Jump to content

Who/what Introduced You To Geocaching?

Apollo Bob
Followers 4

Recommended Posts

This is a question that likely shows up occasionally (Markwell welcome), but as there is always an influx of newbies (like me), I thought it might be fun to ask how you got started in this - how did you first hear about it, etc. I figured the Getting Started forum most appropriate for the question as I assume most new people look here - but of course I'd like to hear from the veterans as well. I'm just excited about my new hobby (obsession) to such a degree that I suppose the real purpose of asking the question is because I can't personally grab each of you by the shoulders and shout "ISN'T THIS SO FREAKING COOL?", grinning like an idiot.




I'll start - In an effort to get more exercise, the woman and I decided we should try to go hiking on weekends. I picked up a new book called "60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of San Antonio and Austin", and in the preface the author mentioned that he had come across the game/sport/pasttime of geocaching while researching the book. He briefly described it and gave the geocaching.com address. It instantly grabbed me, even before I looked at the website. Once I did look at it and plugged in my zip code to search - it was like being punched in the face. Um, but in a good way. I was a goner from that point on. The weird part is, I'm almost positive I'd heard about it in passing a year or so ago, but somehow just let it pass through my brain. This time it's lodged in there real good.


Anyway, I'm having a blast - and I'm glad to see that there's such a great community of people involved in this. Prosit!

Link to comment

An article in my local newspaper. I read it and thought, hey this would be another great way to enjoy the outdoors. I was already an avid hiker and backpacker and looked at as a new twist to those activities. I jotted down the website and excitedly went home and logged on and read about it. Then I eagerly sent the link to my friends and family members who also enjoy the outdoors and was surprised by the total lack of interest.


Undaunted, I researched and purchased a GPS within a couple of weeks (I had heard of them, but had no interest whatsoever in them) and the day it arrived I checked for caches near my house and discovered one barely a mile away. In retrospect this was surprising, because there weren't many caches back then. I headed right out and found it. Took a while because I didn't know how to use the GPS. It took a half dozen more finds before I discovered the navigation and map screens :lol: .

Edited by briansnat
Link to comment

I wanted to buy Uncle Badger a GPSr for his birthday. He really didn't have much use for it, since he has an excellent innate sense of direction, but it was a cool technology and I thought he'd enjoy playing with it. I ran across geocaching while researching the Little Yellow.


It was almost five months later before I bought my Legend and hit my first cache. By which time, I was practically hyperventilating.


I, incidentally, have an APPALLINGLY bad innate sense of direction. This technology has been tranforming for me.


If only I could prop up all my personal shortcomings with machines :lol:

Link to comment

We were doomed on 2 fronts, I found the site from confluence.org and wanted to go out right away, but no GPS. My wife ran into a highschool friend where she worked at the time, he was buying tupperware and told her about it the same day I had found the site, we told each other about it that night.


While visiting family in our hometown, borrowed my fathers GPS and we were off to find our first cache on a cold winter day. Took 2 tries, we started with a multi cache and made a math error ending up out way out in the woods. We persisted and found it New Years Eve, 2001, we were hooked. Found a few others during the holidays and over the next couple of months and finally bought my own after returning from a business trip (do I ever regret not having a GPS with me, the business trip was in Portland Oregon for 2 months, not many caches at the time, but could have found some of the early caches). Since then we have met a number of good people and made many friends, been quite busy this year for us.

Link to comment

I almost stumbled on the website. I've been logging my $ on Wheresgeorge.com for 4 years, and recently, I've had a little more time at work so I was on the wheresgeorge site surfing around. I noticed something about geocaching bills and that they were being "disallowed" and immediately removed when they were logged onto the site. Now if that doesn't grab your attention immediately - I don't know what will! :lol:

I switched over to the geocache website and I don't think I've been off of it since! Within a week, I had a new GPS and 5 finds. Thankfully, my first 4 were easy finds, because it got me hooked. The last 2 caches I've gone for, I didn't find, and if that would have happened right from the start, I think I would have been too discouraged to continue. Every spare minute I get I'm on the website looking at different places and seeing what's hidden there... for example, today I checked out Disney World - HOLY COW!!!! WHO KNEW??? :lol:

as you can tell, I'm having a blast.

