I was starting to re-write my profile on geocaching.com and thought I’d just bring it to the blog, too, to show my start and current state of geocaching — to me that is.
In late February of 2008, a friend asked me if I had heard of geocaching. At that point, I hadn’t. He explained it that it was a bit like letterboxing, just with a GPS. Being the two of us were planning on trying letterboxing come the spring, geocaching seemed like a perfect match.
He had a pair of handheld GPS units and we set out to find a few.
My first was at a covered bridge (GCKFXY) near my town and we found that one quickly enough.
We found five that first day (three of which are now archived!) and I was instantly hooked. A few days later, we went out again and found six more caches. This game was insanely fun and addicting.
I didn’t, however, have my own GPS unit. So speliopirate lent me one of his for a few weeks so I could investigate this game a bit more. The following day, I went and grabbed two caches as I learned how to use these GPS units.
It built from there.
Not too long after those first few outings, I decided to invest in a GPS unit of my own. I hemmed and hawed between the lower-priced Garmins and the 60 CSx. I finally decided to splurge on the CSx, figuring I wouldn’t be looking to upgrade any time soon. I’m still using that unit to this day and love it (though it’s apparently been discontinued). I really believe it’s the best GPS out there for caching, but that’s my personal preference.
I’ve gone through several stages of geocaching — from the rush of getting as many as I could in a day/week/month/year, to being a bit of a FTF hound to today, where I’m more interested in events, good and clever hides and I don’t frown upon a multi cache that takes several hours to complete for one smiley.
It’s what I love most about this game — everyone plays it how they see fit.
Since I started, I’ve met some great people (and a few I wish I hadn’t met!), made some excellent friends and had some great adventures. I’m a little slower with the game now as I don’t rush out for new caches and I usually keep away from caching at night, unless the cache is a quickie or meant to be done at night. I figure people put a cache out for a reason, I might as well see where the cache is located!
I still dislike caching solo (I just don’t find it as fun as when I go with people), but I don’t rush anymore and I just kind of like strolling along and finding a few good caches. It’s still an entertaining game, still adventurous and still fun to find an ammo can in the woods under a pile of sticks.
As for what’s in the caches, I still trade and move travel bugs/geocoins and I love trading for signature items. Outside of that, I usually just dig signing the log and trying to look through the logs to see who has been there before me.
In a few weeks, I’ll be heading to my first GeoWoodstock, a mega event that will attract more than 3,000 people. There are workshops and vendors and people and caches. For the weekend that I’ll be there, I plan on hitting up seven events. I’ll look forward to meeting many people, taking a lot of photos and grabbing a cache or two. This is the event that people look forward to each year and I’ve been planning it since I heard it was going to be somewhat close to me (it was announced that Warren, Pa., would be the event home at last year’s event in Seattle).
One year of waiting will end in about 20 days. The only big downfall of this year is that with the lack of a job, I wasn’t able to get a pathtag made before the event. That would have been fun to trade them there, but it is what it is. I’ll bring all my old ones that I have left and see if I can at least trade a few. And maybe I can trade some signature items, too.
If you are a reader of my blog and plan on being at GeoWoodstock (and any of the smaller events that weekend), let me know and maybe we can figure a way to meet up when there. I’d love to meet some people that I’ve only known through the blog/twitter etc.
I look forward to a great weekend and hope Mother Nature deems it a worthy weekend to send us some beautiful weather. Even if not, I think it will be one heck of a fun experience and really am excited to see an event of this magnitude.
And, for the record, it would be cool to own one of the caches on the grounds where the event will be or one of the ones nearby. Can you imagine getting like 2,000 e-mails with people finding your cache… in one weekend? That would be interesting.
The countdown continues for GeoWoodstock 9. Hopefully it lives up to expectations!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.