In Geocaching in Harmony with Nature (Part 1), we gave you tips and tricks on how to hide an environmentally friendly geocache. A wise geocacher once said: “If you hide a geocache, someone will come and find it.” So this time we want to take a look at how to be a Nature Lover when hunting for a geocache.
We asked the geocaching community, Geocaching HQ-ers and Volunteer Reviewers for their tip-top tips on being kind to nature when searching for a geocache. Then we combined all the great answers into this list:
Stay on track. Stick to designated trails and don’t cut across switchbacks when navigating to the geocache. Doing so might disturb flora and fauna along the way.
Bring garbage bags. Geocacher Cindi Lee G. says: “We cache in and trash out every time we go geocaching or hiking.” We think that’s grand! Next time you go geocaching, include a few garbage bags with your geocaching gear. This way you can pick up litter on the way to and from the geocache. And here is something we think is genius: there are some geocaches with an extra compartment for trash bags geocachers can use to Cache In Trash Out (CITO) on their way back out.
Leave the car at home. If possible, bike or walk to the geocache location. This is not only great for your health and good for the environment, the slower pace might even make you notice things along the way you would have never seen speeding by in your car.
Keep geocache owners informed. Let the geocache owner know if their geocache is damaged and could potentially be dangerous to animals or vegetation.
Respect wildlife and plants. Observe wild animals from afar. Never feed or try to touch them. Be conscious where you are stepping so you don’t destroy fragile plants and mushrooms. Pro-Tip from Geocacher Sarah H.: “Please clean your footwear and gear when hiking in various places. Footwear caked in mud and plant material is a good way to spread invasive species.”
It is OK to DNF. You have searched in all the obvious places. You took a good look at the geocache description and the hint, but you still couldn’t find it. Log your DNF (Did Not Find) online to let the geocache owner know that you did not find the geocache. Don’t keep on searching, turning over every stone, and potentially ravaging the area. Keep in mind: A DNF is not admission to failure, it is just honest communication.
We hope these tips will help you sharpen your nature senses and become a skilled environmentally friendly geocacher. Do you have another tip for environmentally friendly geocaching? Let us know in the comments below!
Find out how you can be a complete nature loving geocacher with our 6 Tips for Hiding an Environmentally Friendly Geocache!
1,000 geocachers volunteered to be part of the first ever major study of geocaching and its effect on health. The 14-month Texas A&M study called Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research (GEAR) launched in January of 2013. The first set of results from the study were presented on November 5 at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association in Boston.
Each of the participants were given devices to track their movement and a logbook to record their level of geocaching intensity. The first results showed the effects of regular geocaching. Researcher Whitney says, “The GEAR study has identified an association between geocaching and improved health.”
Another researcher, Garney, goes on to say, “GEAR participants who report geocaching once a week or more are more likely to meet national guidelines for physical activity and are more likely to report good or very good health status compared to those who geocache less frequently.” In addition, research showed that geocachers reported fewer days of poor physical and mental health compared to state level data.
These findings are still preliminary, but nevertheless we’re excited about them. The study concludes in early 2014 and final data will be analyzed and presented later that year.
The health benefits of geocaching are often the subject of emails to Geocaching HQ. Have you lost weight geocaching or sharpened your mental skills? Share your stories about improving your health through geocaching in the comments below.
We’ve seen geocaching combined with quite a few things: movies, tv shows, urban legends, etc… And now, thanks to some ingenious geocache creators, a classic arcade game. This geocache surfaced thanks to Reddit user malken, who posted a video of the geocache in the geocaching section of the site. Once geocachers figure out the first stage and make it to the second stage, the real fun begins. For those of us who grew up in the 80s, it will most likely be a breeze, but others may have trouble, hence the level 4 difficulty. Geocachers must play a round of the classic arcade game Asteroids and get at least 5000 points to be able to access the logbook. And if you stick around and play a few more rounds, I don’t think anyone will blame you.
“Our inspiration came from the youth of one of the CO´s (Master_Dummy) he grew up with these games and wanted to implement it in a cache, we wanted to do something different and as the quality of caches in Sundsvall already where at such a high standard (Thanks mostly to Team Cache Us If You Can) we knew we had to do something special.
We would like thank all the geocachers out there for providing us with inspiration, there are such a vast amount of good caches out there and good people as well, it´s been a constant joy ever since we started caching and we hope that this cache will continue to entertain and encourage people to push the boundaries of caching. Thank you all and TFTC!”
15 (It’s not all about the numbers, okay?)
(all have been translated from Swedish)
“Definitely worth a favorite point! Thank you for making geocaching in Sundsvall even better! TFTC” – simmarn96
“…we could not help but be impressed by the construction. With some teamwork at the controls, we got enough points to sign the logbook. After this trip down memory lane, we started talking about that it was almost 25 years since the last time we played anything like it. And how high tech it was then. Feel like you’re getting old… Top score is given for the ingenuity, the technical design and time travel!” – Pebi*
“Wow! One of the best and coolest caches I’ve visited!” – JonasGulle
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, leave a comment below with the name of the geocache, the GC code, and why you think we should feature it.