Link to comment

I bought my first GPSr in '96 or '97. It was a Garmin GPS IIPlus because me and a few buddies flew to Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Forest for a week of hiking. Then when I moved to NJ I used it alot finding my way home while learning the area. Then I decided it was time for an upgrade. I done some research and decided on the Garmin eTrex Vista. While at Barnes and Noble my wife was looking for a specific book, anyway, I thought I'd kill some time and look at some mapping books. I ran across a book about GPS' and was skimming through it. Got to a part about different uses that people use a GPS' for. Hiking, biking, driving, traveling ect...then I saw Geocaching. I thought "What the.....?" Saw a web address and went there when I got home and immediately became interested!


Thats my story in a nut shell.

Link to comment

An informative segment on "Next".. CNN cable news. Some fella in Atlanta being interviewed. I wasted no time logging into geocaching.com.


A little research.. got involved as soon as I could.


Though I have considered GPS for a long time. Didnt realize it was a sport/game. And finding it almost affordable today. Learning that the intentional signal innaccuracy was removed also became a factor.


I used to ride long distance touring motorcycle. There were some locations that just made me go WOW. Cresting a hill to a breathtaking view.... rounding a curve to a spectacular place.. that sort of thing.


For many years I have considered when I die.. Cremate me. Drop a bit of my ashes at those WOW places. Keep my ashes traveling.. anyone wanna pick up 'my travel bug"???

Link to comment

One day back in 2001 I was reading our local paper and came across this story about this cache. It peaked my interest and I checked out the website a few times. It wasn't until early 2003 that I gained access to a GPS (my mom and dad bought a used one) and singed up for an account. My wife and I used their GPS off and on for our first year. At Christmas my mom gave my dad a new GPS and he gave us the one we'd been using.

Link to comment

We travel around the country fulltime in a motorhome and publish a newspaper for RVers called the Gypsy Journal (www.gypsyjournal.net) about interesting places to go. A year or so ago one of our subscribers mentioned geocaching and suggested I write a story about it, because it is a great hoby for RVers. I had never heard of geocaching and really did not pay much attention to him. Then a few months ago, other RVing friends mentioend thay had been geocaching while travelign in southern Indiana. They told me a little more about it and I thought I might look into it sometime. Then, a couple of weeks ago, yet another reader was in an RV park where we were visiting and he is also a geocacher and showed me his log book and told me about travel bugs and all, and gave me this website. I started reading and got hooked in a hurry. I am currently shopping for a GPS unit, and have about settled on the Magellan Meridian Color, because I can also use it for travel routing instead of my more bulkier Delorme GPS/laptoop combination. Looking forward to getting out and finding my first cache!

Link to comment
We were doomed on 2 fronts, I found the site from confluence.org and wanted to go out right away, but no GPS. My wife ran into a highschool friend where she worked at the time, he was buying tupperware and told her about it the same day I had found the site, we told each other about it that night.


While visiting family in our hometown, borrowed my fathers GPS and we were off to find our first cache on a cold winter day. Took 2 tries, we started with a multi cache and made a math error ending up out way out in the woods. We persisted and found it New Years Eve, 2001, we were hooked. Found a few others during the holidays and over the next couple of months and finally bought my own after returning from a business trip (do I ever regret not having a GPS with me, the business trip was in Portland Oregon for 2 months, not many caches at the time, but could have found some of the early caches). Since then we have met a number of good people and made many friends, been quite busy this year for us.

Cute!!! I heard about it from the Orthopedic surgeon that I worked for. I joined in September 2003 but didnot get my Legend & start caching until this spring.

Link to comment

Bought my GPS in April; only because I thought it would be a neat toy to have. I had no real use for it other than another high-tech gadget to play with. I saw the word "geocaching" in the user's manual and decided to type the word into Google. Of course it took me to the geocaching.com web site.


At first I thought about trying to find benchmarks cuz they have always intrigued me but started reading about geocaching and noticed that there was one hidden very close to my workplace. Found it the next day and was hooked instantly.


