps and working in IT means I have a fondness for gadgets too.

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I really like to place caches, mostly to draw people to spots that I think are special, or interesting. I also enjoy reading the logs about the adventures they encountered while looking for my caches.

 

I enjoy the outdoors and started geocaching because it was just another excuse to get me out there. Like many others, I've found that it brings me to places that I may never have discovered, if not for geocaching. This is another aspect of the sport that I enjoy.

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i'm a work-a-holic... I need to be doing something busy to be entertained. just taking a walk in the park, makes me feel like i'm not getting anything accomplished, makes me feel like I'm wasting time. But, with geocaching, I go outside, and I've got a "mission" to complete, something for my mind to think about.

 

Also, my significant other loves it... cause I stop working, take a nice block of time, and leave the house... with her, and spend time with her. And I don't feel the urgency to get back to work.

 

I also think of each cache as a kind of artwork, almost like an installation. There's so much you get to experience with each cache... Researching the information, travelling to a location, being part of and interacting with your surroundings, taking of sort of unique journey which relates you with the history of the hide and the finders who came before and after you.

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Geocaching is really the hobby that I have been waiting for my whole life. I love the outdoors; I love to explore; I love maps and geography; I love technology/gadgets; I love to look for treasure; I love puzzles/problems solving; I love to spend time hiking with friends. What could better fulfill these desires than geocaching? I was big into orienteering in my younger days - this just a suped-up version! I have to thank my best caching buddy meangusto for introducing me last winter. I had my etrex for about 3 years before I had ever heard of it! I hope that it continues into the future and my family will participate for recreation. I really think that we have the opportunity to pull kids away from the TV and get interested in the world out there, while they still fulfill their hi-tech needs. Thanks a million to the founders of the sport and those who set up this web system for listing caches!

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I'm the type of person that needs a reason for doing something.

I don't get out there and take a walk, because to me it seems to serve no purpose. Caching is different. Even though I'm walking, it doesn't feel like I'm walking, because I have a purpose. I have a focus for the activity.

Caching gets me in the fresh air. It makes me feel better about myself.

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The best thing for me about geocaching is how well it meshes with activities I already enjoy;

Photography - Lots of photo op's at those new places.

Hiking - Exploring new areas / re-visiting familiar ones.

Travel - Gets you to places you might miss.

Four wheeling - Exploring new areas / re-visiting familiar ones.

Camping - We plan trips around caches to be found rather than going to the same places all th time.

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I love to be out in the woods but hiking didn't have the sense of purpose that I needed. I heard about caching through a friend at work and I new that I would be hooked before I even started. I bought my first gps this past December and it has pretty much replaced my other hobbies. My mastiff Hannibal absolutely loves it and it is perfect for getting him outdoors. Recently since the weather has finally warmed up a little here in the notheast and had the opportunity to take my six year old daughter along with me. I am divorced and remarried and my daughter lives with my ex-wife. We didn't really have a together activity that we could do untill I took her out caching. This has become our together activity. She loves to go and when my wife has to work weekends it gives us a chance to be together and do something fun. Last but not least it has given me an opportunity to meet other cachers who I have found to be from a multitude of different backgrounds but who have all been very nice people.

Edited by Mastifflover
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This has mostly already been covered, but I thought I'd share anyway.

 

It's a social thing - a way to experience places and things that other people find interesting, and therefore to understand a little bit more about them (even if you never meet them.)

 

First, I love puzzles. Puzzles are best when they're created by other people - all good geocaches are puzzles, and by solving (or attempting to solve) them, you gain insight into the people who created them.

 

Second falls into the "seeing new places" category, but it's more than that.

 

When you visit a new city or country, geocaching gives you the opportunity to see parts of it that frequently aren't in any guidebook - you're connecting to real people and places, instead of something that came out of some committee somewhere. Geocaching locations are more 'real' than those put forth for the average tourist - they're places that someone, somewhere, finds important enough to want to share.

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Things that make me enjoy geocahing:

 

1) The thrill of finding that micro after being one second from giving up.

2) Finding that rare peice of swag that I really want, but others might find useless.

3) Seeing my brother on his butt while tring to get down a steep hill.

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Several of the reasons already given apply to me, so I won't duplicate them here. The only one I haven't seen so far is this: we (spouse & I) are not very sociable people, so this is the perfect activity for us: we get to feel like we're sort of participating in something, without ever having to actually meet any of the other participants in person.

 

(I also like reading logs after I've been to a cache, to see if someone trades for the items we've left.)

