The Geocaching Blog


July’s Geocacher of the Month: True Mentor and Friend

Leftygator

July 2014 Geocacher of the Month: Leftygator

Sometimes the world is a big place.

 

It’s a daunting place with crisscrossing borders and politics, and for many it’s often isolating. Then there’s geocaching. The Geocacher of the Month taught us a lesson. The world of geocaching is small, connected and ready to celebrate the contributions of other geocachers.

We met three geocachers from different countries. Each delivers serious geocaching joy to their local geocaching communities, whether it’s gadget geocaches, inspiration and encouragement or a groundbreaking series of geocaches, or even all three.

Each of the geocachers will receive special recognition and a prize package for their contribution to the adventure of geocaching. Before naming the Geocacher of the Month, Geocaching HQ reviews community input and blog comments. Each comment is read and posts in native languages are encouraged.

It was a difficult decision.

 

With over a decade of geocaching and ambassador expertise, this adventurer can now claim the title “Geocacher of the Month”.

Leftygator is known throughout the Mississippi geocaching community for his contagious smile, extensive GPS knowledge and round-the-clock helpfulness.  With over 100 hides under his belt, he is also a master at hiding. Rumor has it that his are the toughest and best in the area.

One geocacher writes, “Ricky and I first met Lefty in August 2008 at our very first event that we went to. When Ricky saw Lefty he told me he was going to hang onto Lefty’s coat tail and learn everything he could about geocaching and hang on we did. We went on a number of caching trips with him and he took time to show us how to load caches and how to use GSAK. Ricky was diagnosed with leukemia on Sept. 5, 2011 and Lefty visited with Ricky quite often while he was in the hospital and would take Ricky’s phone calls anytime of the day or night. Ricky went into remission and we had eight good months of caching before Ricky passed on Nov. 17, 2012. Lefty was there for me as well as many of our geocaching friends. Leftygator is my friend and hero.”

Another geocacher says, “He was the first cacher I came across while on the hunt and stopped to talk to me for a few minutes even though he could have just continued on his way. His hides always make you think, “If I was Lefty where would I hide this cache?” He never hesitates to help, not only in the geocaching world but he passes on advice as a military veteran to the active military in the community. I consider it an honor to have Leftygator as one of my caching mentors.”

Lefygator taking a break to pose with his handy gps

Lefygator taking a break to pose with his handy gps

Congratulations again to Leftygator for earning the July 2014 title of Geocacher of the Month.

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin

If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, simply fill out this webform.

Give Your Cache Page a Makeover

 

 

See this cache page? It’s pretty snazzy.

While the bright blue tiled image has the potential to disorient a geocacher, the photo in the center column and the color of the text tie the whole thing together.

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Bright blue looks good on Phil Harris…and this cache page.

 

How do you transform your cache page from blah to rah?

Can you say “Hypertext Markup Language” five times fast?

Check out GC57KW3...it literally sparkles.

Check out GC57KW3…it literally sparkles.

 

That’s right, we’re talking about HTML, baby.

And we’re talking about it with as much spice as possible, because we know some of you are about to fall of your chairs at the sheer boringness of it all.

handsintheair (1)

Even the HQ’ers think so.

 

HTML 101

HTML code is created using tags framed by the greater-than and less-than signs: < and > .  A piece of code usually uses two of these tags to change the text between them.

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You can have colors too. Keep reading.

 

To make a paragraph break

Enter <p> and </p> on either side of the text in your paragraph.

Give your eyes a rest. Take a (paragraph) break.

Give your eyes a rest. Take a (paragraph) break.

 

To make something bold

Enter <strong> and </strong> on either side of the text you want to emphasize.

fdsafds

Be bold. Is there any other way?

 

To add italics to your text

Do basically the same thing as with bold text, only use the <em> and </em> tags.

fdsafds

Italics add a little spice, I think we can all agree.

 

To add both italics and bold

Use both the <em> and the <strong> tags, with their closing tags: </em> and </strong>

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To add an image to your page

Make sure your image is saved to your cache page gallery or is available on the internet somewhere. Find the URL of the image.
To find the URL, open the image in your browser, and right-click to get the URL.

fdsafds

For more information on how to add…

Fonts, hyperlinks, fancy spacing, and more, visit http://www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk/resources/htmlcodes.html

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Soon you’ll be embedding geocaching video games on your cache pages, like this cache of the week.

