The Geocaching Blog


1,000,000 Reasons to Get Outside Now Hidden Throughout the U.S.

MailerImage_09152014_OneMillionGeocachesUSA_vFINAL_blog

Each square represents a cluster of geocaches

A milestone 14-years in the making reached yesterday at 7:45 am as the millionth geocache was published in the U.S.

1,000,000 reasons for Americans to get off the couch and explore their neighborhoods are waiting to be discovered and some are likely within walking distance. Geocaching.com launched in 2000, listing just 75 hidden geocaches. As of 7:45 am EST on Sunday, September 14, the 1,000,000th active geocache in the U.S. was published on Geocaching.com. The 1,000,000th active geocache is called Daddy’s Fishing Hole, located near Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

As of 9:00 am PCT on Monday, September 15, the 1,000,000th geocache has only been found only three times. To celebrate the 1,000,000th active geocache in the United States, the staff at Geocaching.com named the top 8 most amazing geocaches for beginners in the U.S.

The 8 Most Amazing Geocaches for Beginners in the U.S.

  • Just outside Milwaukee, WI, adventure-seekers will have a little extra help from some geocaching chickens.

  • Geocachers in Hershey, PA will be able to channel their inner Indiana Jones with this adventure.

  • Visitors to Fremont, CA, will learn the best way to catch a geocacher (and it might just involve a giant mouse trap).

  • Follow the yellow brick road to this geocache in Saratoga, Springs, NY.

  • Unlock a 1890’s history lesson involving Moon Towers in Austin, TX.

  • Visitors to Blackshear, GA can discover a newspaper box that’s out of the ordinary.

  • Stop by Denver, CO to find a geocache that’s a puzzle and a fashion statement.

  • One AA battery is all new geocachers in Seattle, WA need to unlock this geocache.

Geocaching events will be held near each of the sites the weekend of the September 20 to cheer on the 1,000,000th geocache and welcome new geocachers to the adventure. Expert geocachers will attend each of the geocaching events to guide new people through the free adventure. They’ll also give insider tips and tricks, and help find the geocache. New geocachers should register for the events and anyone can find a geocache near them now.

There are more than 6,000 hidden geocaches in Alaska alone

There are more than 6,000 hidden geocaches in Alaska alone

More than 2,000 hidden geocaches are waiting to be found across Hawaii

More than 2,000 hidden geocaches are waiting to be found across Hawaii

 

Geocaches can be found in all 50 US states

 

  • California holds the record for the state with the most active geocaches, boasting more than 130,000 hidden geocaches.

  • The oldest active geocache in the U.S.. published in May of 2000, is located in Mingo, Kansas.

  • Texas A&M just published an independent, CDC-funded study on the health benefits of geocaching.

  • Geocachers occasionally arrange their geocache hides in the form of county-sized art.

  • Nearly 11 million people have registered for accounts on Geocaching.com since 2000.

  • Germany is second to the U.S. in active geocaches with 325,000.

  • There are currently 2,487,221 active geocaches hidden around the world – in 2013 alone geocachers were found 75,453,001 times.

finding a geocache 2

Geocaching is increasingly popular with families

 

Geocache containers can look like almost anything... they should never be buried and should always be clearly labeled.

Geocache containers can look like almost anything… they should never be buried and should always be clearly labeled.

Most people in the U.S. walk or drive by dozens of hidden geocaches nearly every day

Most people in the U.S. walk or drive by dozens of hidden geocaches nearly every day

 

 Congratulate the 1,000,000th geocache owners in comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

A Wagging Good Time: Tips for Geocaching with Pups

By Dani Navarre

Your favorite geocaching companions

Your favorite geocaching companions

Nothing is better than geocaching with your best friend and who could be better than man’s best friend? Geocaching isn’t just a hobby for humans—your four-legged friends can join in on the fun too.

Coming home to slobbery kisses and a wagging tail is enough to brighten anyone’s day. Your dog waits patiently for you to return home, he hears the hum of the car engine, and bounds down the stairs to greet you at the door. He does so much for you and deserves a little treat. You can add a little color to your favorite canine’s grey day by putting a leash on that enthusiasm and heading out for some geocaches. Sounds like a walk in the park that earns more than one kind of smiley. As someone who has trained with scent detecting dogs, I know exactly how rewarding working with animals can feel. One of the most enjoyable parts is having a goal that you and your furry friend can work toward together. Whether you are practicing obedience training or just want to get out for some fresh air, geocaching can be a fun way to get all the members of your family (human and canine) outside.

Stellar geo-sense

Stellar geo-sense

So here are HQ’s top tips for geocaching pups:

 

  • Socialize at your local dog park. While your dog is having the time of his life, you could be catching a few smilies. Dog parks are a popular places to hide geocaches, so next time you are out take a look.

