12 Tips for Attending Geocaching Events

18422e25-d017-4fed-a9f3-cb8be72c946eNo, Geocaching events aren't part of a 12 step program.  "Hi, my name is ...Geopuppyfinder459.. and I'm addicted to geocaching."   But here are 12 tips for attending a Geocaching event.

1. There will be other geocachers who aren't addicted to Geocaching. 
Just like you, we could all stop if we wanted to, but why?
You should feel right at home knowing we've all not found caches, we've all found at least 1, some of us don't even log them as finds. Attend events even if you are shy. You’ll always have something in common with other cachers!

2. Can I go? Of course you can!

An event is a gathering of geocachers, facilitating the social aspect of geocaching. It is organized by geocachers and is open to other geocachers and those interested in learning about the game. It takes place at the posted coordinates, includes start and end times, and lasts at least 30 minutes. Events are free, however, event listings may request donations or charge a fee to cover legitimate costs of the event.

3. Find an event.
Either thru Geocaching.com weekly email mailings of upcoming events. If you don't get Groundspeak notifications you should! They include upcoming events in your "Home location" recently published caches in your area, and bigger MEGA and GIGA events around the world along with geocaching tips.

If you are a premium member, you could run a "Pocket querie" search and select "Only events" to show up within your search parameters. If you're traveling, you might consider attending an event in another state or country! Run your pocket querie for that area and you can bring what you know about geocaching in your area to a group in a different area, they may be quite interested to hear how your geocaching mountains are 12,000' tall and their mountains are 5' tall.

Look at the Geocaching.com map, those odd little comic book like ??? red circles, they're events, click on them like you do a regular cache.

From your phone or GPS, if equipped select the search parameters to show events in your area. Facebook, blogs or other social media often includes upcoming geocaching events or links to them.

4. Look at the event page before attending.
It might be an event where you meet at a restaurant and you'd want to bring enough money to buy that piece of banana cream pie, or perhaps its a puzzle solving event and you'd want to bring along some extra paper, your laptop and a slide rule or a Halloween party encouraging everyone to wear a costume. Every event may not be for everyone but they all focus on geocaching with geocachers having a good time and meeting fellow geocachers.


5. Log a "Will attend" on the event cache page with the number of guests you might be bringing, so the cacher holding the event will know how many attendees to expect.
Being crammed in a room and having 30 extra people show up can be uncomfortable. Be courteous and log a "Will attend."


6. Either check the event page occasionally for changes or put the event on a "Watch list." You'll get email notifications of who else is attending and updates on any changes; time, themes, locations. I recently was following another cacher to "One of many events" that weekend, wondering why I was taking the exit while the car I was following to the event kept going (they must need fuel.) After I arrived at the venue, went inside looking for my group & geocachers nowhere to be seen, I made a call to my cacher friends, "Where are you?" "We're at the event, we wondered why you took the exit, thought you needed fuel." "Uh yeah, I needed fuel....uh...just where is the event exactly?" I ended up missing 20 minutes of announcements and a good place to sit because I missed a change in venue, watch the event page.


7. Don't feel intimidated by a room full of geocachers.team shot
Some of us have found a lot more or in more places or more difficult or higher terrain ones. That's the great thing about Geocaching, we're all on a different level of the field. Some of us just find a few a year, some a few every hour. Every cacher has one more than the other in some sort of way.  Geocaching can be a goal rich enviroment if thats what you want; lots of finds, more on Saturday, more in foreign countries, more while riding a horse while wearing a hat. Geocaching shows us places we've never known about, sure we could go read about some places in a book, but you get to make a treasure find too!


8. Have fun!
Find the log book, it may be a piece of paper or something more creative...like a log! Sign your geocaching name.  There are probably some new cachers just like you at the same event, feeling like an ammo can out in the open, go and introduce yourself. Hopefully the geocacher who sponsored the event included some name tags next to the log book so you can finally meet Geopuppyfinder459 and see that they placed that hide 12,000' up on that mountain where you had your dnf! Putting "Cacher names" to "Geocache faces " is kind of fun.


9. Consider bringing a list of caches you've dnf'd along to the event or ones you might have questions on how to access the trail or best time of year to go after it.
It's a great way to mingle with cachers, some may have already found it or perhaps they've dnf'd it too and you can put your ideas together and make the find next time or even better; "The cache owner is right over there!" You might list a few of the favorite hides you've found too, it's always nice to hear a fellow cacher thinks your hide was way too cool.


10. After the event, remember to log you "Attended" on Geocaching.com and you thought it was a smashing success! If you took any pics you can upload them too on the event page, its always good to have an alibi!


11. Plan on attending for the next upcoming event using step 2 above.
Geocaching events vary in different locales, some may have alot of events, some not so many. Geocachers are like fish, we enjoy being in "Schools" together, talking about that cache that got away or that geocache that took all day to just get "One find."


12. Consider holding an event of your own sometime so geocachers can have have fun at your event too!

--This article was written by Scareway, Cache Advance Staff member.

What tips do you have for attending Geocaching events?  Leave a comment below!