 

7 Tips for Achieving All 7 Souvenirs of August

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This August, your mission is to explore more of the geocaching universe and, ultimately, to become one of the super-cachers who earn the highly coveted Achiever souvenir. To unlock this special geocaching achievement, you’ll need to find 6 specific geocache types in the month of August.

Here are 7 tips to help you achieve, well, Achiever status:

beprepared

During the summer, the best TOTT can be a water bottle. You can drink out of it, use it to cool off, and even celebrate your Achiever status.

1. Be Prepared

This motto is not just for the Boy Scouts. Finding 6 different geocache types requires planning ahead, especially if you live in Traditional-heavy area. Check to see what souvenirs might require leaving your neighborhood, and see if you can tie them into a weekend road trip or business travel. And, of course, always carry your tools of the trade (TOTT) in case opportunity strikes. (Never, never get caught without a pen!)

2. Start Early

With only 6 geocache finds needed to earn the Achiever souvenir, it can be tempting to put them off until the last weekend. Warning: This is not college. Cramming is no longer a safe bet. Start knocking off the souvenirs early in the month to allow room for error.

3.  Partner with Friends

Feeling intimidated by finding a new geocache type? That’s what friends are for! As we learned with the Geocaching Personality Quiz, it takes all kinds to make up the geocaching community. Find someone who has a different personality type than you so that you can each specialize in finding specific geocache types. Friends can even help you sprinkle extra awesome on the 7 Souvenirs of August.

4. Throw a Party

To earn the Socializer souvenir, you need to log an Attended at an Event Cache, Mega-Event, or Giga-Event. Sign up for the Weekly Newsletter to learn about upcoming events in your area, or host one yourself! Remember, hosts can log an Attended for their own Event Caches.

5. Host a CITO

Don’t have an Earth Cache near you? No problem! Every neighborhood could use a CITO event. You’ll earn the Nature Lover souvenir and Mother Earth will thank you.

6. Double Check Your Neighborhood

Partner with friends

Sometimes earning a souvenir will take two… or four!

We’ve all done it. You’ve cleared out all the Traditional geocaches in your area, and you feel like there’s nothing left to find. (Okay, you Puzzlers and Collectors. Some of us have done this. Okay, fine. I can only say with certainty that I’ve done this. Happy?) This is your chance to take off your Traditional geocache blinders and see the Multi-Caches, Mystery Caches, and Letterbox Hybrids for what they are: geocaches waiting for your autograph.

7. Put it in Perspective

Yes, earning the Achiever souvenir can be daunting. But let’s put the challenge in perspective: Traditionals are easy to come by, you can attend or host an event, and if there’s not an Earth Cache in your area, you can host a CITO event. Knock those three out and you’re already halfway there! That just leaves three more geocaches to find: one Mystery Cache, one Multi-Cache, and either a Virtual, Whereigo, Letterbox Hybrid, or WebCam Cache. Take a deep breath… and go get ‘em. (But wait for August 1st of course.)

Tell Us Your Tips

Are you an expert in finding a specific type of geocache? If so, leave your tips for finding that geocache type in the comments below. This is going to take teamwork, friends!

Geocaching Near the Top of the World – Finnish Style

This sign does not lie

This sign does not lie

Mega-Smiles at Latitude 61 in Finland

Editor’s note: Geocaching HQ staff are  attending dozens of Mega-Events around the world, shaking hands, sharing stories of adventure, and of course, geocaching. Each person at Geocaching HQ brings their own unique talent to advancing the adventure. Some write code for the website, others design images for the apps, and some shoot videos explaining it all. Cindy or  Frau Potter works with geocaching community volunteers. This is her Mega-Event experience.

Cindy a.k.a. Frau Potter

Cindy a.k.a. Frau Potter

At Latitude 61, this time of year days are long and nights are short. With sunrise at 4:00am and sunset at 11:00pm, I found this left plenty of time for meeting geocachers at Mega Finland 2014 – Amazing Geocaching. In fact, more than 1,600 geocachers attended this event and I needed all that extra time to meet them all!

 My weekend began with a 3-hour train ride from Helsinki, Finland to the event location at Himos holiday resort near Jämsä, Finland. I arrived just in time to witness hundreds of geocachers helping to set up the geo-village, including erecting tents and preparing campfires. It was terrific to see all the collaboration. The event organizers (Gnutcha&Joorz) are veterans at hosting Mega-Events. This was the third and biggest, Mega-Event they organized. They were understandably proud of this free event. The Himos resort supplied the location, showers, toilets and water free of charge in return for the paying campers and cottage rentals. Gnutcha&Joorz said the official expenses for the event came in at about 60 Euros.