I'm not sure what the coming Winter will bring in terms of my caching activity, but I'm sure by Spring there will be many more new ones hidden around here. It will also be interesting to see what this "game" will evolve into in the coming years. :lol:

Link to comment

I am good friends with the local representative of Magellan products, so had knowledge of GPS units. I purchased one to assist with my passion for off-roading and exploring roads less travelled.


Looking for software to help out with my large number of waypoints etc., I came across a web site about confluences. On that site was a link to geocaching.com. Just reading about it got me interested, discovering that the game had reached South Africa got me excited! I went and checked out a cache, and was hooked!


Unfortunately, there aren't that many sites in my area of the country, so I am now moving from "hunter" to "hider", intending to place a good number of caches in some of the most amazingly beautiful, out-of-the-way places in this wonderful country of ours.


It really is a GREAT game.

Link to comment

In the summer of 2001 I spent a lot of time using the wheresgeorge.com site. Every few weeks, as least it seemed like that, something about geocaching would come up. Either someone in the forums there would start talking about it, or a bill I was watching would get put into one of these geocache things.

I looked at the gc.com site two or three times, but no caches were real close (hour or more drive away) and I had no gpsr anyways. I'd always thought gps were cool little toys, but never could justify the cost (I mean I didn't want to buy one, to drive a two plus hour roundtrip to find out I didn't like it. I'd still have the gps, but by itself didn't want to buy one just for hunting/fishing alone.). But some of the logs I read made it sound fun, so I thought 'maybe'. Then toward the end of the summer things started coming together, I'd arranged to take a fishing/camping weekend to the one of Iowa's oldest parks, anyways. So once I figured out there was a cache in that park I decided it to try and find it. Ended up buying a basic yellow/gold etrex and took with me.

In between fishing expeditions, and general trail wandering, went looking for this cache. Didn't find it, but had quite a bit of fun anyways. And since I now had a gps anyways begain hiding and finding more caches (thankfully a couple other cachers were active at that time and hide a few. these being less a half hour drive :lol: ). oh, and fyi- that first cache I looked for was later confirmed gone by the owner.

Link to comment

It all started when we sold our sailboat a few years ago. One of the things I enjoyed most about boating was plotting a course to an unseen destination. No roads, no signs, just a compass and chart, then later Loran C, and then a GPS. Later, we started looking for benchmarks, still plotting our course on a map. We found most of them around here but we were missing the precision required. Then I got a Garmin GPS V. On the Garmin web site, there was a link to the geocaching.com site. On a whim, I went looking for a cache one day after work.

After I found it, the rest they say "is history".


BTW, it is much harder to find a micro cache, than finding that safe harbor 100 miles up the coast.

Link to comment

I had been working out in the gym, but wanted something to do outside besides walking/biking the trail right by my place. In August 2003, I saw an article about geocaching in the paper and said that this is exactly what I want to do! Found the first 3 without a GPSr, bought one and I am now up to 700 finds a 14 months later. I have lost weight and have much more stamina than I did before.

I have been lucky enough to cache with five out of the top ten cachers in the world!

Link to comment

newspaper article in the Times. I was hooked immediately and my first cache was a classic....Tie Mill. Hike up a trail and a little off trail to the container itself. Actually took two trips. First trip out, I somehow failed to put the coords in the gps and just relied on the altimeter and hints. Next time I did better. Even videotaped the excursions and someday I'll make a video cd bug so others can laugh at my initial attempts.

Link to comment

I bought a Magellian 4000 back in the early 90's for hunting and one nite while in a tent,on a mountain top in Colorado.I said to a hunting buddy (,who also had one)"Hey Don ,If I hid something in the woods and gave you the Coordinates, Whould you go look for it? He said ...Sure, that sounds like fun!.......We never did it!!!!

So then..(ten years later) ..I heard about Geocaching through The NWTF Forum and didn't know what it was.I clicked on the link and as soon as I got the drift of what was going on...I said to myself.....I KNEW IT ...Someday , there would be something like this...I just knew it!!!! I checked on caches in my area and was shocked to learn that this was going on right under my nose!!! I found my first cache about 1/2 mile from my house and ...trail hound was born!!!!! That was on the fifth of July and I'm 2 caches away from my 100th (Oct. 26)

Link to comment

I read a blip on it on 2001 or so. Then forgot about it for a long time. One day it all came back about a treasure hunt where people hide things and you find it and it's called geocaching. Having remembered that out of the blue I figured there had to be a Geocaching.com. There was. I looked up a cache figured i knew where it was and I dragged the family out on a cold and blustery day to the top of a hill where it was even colder and more windy. We got skunked. After enlisting some help who had a GPS they found it send me a photo of the 'vicinity' and we dug through a huge rockpile and found it. We were hooked. Then I ordered a GPS.


The Magazine was probably InQuest.

Link to comment

I heard about geocaching through another geeky hobby of mine... ham radio. I heard people talking about it on a local repeater, hence my FCC issued call-sign / geocaching name. Signed up here June 2003, and have been hooked since. Racked up 325 finds thus far. It's nice to be in a cache rich area - 1,110 within 20 miles as of this post! Bugs me that there are so many, so close. GF and I go geocaching almost every week-end. Glad she likes it too. Our week-ends seem incomplete unless we have gone on a hike-n-search out there. Brings us to great places!

Link to comment

My son-in-law told me about cacheing. He had an old Garmin given to him from his Dad that basically only got you within .1 of the target. He was finding caches regularly, even at that distance. Sounded intriguing, but I knew I wasn't as clever as Rick and I needed a better unit if I was to be successful in the hunt. I had recently made some lifestyle changes; quit smoking after 30 years, lost 50 lbs, and began exercising. So, I had many years of saving up Marlboro premium miles clipped off the packs. After I quit smoking, I picked up the last Marlboro premium catalog offered. Coincidentally, one of the premiums was a little yellow Garmin E-trex. I ordered it as a freebie and started caching. I was hooked from there on. My first 250 finds were with the little yellow. I've since upgraded to a Garmin 60cs and I like it better, but I could still find most all I hunt with the little yellow. So I think it was fate that what made me a smoker, also made me a healthier cacher. Going for number 400 this weekend. Cache on.

Link to comment

My wife came home from a party where she had run into the head of Schmidt-Family. He mentioned GeoCaching to her and she came home all excited about it. It was about a month before Father's Day and she told me she knew what she wanted to get me for Father's Day and wanted to tell me about it. She has always had a bad habit of this (not being able to wait for gifts).


Well, she finally talked me into letting her tell me what it was and if I didn't like it, she'd do something else. She told me she wanted to get me a GPSr. I said, "Ok". You see, I'd always wanted one but never had a good enough reason to convince her that I needed it. But since she wanted me to have one, that was all the convincing that needed to be done. Anyway, she hadn't even told me about GeoCaching yet so she kept talking. As she told me about it, I thought it sounded like it'd be fun. So we decided that we'd shop around for a GPSr and during the next month we could 'learn how to use it' and then on Father's Day we would go and do some GeoCaching.


Two days later we bought a Garmin Legend and the day after that the two of us went out and found our first three caches. Two days later we went out again, this time with our kids, and we snagged five more.


We were hooked from the first day. Kind of had a little setback after an incident from a GeoCaching trek but I should be healed back up soon. (This light-duty stuff really sucks!)

Link to comment

Excerpt from my log of my first cache find (an accident):


Hey, my friends and I were exploring GHSP and found your cache totally by accident. Between the three of us we have about 90 years of camping and hiking experience and none of us had ever heard of geocaching. Now, two days later, I am a payed member of geocaching.com and already bought my first GPS. Needless to say we were very impressed with the game and excited to start playing. We weren't expecting to find treasure that day so we had very little to leave. I did have a credit card size magnifying glass in my wallet so I left that, we took a piece of paper to write down the web address, and we signed the log book. Thank you for accidentally turning us on to this real cool game, can't wait to start playing for real.


That's how I discovered GeoCaching.


A few notes:


GHSP = Golden Hill State Park - Upstate NY

GPS = GPSr (I know that now ... hehe)

And, of the two friends that were with me, one has joined me with his wife for one of my cache hunts since then, and the other I see about once a year but last time I talked to him he was talking about getting his own GPSr to join the game.

Link to comment

...so the lady having coffee with me was telling me what she did for fun, and as she rambled on, my brain hit the brakes back in conversation when she used a word that I had never heard before. (geocaching) I had to ask her three times and then to spell it for me.