A geocache owner with seven different geocache types, a couple that teaches boy scouts and girl scouts about geocaching, and a geocacher with five geocaches, each of which that have north of 100 Favorite Points—those are the nominees for the October Geocacher of the Month award.
We’re honoring each of the nominees by featuring them on the Geocaching Blog for their contributions to the greater geocaching community. Each will receive worldwide recognition and a prize package from Geocaching HQ in Seattle. Which of these nominees will be named Geocacher of the Month?
This is your opportunity to help decide who will take home the earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month geocoin (at left). Each featured Geocacher of the Month will receive the exclusive special edition Geocoin, a hat and a profile icon. They’ll also receive a certificate acknowledging their contributions, signed by two of the founders of Geocaching.com.
In September, Old Navy was named Geocacher of the Month.
One comment details Old Navy’s near decade-long commitment to the geocaching community, “He has done so much for the Geocaching community and goes above and beyond, whether it’s hiding quality caches or event planning as part of Northern New Jersey Cachers (NNJC) or working with local municipalities and parks to introduce geocaching to so many people. As Geocaching continues to grow in leaps and bounds over the years Old Navy has been there in Geo101 introduction classes to bring new people into the sport.”
Now it’s your turn to help us select the next Geocacher of the Month. Write a supportive comment at the bottom of this blog for the nominated geocacher that you feel should be awarded the title. A panel of folks from Geocaching HQ will then use your comments to help guide the decision of which geocacher is awarded the Geocacher of the Month honor.
Here are your nominees for the October Geocacher of the Month. Some testimonials have been edited for length.
Dr. Christian Janiesch, aka famerlor_dragon, writes, “mic68 has produced some of the finest and best maintained caches in the area of Karlsruhe, Germany, for the past five(!) years. People from afar come particularly for these caches. All of his caches are very family friendly, inspiring, and even include fallback stages if any of the flashing, buzzing or moving electronic gadgets fails. All of his main multi and mystery caches are among the best most of us will ever see in the life as a geocacher. He must have put countless hours into planning, constructing, placing, and maintaining his stages.
It is hard to describe the inner beauty of any of them without spoiling any of it. There is a multi cache about knights and dragons, there is one on aliens and his newest most perfect installment is about a mysterious white woman. All of them are set outside the city and make great walk through the woods and fields of the area. All of his multis have more than half a dozen stages each and keep you busy for 3 to 6 hours depending on your skill in finding and figuring out the ingenious gimmicks he throws at you. I am not particularly good at praising people, but his caches are the reason why this hobby is so popular. His caches are worth a lot more than a 100 lamp post caches. I think this should be recognized.”
Samantha Holt says, “This is my mom and dad, they are both 63 years old. They have been caching for 9 years and have involved our whole family to include the grand kids. Dad lost a significant amount of his hearing about the time they started to cache. Caching has allowed them to continue to be very active and involved with the community and their friends. They love to place ammo cans and unique cache hides. They have held several events to include a sweet-heart event during February. They have cached the states and several countries, to include Spain, Mexico, Gibraltar, Jamaica, Panama, Costa Rica, and Germany. No matter where dad goes he can find a cache! He has taught many people how to cache and how to be a good cacher. Their license plate reads FIGS SL - Found in Good Shape, Signed Log. They have hiked, biked, canoed, drove, walked, crawled, boated, swam, quad-ed, jeeped, rock climbed, and waded through who knows what to get to caches. Rat & Mushroom deserve this award for their love of the adventure and their joy of sharing the caching experience with their close friends and family and whoever else walks up and asks them, “What are you looking for?” They are great people, I love you mom and dad! Good Luck on winning Geo-cachers of the month!”
Kenny25 is a rare geocache owner because he owns seven different geocache types, from an EarthCache to a CITO Event to Multi-Caches. Thierry Schnekenburger writes (translated from French) “I vote for cyril Lhomme / kenny25. He deserves the title of Geocacher of the Month because he is a dedicated and passionate about geocaching and especially about other geocaches. He did not hesitate to organize events for the sole purpose of bringing us together to share moments of togetherness, happiness away from the cares of everyday life.
If your nominee wasn’t recognized here, please submit your nominations again next month. We’re always looking for the next Geocacher of the Month. To nominate a geocacher, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
Please inform your nominee that you have submitted them for the award. Nominations for the next Featured Geocacher of the Month should be received by December 3. Once Geocaching HQ has received the nominations, we will choose the top candidates and post them on the blog. You will then get a chance to champion your favorite. Our goal is to involve the entire geocaching community in this process so that we might learn from each other.
Remember your first geocaching find? That fist-pumping moment when you finally spotted the hidden container? Let us answer for you: Of course you do! Whether you’ve found 10,000 or 10 geocaches since, your first geocaching experience won’t be forgotten. That experience of being a beginner geocacher was also your first lesson in geocaching. Now beginners have a new TOTT*. It’s the latest video from Geocaching HQ, “The Beginner’s Guide to Finding a Geocache.”
Check out the video to freshen up on tips and tricks, then share the new video with all those beginnergeocachers out there.
*Are you unsure of what TOTT means? Take the new Geocaching Lingo Test to find the meaning of TOTT and other geocaching lingo.
Geocaching iPhone App
Copyright © 2000-2010 Groundspeak, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Designated trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners.