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Now with nearly three million caches to find, and over TEN MILLION geocachers out there playing the game, chances are getting better and better for finding a caching date, or maybe even more.

Lisa & JD on an early date
Lisa & JD on an early date

Many of us have seen geocachers connect and start dating. Taking a potential date geocaching can lead to many insights about that person and how the two of you might get along down the trail …er… road. I’ve even attended a few official geocaching wedding events -have you?

In fact, I met my husband, Kidvegas19, through geocaching! We are both members of our local geocaching group, the IE-WSGA (Inland Empire Chapter of the Washington State Geocaching Association).

Wedding Day - And a Geocaching Event!
Wedding Day - And a Geocaching Event!

He asked me out on a date back in 2011, and we went geocaching the next day. We cached with friends and just the two of us, and always had a blast. It was the perfect way to spend some great quality time together, and to really get to know each other. We soon fell in love, and 3 years later, our wedding reception was an actual geocaching event!

I am looking for stories to add to my book that I’m writing on life stories and geocaching. Specifically, how geocaching has influenced or impacted your life in a positive way. Today’s topic is dating, relationships and love. If you would like to share a story with me for the book, please feel free to email it to: lisa@cache-advance.com. I am also collecting stories of all kinds, so please write away!

We thought it would be fun to compile a list of geocaching pick up lines. Feel free to add more pickup lines in the comments below.

Now, to get things started, here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

  • Do you cache here often?
  • Ever done a ‘night cache’?
  • Nice camo!
  • Let’s calibrate our GPSrs.
  • Your coordinates or mine?
  • He’s got great stats
  • Would you like to see my trackable collection?
  • What’s your caching name, and how did you choose it?
  • Are you a hider, or a finder?
  • Wanna go on a FTF run with me?
  • TFTD (Thanks For The Date)

What other lines can you think of? Please share!

GQotDPinterestHey Cachers! This is Lookout Lisa from Cache Advance, and I’m your host for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Cache Advance is your geocaching hub for all of your caching needs, including the Cache Crate, a monthly subscription box of geocaching and outdoor gear.

Monday through Thursdays, we ask our followers onFacebook, Twitter and Google+  a question about geocaching.

We recently asked: Do you carry a first aid kit while geocaching?

After tallying all the answers, we found that 18% of cachers do not carry a first aid kit, and the other 82% either carry one or have one nearby while out caching.

So here is what we heard:

  • Stacywilson00 on Twitter shared: No, but I will be soon for our local 4-H club, it will be a year long project!
  • Fishgirl27 shared: Only when we don't end up needing it. Get injured more going after P&Gs
  • Kari on G+ shared: No, don't think it would be necessary unless I was in deep wilderness. Not much of that where I live.
  • Ry_Too_D2 shared: I cache with two kids. A first-aid kit is a necessity!
  • Chad on FB summed it up for most of us. He shared: It depends. A deep hike in the woods w/ my Geo-backpack is a yes. Short hikes no. Urban caching, I've got a first aid kit in the car.
  • And Scott shared: No. But now you've got me to thinking that I should.
    • Good to hear Scott, and stay safe!

As always we really enjoyed hearing about first aid kits, and you can too, if you-

-Follow us, Cache Advance, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Thanks, and Happy Caching!

Florida was our family vacation trip: something called Disney World & Universal Studios (geocaches) was taking us from Washington state across the country for a week of warmth, a refuge from Spokane's winter grip. Geocachers usually have ulterior motives on such trips, adding as many geocaching finds in as many places as they can possibly fit in while still enjoying Mickey Mouse.

First priority was selecting how to get there, 2,807 miles, 38 hours driving without traffic, 172 hours driving while finding geocaches, I was out voted ... we're flying. While checking flights online, one must consider many important factors; cost, departure, arrival time and layovers which may facilitate the finding of geocaches near the airport. We had 2 layovers. Unfortunately they was only one hour each at Salt Lake City and Cincinnati, which had a nearby virtual cache (GCB6FD). I could only hope for a delayed flight if I wanted to pick up any of these states as finds.

The weeks that led up to the trip were filled comparing prices at the parks, where to stay and of course what caches to find. I knew a visit to the only other brick and mortar geocaching store in the nation was a given, Space Coast Geocaching  on Merritt Island, Fl near the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

As the departure date neared, there were many evenings of repeated "pocket query" searches & making "Geocaching Lists" - favorite points, olds, virts, & earth caches. As I copied and printed all the requirements for the virtual geocaches so they would be easily accessible on a few sheets of paper, it brought back the memories of geocaching with my old Garmin HCX. Ahh ... the paper days of geocaching, no description or hints in the GPS.