She said she enjoyed taking her kids and their young friends out and to teach them how to use a GPS. I asked her if she would teach me. A few days later we went out and found three or four with her lengend, and I bought my Vista a day or two later. I have found 134 caches since that day last february, and likely about half of them I have found with her. We have become great friends, and we have had just a TON of fun hiking and hunting caches together.

Link to comment

And I thought I was the only fanatic (not!!) :huh: I bought a GPS to aid plotting my route while paragliding, took it on hunting trip to mark my takings. I thought that it was a pretty expensive tool to use occasionaly and started researching GPS models and stumbled upon the geocaching website - something I heard from a friend a long time ago. I joined immediately and found my first one not long after that. Since then I logged more time on the site than on my bank's page! This is the most fun I had since I left varsity!!

Link to comment

browsing through news videos on the computer, I stumbled on one about Geocaching (I think CNN, same as LthrWrk). They mentioned the Website at the end which I immediatly went too. I became very excited about using Satalite Data to pin point my whereabouts and the cache.


I wanted a GPSr but recently bought a house and also needed everything in Home Depot. I couln't figure out how to justify the expense until I won $175 at a near buy casino. That was the justification I needed. That night I went online and ordered the Meridian Gold, before I could see the next Home Depot add.

Link to comment

After driving my Jeep Cherokee for 15 years, I decided to buy a new one. While researching on http://www.jeep.com, I saw geocaching. After checking out the geocaching website, I dug out my Handspring Visor PDA and my Magellan GPS springboard attachment that I haven't used for 2 years; put in fresh batteries and it still worked! I found my first micro cache the next day after work, and I was hooked!



Waco, TX

Link to comment

Having worked with digital cartography/GIS for about 8 years, I always wanted a GPS. But I never saw any real use for it. I usually know where I am, on a daily basis. :huh:


But a friend of mine had borrowed his dads GPSr and talked about geocaching with his family. I had heard about geocaching before, but sort of dismissed it as uncool at the time. My friend didn't need to use much persuasion however, and after a week I had bought a Garmin GPSr. Have located a few caches after that, but then reality struck in and I haven't had much time to do much caching. Hopefully I will get more time to spend on this soon.

Edited by Tzoid
Link to comment

My story is sorta interesting... I followed a link on www.fark.com to www.wilwheaton.net to see what that guy might have to say to the world. There, he had a geocaching link. Within 20 minutes, I was all over this site and trying to find out how to buy a GPS! THAT was cool! So a simple link on an actor's website got me started.


I thought that was the end of that. I was wrong.


I never expected the whole Wil Wheaton thing to come full circle! Some Wil Wheaton fan wanted to start a travel bug with the goal of getting Wil's autograph. That seemed pretty cool. Then Wil showed up in my town for a booksigning. I decided to show up since he had impressed me as a writer worthy of respect and a decent human being. :huh:


There I met the guy, and mentioned the travel bug. He yelled "AWESOME!" :huh:


I posted that on the forums and the TB owner was estatic. He let loose the bug...


...and within 4 months, that bug unexpectedly landed in my area... JUST before I was due to fly to Los Angeles!


Good lord. How to get the bug to Wil now? Looks like it's my responsibilty...


Some southern california geocacher had emailed me a few weeks before about something-or-other. Not knowing who he was, I emailed back and asked him to do a favor: create a worthy landing place for this bug. A Wil Wheaton tribute cache. THERE ya go.


Little did I know that I was emailing the king of geocaches in that area!

I had accidently decided upon THE best guy to ask!

THE 'Team Dakiba' himself! :P


Dakiba created a worthy cache alright. Placed in a georgous location and everything. The plan was to place the bug in the cache, and have Wil hunt for it. That was to happen on a Sunday afternoon. The goal was to provide the opportunity to Wil to get the TB with a minimum of bugging him in the process.


Turns out Wil had to be someplace else later that afternoon. He contacted us and asked if we could meet for a little while at a Starbucks instead.

Oh, THAT's just... :D


So we went. I remember sitting at the table, trying to look nonchalant. I heard a voice: "Errr, I think I am supposed to be meeting you?" There was Wil, in full "am I meeting a stalker or what" body language mode. (I don't blame him). I shook his hand, and introduced him to Dakiba and everyone else who showed up with me, including my cool non-geocaching friend Chris who I was staying with during my SoCal vacation.