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:( I keep having the discussion with my wife, Purple Bear, as to whether this is a sport/hobby/game or her favorite...an obsession. I like the idea of being a part of a global scavenger hunt. One that has no end or bounderies. I like finding new spots that I have never been to. I like decyphering the puzzles. But most of all I like the caches that involve a part of the local history. Go figure since I hated history in school...so many years ago. I did not get into geocaching for the exercise...that is a side benefit.

Red Bear

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It started out with the endorsement of my children's goal - finding hidden treasure! After all, I don't think anybody ever really gets over the childhood dream of finding Blackbeard's gold or some other secret cache. Anyone who ever read the Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew or any of a hundred other juvenile fictions knows that there is 'secret good stuff' just hidden everywhere out there.

 

But my favorite aspect has changed, even though I'll always like to find the treasures. My new favorite aspect is celebrating and marvelling over the endless creativity of the human mind. There are some incredibly creative people out there, a few that I have met in person, and the many more that show up occasionally throughout the forums. I am fascinated by the originality of the caches and their clues, the preparation time and thought that goes into them, the ingenious hide plans and containers, and the history and beauty that is uncovered and shared so graciously by cachers when they show you a place that you might never have otherwise seen. Sure, there are lots of drone cachers, who just grind from cache to cache, spreading McCrud and looting anything good-looking, and whining about having to solve a problem or use some smarts to find the hide. Society is full of 'Took Everything, Left Nothing' people, and geocaching is part of society. But there is an amazingly high ratio of creative people of good will who show up (for what reason who knows?) in the sport. They organize CITOs and regional groups, they plant clever caches, they read and write and analyze and speak well, they are incredibly generous with trades, signature items, cache-planting and maintenance, and encouragement. They will rescue trashed caches, send lost travelbugs on their way in a new ziploc bag with better instructions, offer insights on the forums, and provide good will wherever they go. I like finding these people. They are the real hidden treasures we find when we participate in geocaching.

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It's really a combination of a few things. A natural desire to explore and to find treasures combined with a love for the outdoors. I have an intense passion for both the outdoors and for history and a lot of caches are placed near historical things and it's a great way to experience them. The exercise is a huge reason. It can be hard work, but by the time you find the cache you've forgotten about it.

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Fussing techno gadgetry with mother nature ... I like the ability to arm myself with a reasonable amount of high tech play toys (GPS, digital camera, cell phone, camel baks, etc) and venture out into the great outdoors. Allowing myself to trek through a wilderness that other humans have been treking through for thousands of years. Only this time, I'm looking for an ammo box/tupperware container and I'm armed with several thousand dollars worth of toys to help me find it.

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For me it’s the ever present possibility of encountering lithe naked nymphomaniac faerie girls prancing in the forest. dadgum I love when that happens.

 

I'm going to have to move out to WA! In NJ all we ever see in the woods are toothless homeless men, swigging 40 oz bottles of malt liquor.

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1) It adds an extra purpose to a walk outside

 

2) You find new interesting places that you didn't know were so close to your home.

 

3) The thrill of the treasure hunt.

 

4) The payoff. I like the geocaching payoff better than that for letterboxing.

a)There's stuff! We all love free stuff, no matter how silly.

b)You get to think up neat items to leave for other geocachers to find.

c)There is also an interactive payoff in logging your comments about the caches you find, and reading comments from those who have found yours.

d)You're getting fun by hunting caches and providing fun to others by hiding caches.

 

5) Now when we go to frequently visited vacation locations, there's something new to do there.

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... besides the golf balls...

 

Where else can you find a sport that so thoroughly discourages alcohol consumption, drug use, inappropriate sexual activity and violent criminal mischeif. What other recreational activity is as non-polluting, non-violent, gender neutral and yet still promotes large muscle exercise and personal creativity?

 

And the golf balls, dang it! The golf balls!

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When I started surveying I was a member of a field crew spending each day hiking outdoors looking for things. (i.e. property corners, old gas/oil wells,etc.) I liked that aspect of the job. However, on my days off I really didn't want to be hiking around after spending 40-50 hours a week doing just that.

 

Ever since I was "promoted" to being an office bug I now miss being outdoors. Geocaching gives me an excuse to get back to the things I enjoy.

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... besides the golf balls...

 

Where else can you find a sport that so thoroughly discourages alcohol consumption, drug use, inappropriate sexual activity and violent criminal mischeif. What other recreational activity is as non-polluting, non-violent, gender neutral and yet still promotes large muscle exercise and personal creativity?

 

And the golf balls, dang it! The golf balls!

Violent? Me?

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