  • Is your dog an adventurous pup or does he make sloths look hyperactive? Be sure to choose caches that match your dog’s fitness level. If your dog is a trailblazer he may enjoy longer hikes with more challenging terrain, but if your dog is a couch potato an easy urban stroll might be a better match.

  • Turn your dog into a geocache. Has science gone too far? Don’t worry your pooch is safe, but he can become a trackable puppy with a geo dog tag. Your pup will enjoy all of the pets and your human friends will love the new trackable.

  • Sensitive puppy paws. Be aware of the geocache’s terrain. The summer heat and cement or metal surfaces can be a dangerous combination for your dog’s sensitive paw pads.

  • Carry water. Make sure you and your dog are hydrated to keep those tongues wagging.

  • A safe pup is a happy pup. Check to see that your dog’s vaccinations are up to date for tick and mosquito protection. A hike through the woods can make for a fun day…until you come home with a car full of ticks and one sad puppy.

  • Collars aren’t just a fashion trend. Local leash laws vary by city. Before you set Rover free to roam, check to see if a leash is required.

 

Geocaching with your dog can be fun for whole family. What’s your favorite geocaching animal story?

 

and they're fun!

and they’re fun!

 

The 8 Most Amazing Geocaches in the US for Beginners

MailerImage_09152014_OneMillionGeocachesUSA_vFINAL_blog

 

The name says it all. — Director’s A-Mazing Treasure Hunt (GC3Y1GE) — Geocache of the Week

A-maze-ing, amirite? Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

A-maze-ing, amirite? Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

Geocache Name:

Director’s A-Mazing Treasure Hunt (GC3Y1GE)

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

3/2

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

Some geocaches just go above and beyond the traditional idea of what a geocache is. In particular, this geocache combines not only a multi-stage puzzle-solving adventure, but also inventive and creative containers. On top of all that, the geocache creator partnered directly with the Alabama State Parks department to ensure that this geocache will entertain geocachers for years to come. Just a look through the Found It logs will give you a glimpse into what geocachers think of this geocache. If you’re ever in the area, stop in, try your luck at the maze and earn this awesome smiley.

What the geocache owner, Woodnutt, has to say:

“I have always enjoyed working with wood and have built houses, furniture, cabinets and canoes; so geocaches were something that fit right in.  Building different, unique and creative caches is what I enjoy the most…The partnership with the Alabama State Parks began with a request by the manager of Chewacla State Park to the geocaching community about placing caches in his park…
I read all the logs on all of my caches, however the ones that are positive and really enjoyed the cache are the ones that I enjoy the most.  Creative caches take a lot of time and money to build and place and when you receive a log from someone that enjoyed the cache and their time outdoors makes the effort to place the cache worthwhile.  The favorite points are nice to see as well and let others know the cache is worth the time to find.

To the geocaching community I would like to say thank you for your logs and favorite points and ask that you take care of the cache.  Sometimes things break, just let the cache owner know so it can be corrected.  I have had a number of caches stolen or damaged as I know many other cache owners have which is very dishearten after the effort place in the cache.  Otherwise, enjoy the great outdoors and geocaching.”

What geocachers are saying:

“I’ve heard so much about this cache through other finders. I wasn’t going to leave the park without it! I played with the maze for a good 30 minutes and had no luck. One of the park workers and her two daughters stopped to help me out, and finally we had the treasure in hand!” – Leleboo_05

“Wow! This is one of the best caches we’ve ever done and that’s saying a lot because we’ve done so many of your caches, Woodnutt, and they’ve all been so well thought out, crafty and some were just downright evil (LOL)! We loved them all, but this one was ingenious!” – Zargonians

“I can honestly say I have never seen anything like it before, I really enjoyed the concept and the work that went into making this. Gains a favorite point from me and swapped out TBs. TFTC!” – Physty

Photos:

Happy geocachers after the find! Photo by geocacher megrace11

Happy geocachers after the find! Photo by geocacher megrace11

Follow the map to the treasure.  Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

Follow the map to the treasure. Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

Treasure! Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

Treasure! Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

Solve the maze to open the treasure. Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

Solve the maze to open the treasure. Photo courtesy of Woodnutt

What’s the most creative geocache container you’ve ever found? Tell us and post photos 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!

Oldest Unfound Geocache in Europe… Found! (12 years later)

84d50b3b-6472-4ec2-80d2-44b426d7c598

DeepButi on the hunt for caches.

The geocacher who found the oldest unfound geocache in Europe on a thin ridge line of one of Europe’s most imposing mountains, doesn’t even like climbing. In fact, DeepButi doesn’t like caves either, but when the prize at the end of the adventure is a First to Find (FTF) after 12 years, 1 month, and 3 days…well, there’s no stopping him then.

The Traditional Geocache, ‘Puppet Theatre stash on the Mont Blanc’ (GC89FF) sat undisturbed among frigid slabs of rock and shifting snowdrifts for years. Several intrepid geocachers had attempted the search—and some came very close—but none had laid eyes on the geocache itself.