Within 15 minutes, we were all talking and laughing and just having a GREAT amount of fun. Wil complained that he hardly ever geocached, and sucked as a geocacher, so he didn't do it very much. I told him he was the one who got me into geocaching to start with and that was true of other folks too. Chris joked that Wil was obviously a carrier of the geocaching virus, even though Wil was immune to it himself. Everyone enjoyed that way of looking at it. :P


I told him that I didn't qualify as a real Wil fan either, never saw much of his acting work, just loved his online writing. He didn't mind that at all. :D


We did the Great Handover Of The Travel Bug To Wil, and took lots of pics. After about an hour, Wil had to leave, which was hard because everyone was having too much fun. He finally made it out of there, smiling. Man, what a memory.


Now it was time for the rest of us to be first finders on the cache! :P


Off we went! I had no idea that Pasadena had such lovely parks! Yours truly was first finder of the cache. Too perfect.


So it came that my discovery of geocaching came full circle.


Last but not least, this was my friend Chris' first impression of geocaching! He just might yet join the game! What a way to get introduced for HIM, eh? :P


Oh yeah... the cache page itself is here. Check it out.

Link to comment

I stumbled across the geocahing web site after doing a google search. I told my brother about it. Last Christmas he got a GPS and over new years we found 4 caches in Myrtle Beach. Because I didn't sign the log I didn't log them as finds.


This past May Donna and I took a cruise to Bermuda and I decided to see if they had caches on the island. They do, so I downloaded the waypoints to my GPS and we found every cache we looked for on the island. We didn't get to search for two of them because we missed a day of hunting due to rain :huh:. We'll get those two on our next visit.


Since that time I have found over 200 caches and have discovered some very wonderful things I never would have known without caching such as Charles Lindberg made his first solo flight here in Georgia. I've also spent over $1000 on GPS stuff (Garmin 2610 and 2 60C's), travel bug tags, bug spray, etc, etc, etc but it has been worth every penny of it. I knew my stepdaughter was hooked when she bought a bracelet at a garage sale last weekend and when she got home she said she wanted to release it as a travel bug :P



Link to comment

bought a gpsr to back up compass and charts on a 1996 canoe trip in the ten thousand islands region of everglades national park. seldom used until 2001 when i read a blurb in backpacker magazine about geocaching. been caching since june 01. can't believe how this game has grown! -harry

Link to comment

I saw the story on the Travel Channel and thought that it was a cool idea. I had been wanting a GPS for a long time because I do a lot of driving in another of my hobbies and we are constantly using atlases, maps, software etc. to figure out where we are and thought that a GPSr would be the best thing to use overall. Getting money was always a problem and when I finally had a windfall (last week), I had decided that now's the time. I had found the link to geocaching.com some time ago and had even registered once before, but I lost my registration information :-( and have no clue where to even start, so I made a new one and here I am.


I spent about an hour looking for my first cache only to come up with a DNF. My wife went with me and she enjoyed the hunt too, asking if we could do more of them. We are going to Port Aransas on Saturday for the day and I spent some time last night loading coordinates of 3 caches I hope to complete. Im looking for the fun of this sport, the exercise and activity, and hoping to see some neat places. Once I get the feel of it, Im going to start placing my own caches.

Link to comment

I was working out of state on a long-term project, along with several other folks from various parts of the country. In the middle of one of the weeks I told one of the guys that I was looking forward to going home on the weekend and spending time with my kids. He asked what we were going to do. I told him I wasn't sure - probably go for a hike or something - just an excuse to be together. He said, "you could go Geocaching." I had no idea what he was talking about, so asked him to explain.


Well, that was that! I knew this was something my wife and I, plus our three kids (ages 18, 12, and 6) could all enjoy together. I checked out the site and by the end of the weekend has purchased a GPSR.


Now we enjoy hitting the woods, and have found some great trails - both close to home and far away - that we never would have otherwise. My youngest and I are the ones that are the most into it, but the others come out from time to time. What a great addiction!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Followers 4
  • Create New...