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Team Papan Poppoo

 Mega-Event Organizers Gnutcha&Joorz


Mega-Event Organizers Gnutcha&Joorz

My amazing team - Jarom, arnevela, tuulituuli and Gandal491

My amazing team – Jarom, arnevela, tuulituuli and Gandal491

The primary activity at the Mega-Event were two Adventure courses (one competitive and one leisure) and 10 fun Lab Caches. Geocachers were divided into teams to complete these courses. A highlight of my weekend was working with my team – Jarom, arnevela, tuulituuli and Gandal491 – on the course and Lab Caches. We had a lot of laughs together.

My favorite stations were “Flaming Tower, “Robin Hood” and “Bingo”. The Flaming Tower required three geocachers – one to pump water, one to aim the spray at the target and one to grab the container as it floated to the top. What a great activity for such a hot day!

Careful aim brings geocache container floating to the top

Careful aim brings geocache container floating to the top

Robin Hood looked like a modern practice for Hunger Games, except no one got hurt. And the Bingo activity was a creative Lab Cache that required you to get signatures from event volunteers who had completed certain geocaching accomplishments. The Bingo activity was a brilliant way to make sure participants talked with volunteers.

Geocachers prepping for Hunger Games

Geocachers prepping for Hunger Games

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Galdal491 signs for Bingo lab cache

Queue waiting to sign coffee event logbook

Queue waiting to sign coffee event logbook

It was terrific to see why geocaching is so popular in Finland and to meet so many new friends. To my new Finnish geocaching friends, I say “Kiitos!”. Thanks for the adventure!

Epic Find, Epic Selfie — Kjerag (GCXKXJ) — Geocache of the Week

Perched precariously on a precarious perch. Photo by geocacher dipledocus

Perched precariously on a precarious perch. Photo by geocacher dipledocus

Geocache Name:

Kjerag (GCXKXJ)

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

3/4

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

When you see a 3, 4, or 5 next to “Terrain” on a geocache, you can usually count on two things: 1) it’s going to be a pretty good hike and 2) there will most likely be an epic photo-op at the end. Sometimes earning the smiley can take a backseat to the amazing photographs that get taken from GZ. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the Geocaching Instagram or search #geocaching on Instagram. Photography and geocaching go hand-in-hand, so it’s only appropriate to feature a geocache with world-class found it photos.

What the geocache owner, Andix, has to say:

“My first visit at the Kjerag was in summer 2004 and I was led there by a friend not knowing what to see there. I was so impressed by the feeling standing upon the Kjerag stone, that I quickly decided: this is a MUST BE for a geocache. But I had never hidden a cache box and needed a prepared cache box. So I was planning another excursion two years later… Geocaching isn´t only a hobby – it´s a passion! Nearly my whole life has changed between the past 11 years since I got a geocaching-member.”

What geocachers are saying:

“Puh, what a stressful climb to the top. But after seeing the Kjerag every stress was forgotten. What an amazing view. Thanks for hiding :-) ” – silkeli53

“This walk has been on our “want to visit” list for several years now, and it was amazing to finally be able to take the amazing hike.” – optimistene

“First time in Norway! What an nice and beautiful country. This one was found easy, TFTC! awesome hike, standing at the Krejag was pretty scary!!” – The Bennies

 

Photos and Video:

Amazing sunsets are the icing on top of this geocaching cake. Photo by geocacher dipledocus

Amazing sunsets are the icing on top of this geocaching cake. Photo by geocacher dipledocus

Sure, this looks like a great place to sit. Photo by geocacher HeideParkSoltau

Sure, this looks like a great place to sit. Photo by geocacher HeideParkSoltau

Epic view! Photo by geocacher dipledocus

Epic view! Photo by geocacher dipledocus

We're not saying you should, but there are quicker ways of getting down from this area than hiking. Gif from the trailer for "I BELIEVE I CAN FLY (FLIGHT OF THE FRENCHIES)" movie by  sebastien montaz-rosset.

We’re not saying you should, but there are quicker ways of getting down from this area than hiking. Gif from the trailer for “I BELIEVE I CAN FLY (FLIGHT OF THE FRENCHIES)” movie by sebastien montaz-rosset.

Show us your best “Found it” selfie in the comments!

 

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.

If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!


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