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12 Steps To Geocaching

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This was posted in the Northeast forum couple of months back, but I wanted to share it with others not from that forum. Enjoy. :P


Just some mutterings:


Step 1: Someone tries to explain geocaching to you, you don't understand, but they sound so excited so you let me take you into the woods. You hear the word 'cash' and figure it can't be all that bad if you are getting paid. What? I have to leave something?


Step 2: You find your first cache and immediately take the WG$ and the coins (even if they are foreign)... you are happy and excited and must by a GPS.


Step 2a: Depending on your income level this intermediate step involves begging your friend who has a GPS to go caching... or even borrowing it for a while. (ranges from 1 day to 1 year)


Step 3: Armed with your own GPS you now discover the nearest 1/1 suburban park cache all by yourself. You write 4 pages in the log book (which gets wet a day later because you didn't seal the cache lid properly) and gets stolen a week later. This is also the time discover: Travel Bugs.

Immediately forking out $42.50 for six bugs! Still haven't figured out what GZ or TNLN SL means.


Step 4: Now at your most experimental time of your caching life, you decide to go benchmarking and manage to find 4-12 before you realize that there is no log to sign and no one else on the site pays too much attention to them. Back to caching... You tell everyone you know about this new sport... You start using the jargon TFTC, you use a huge 4" binder and spent 6 hours printing every cache within 30 miles of your house. Filing them into 'to do' lists and sections. You carry the binder in your car and lug it up mountainsides. You lament you forgot to decrypt the clues beforehand!


Step 5: First to Find Challenge! You have now bagged 10-25 caches in the area (50% are virtuals the others are suburban 1/1s). You are determined to get an FTF and can't figure out why very experienced cachers with over 1000 finds keep beating you to the caches... conspiracy theories form: Do they tip off the AdMin? Do they have a PDA in the field? Do they cruise the highways with up-to-the-second telemetry telling them the quickest route to a new cache? Do they listen to woodland animals who spotted the cacher placing the cache? ... What inside information do they have? Hmmm! Many possibilities...


Step 6: Placing your first cache. You decide you have the perfect spot. You fill out the online form in 30 minutes (the wording, grammar and spelling have to be perfect!), submit the cache and the computer has timed out! DOH!!! You quickly reenter eveything and the Admin lets you know the 46 geocaching guidelines you broke... it's on private property, in the middle of a freeway, no you can't place it 364 feet from another cache... the cache has no logbook... etc. You argue and lose.


Step 7: Your first DNF. Not sure whether to log it as a DNF or just a note, or not at all, skip that you were ever there searching fruitlessly for an hour (you tell people two hours of course) ... the decision that you make now shapes the rest of your geocaching career.

Puts a crimp in your: #10 of 11 caches today log. Your binder has now become a browned mess of soggy, illegible papers as you have dropped it in various puddles, streams, ant nests and other geographic features not mentioned in polite company.


Step 8: You have read other cacher logs and you now decide to go for a ***/**** madness cache... in your log you write the equivalent to a set of encyclopedia pitting yourself verses the beast of a cache... A true Herculean effort... etc.


Step 9: You now think you are ready to 'help' others with their caches and offer 'suggestions' anytime you finish a cache. You carry your GPS everywhere you go, vacations etc. to bag caches in other states and countries. You also discover locationless caches and binge on those for a month... anything to boost your numbers! You stop trying to convince your friends that geocaching is trendy and all the cool people are doing it (even though they are). Your daily routes to the office and or the shops become varied as you scoop up caches before, during and after work. 'Detour' is no longer in your vocabulary, the route was planned. You spouse looks at you strangely when you volunteer to goto the store or disappear after dinner. He/she suspects you are have an affair... with a girl called Magellan or a guy called Garmin.