DeepButi says, “One day, I found myself wondering why what seems like a reasonably accessible cache had not been found for almost eleven years.”

That’s right—”Puppet Theatre stash on the Mont Blanc” (GC89FF) was hidden on Mont Blanc by an Estonian team of geocachers (Tarmo Männard, Kaido Pähn, Üllar Rosenfeldt, Anu Audse ja Vilja Heinmets) on July 2nd, 2002. At 4074 meters (13,400ft) above sea level, the contents of the geocache were well protected. They included 9 chocolate medallions, 14 candies, 3 bags of Lipton tea, 3 boxes of matches, 10 whole-family tickets to the Estonian Puppet Theatre, a paper and a pen, and a geocaching letter in Estonian and in English.

This is the story of DeepButi’s FTF.

What a view.

A geocache is hidden here… somewhere

He says, “I love mountains. Hiking for hours just for the sake of it, probably getting a fantastic reward at the peak with astonishing 360º views. And then there was THAT geocache, a normal one I didn’t need any special tools for.

“And one day, I found myself wondering why what seems a reasonably accessible cache had never been found for almost eleven years. After having “Puppet Theater stash on the Mont Blanc” on my watchlist for years just as a curiosity, a find in Canada switched something in my mind. If “4.5lb Walleye” was already found, why not give GC89FF, oldest unfound in Europe, a chance? So I did.

“It was not going to be a simple cache hunt, nor a long hike or a complex cache hunt. From the very first minute, the planning and logistics made the ‘it’s the journey’ concept the key element of the whole adventure.”

A little bit of research showed that the team who’d hidden the cache had formed a normal hiking expedition up Mont Blanc. They were not climbing experts carrying special equipment. This reassured DeepButi; with correct planning, the geocache was reasonably accessible, but sometimes the mountain decides whether or not you find a geocache.

DeepButi says, “Three months later, on Sep 2013 I went there. A full five day alpine hiking experience. Some great caches. But weather, and specifically avalanche risk, makes its own decisions. We had to cancel the attempt at the very last minute as the route was not safe. Instead, we summited Mont Blanc…not bad as a substitute.

“Summer 2014 in central and Southern Europe has been, in weather terms, a disaster. Without the normal anticyclonic periods, finding a day for a second attempt was delayed week after week until we decided to try a small window on July 23-25. After a terrific hike from refugio Torino crossing the Vallee Blanche we arrived at Cosmiques, the logical starting point for the hunt, on 24th.

A perfect image of my mood.

Weather delays the hunt

“The noise of small avalanches surprised us at the East side of Maudit-Tacul creating some incredible moments I will keep forever. But it was not our day. The guard at Cosmiques told us of a recent avalanche and more expected. No way to go up for several days. At 4,000m high you don’t play with this kind of advice and I returned home in quite a bad mood.”

Finally, a window of good weather opened up a week in August, and DeepButi knew it had to be then. He arrived at Cosmiques with his guide, Fabio Levi, and the forecast was perfect.

He says, “And there we went. At 6:15am we started a hard hike up Mont Tacul. You need to be there to know what it is like, every meter of its iced slopes deserves the T5 [Terrain 5] rating.

“It took us almost three hours to move the GPS distance [from the geocache coordinates] from 1,600m to 500m…at that distance only a soft slope down remained and the objective was pretty clear: a group of rocks at the East edge of Col Maudit. An incredible vision. All my efforts at sight for the first time. White snow and black rocks. I love it.

“Once there, laminated photos of the cache location proved to be helpful. They allowed us to confirm the GPS arrow and directed us to the northern group of rocks. Fabio crossed the last aerial meters and found exactly what was on the images. He said, ‘I have something. A broken plastic box.’

Fabio, one second after making history: Found!

Fabio, one second after making history: Found!

“The best words I could imagine. I knew at once that “broken plastic box” could only mean one thing: the original box! Aha! Nobody was there to see two adults shouting and jumping like children at 4,000m meters high. It was an incredible end to a 14-month obsession, full of hope, despair, deception, and positive energy.

“Honestly speaking, the cache itself is not that difficult a find—a 7 hour hike is nothing special and the final spot is quite accessible. But you must plan to go there as only a geocacher can do, with a specific goal on your mind. And you have to convince yourself that, after 12 years there was no single reason to suspect it would not be there. And yes it was.

So, we did it. Because we knew we could do it.”

The NUKU Puppet Theatre confirmed the tickets are still valid and will be forever. One of the original geocache-placers still works there, and DeepButi is already planning his trip. Another one of the geocache owners is going to bring DeepButi some “fresh” candies the next time he visits Spain.

DeepButi was also FTF on the long unfound cache in Spain, and has some of the highest peaks under his belt. His next adventure?

He says, “I’m already thinking on my next “incredible one”…but it will have to wait sometime.

The geocache

The geocache

Share your congratulations with DeepButi by posting a comment below!


Copyright © 2000-2010 Groundspeak, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.