Step 10: You discover a whole new world when you log onto the forums for the first time and find 20 people you have never met congratulating you on your 100th find!?! You now check the forums daily for new news and developments in the Daytime TV Caching Soap Opera. You also painfully realize that there will be others who have more time to cache than you and seem to average 10 a day! (but it is not about the numbers). Your forum post number comes dangerously close to your total cache finds. But you love it anyways! You scan all areas looking the best way to snag more than one cache in a general area... Numbers obsese you, (but of course it's all about those smiley faces). Your lunch hours are spent printing cache sheets (you have learnt not to carry around the huge binder of all 500 caches nearest to your house as 14% are not available, 9% are achived, 2% are puzzle caches and 3% are missing when you get to them!). You spend more time logging your heroic DNF's than the caches and have given up placing a 'signature' item in everycache you find because it is just too darn expensive!


Step 11: You attend a geocaching event and finally meet the people and faces behind the many e-mail exchanges, logs and forum posts and frustrating caches. You share stories and bond until the wee hours of the morning. Other cachers notice quirks about you... funny you look fatter than your pictures, you have an accent? How come you don't type with an accent? Your find list moves above 200 and you are now clear on caches you prefer (I hate micros!). Your immediate area is clear of all easy caches and now, one by one you have to wade thru the tougher ones... you prefer to hunt in packs rather then in solitary. (preferably when the moon is full ) You spent more and more time roaming the forums and notice your cache finds are getting dangerously close to your forum posts! Better type more stuff!


Step 12: You are now firmly engrained in the culture of geocaching. Whether you like it or not. You mention great caches you did to others and people look at you weird ?!? They say, that cache has been archived for 6 months! You archive your first cache since you do realize it was in a stupid location, and work on placing caches in really cool spots more than grabbing new 1/1s unless you can bag 6 on a hill. You pick and choose and don't feel the GOTTA GET IT NOW! Addiction you had before... but trips, vacations and meeting friends in other parts of the country are now planned around geocaching.


My name is Avroair and I am a geocacher... :P

Edited by avroair
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Who else but an addict would spend their wedding aniversary Geocaching? First one of a multi cache day.

A log in the Do Not Find This cache... I told my husband if he took me geocaching with the kids on our anniversary I'd get a babysitter for a week later so we could go out on a date.... I made him take me caching on that day too though. ;)

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I had to stop at the supermarket on the way home today. Word of honor, my heart skipped a beat when I entered the Rubbermaid aisle. I lingered. I bought two. One because it was an "interesting size" (smaller than a regular, but not quite a micro). I just love that chunky, rubbery blue edge trim on the Rubbermaid lids.


When I got to the baggies, I bought two sizes. Freezer-strength bags with the zip. And the brand name Ziploc ones, too. The store brand seemed a little cheezy and, really, there's no cutting corners when you really care about quality. Maybe I'll even freeze food in some of them. Maybe not.


I think I'm in a world of hurt.

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Oops almost forgot... the Stage 13:


You plan your first event. It has to be perfect. No need to recruit others, you buy all the stuff you need for the themed event yourself (about $196.52). You go out and place 10 caches near your event, it consumes your whole weekend and you haven't been able to find a single cache in that time... Kneeling everying evening by the bedpost you pray for good weather and that other cachers will actually show up. You have every little detail planned and timed down to the minute... it has to be perfect. B)


In an effort to bring you back from the dark side your spouse proposes a hike. A real hike. You haven't really hiked in years. Your spouse enjoys hiking, you enjoy caching and there is an incompatibility problem there... the two a mutually exclusive ;) But you manage to survive the hike anyways, sobbing to yourself, lamenting the missed caching opportunity....

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Wow! That deserves a double take. I think I am at about step 10. A member since Oct 02 and at a step 10. ;)


I guess thats pretty slow going...huh? Only two things keep me from advancing: I haven't attended a real event cache and I still feel the "got to get it now" rush when a new cache posts. B)

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Oh No!!! Oh No!!!


We really have a very serious problem..... :P because we actually did spend our anniversary geocaching and then admitted it in the logs!


I had no idea how sick we really are. Will we be ok??? Are we headed down the slippery slope? Is it too late for us to recover? :P^_^


Two & the Zoo

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