I had my plan laid out well. The night before departure I'd run final "Pocket queries" and set up future "Pocket queries" to run automatically thru the trip so I would simply access Geocaching.com and load them via my laptop while in Florida. My plan was perfect until a storm packing near hurricane-force winds slammed into the Inland Northwest knocking out trees and power to over 200,000 customers including us. The PQ's would have to wait until we arrived in Florida.

As we left the storm ravaged area we arrived at our first layover. No delays, but I got a window seat and took some pictures of caches that lay below outside of Salt Lake City, Maple Mountain High, (GC8106) a 1x4 2002, 12-hour hiking cache, soon after came Denver and a super view of the site for upcoming GeoWoodstock 14er - 2016 (GC5Q1ET). I was looking forward to attending this event & hadn't even completed this trip yet. Cincinnati offered no cache finding...where's a delay when you need one? I need Ohio on my geo map!

We arrived safely in Orlando and I deployed my first weapon, a Garmin Nuvi I brought from home. No extra fees from the car rental company and I did manage to previously load it with geocaches, a great tool in a new area which shows the roads and the best way to get there. My Nuvi version showed where the toll roads were so that was a bonus in this area.

Once morning came we were off to the Disney Parks. These are not only some of the best theme parks on earth but each themed world has a virtual geocache (EPCOT has 2 virtuals!) These are probably the most expensive caches I've ever found (but well worth it) as you must buy a ticket to enter, with the exception of one at a Disney resort. The Magic Kingdom cache (GC10FB) is the oldest in these parks, July 2001 with over 900 favorite points, it's the most favorite pointed cache in Florida. The other virtuals are from 2002 so it was nice to add numbers to my Jasmer challenge.

Untitled designThe next day it was more parks then I got the golden ticket, I got a free day to geocache on my own! I dropped the kids at Disney and headed to Crockett's Wilderness Adventure (GCA402), a 2002 virt that included several waypoints. I got thru security at the main gate then found WP1, however the trails were closed for remodel for the next WP. I wasn't giving up and continued searching the grounds for another way to WP2, eventually finding another trail and set off with a successful find but I had paid dearly in time finding an alternate way.

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I headed south & found a few traditional caches, including a 4.5 x 1.5 cache, Evil - Tribute to the Master of Stress (GC54MDA) - it has over 50 finds and nearly as many DNF's. Once I found GZ, I began the search, palm trees & some tropical bush bigger than a fir tree, I widened my search and got lucky by just a glimpse of something out of place, a cool 5 minutes had passed by from start to finish. I can usually find a nano in the woods but not a small or regular geocache! I headed north as I hadn't planned on the many freeways causing such havoc on getting from location to location in this area.

I was in a newer area of Orlando and most the caches were just outside gated communities. I'd park the car just out the gate and make a made dash to the cache.  I found one ammo can and that was cool.

Florida caches are surely different than the Pacific Northwest, its flatter than a pancake, there's sand, big plants and many strange bugs, I got tangled in several spider webs just waiting for a geocacher meal. I jumped around and swatted virtual creatures off me several times. Then there's the possibility of an alligator...I kind of wanted to see one and kind of didn't want to meet up with one.

After a long series of DNF's I headed east on another toll road. The closest thing to toll roads at home is a bridge 280 miles away in Seattle. I brought plenty of spare change with me and got pretty good at tossing my change into the cache (cash) tube.

I arrived at an old Orlando cemetery "Home of Very Distinguished Roots" cache GCGGT a 2003 virt. The warm Florida rain soon drizzled, then poured down to help me with my finds. There we're several other caches nearby and then another nearby 2003 virt and a few traditionals. The sun was setting and I needed to get back and call it a day.

We continued with Universal Studios where I logged another virt "Divided we fall" GC73A6, a section of the Berlin Wall, very historic and the 2nd piece of wall I've found, both having a geocache. The first was near Hope, Idaho "Fieldtrip of History" GCGRCF.

Another cache type I did pocket queries for was event caches. There were three nearby events three days before we arrived & a day after we left! It would have been fun to meet up with other cachers from around the world.  I had also brought along my magnetic travel bug & stuck it to the back of our rental car hoping another geocacher would discover us along a busy road or parking lot. None discovered us but it was still fun to display.

Soon we were heading east to the Atlantic Ocean via Hwy 528 & a series of coin tossing cache toll booths - it was almost like doing a multi cache!

Space Coast was the first stop. It was awesome seeing another geocaching store and Dale & Barbs was similar to the Cache Advance store. They had quite a collection of geo goods and hospitality to boot! After looking at everything on the shelves & walls I even found a bottle of Cache Advance wine which I suggested we pop open! It was time to discover the many trackables they had to share with visiting geocachers. There was even a collection of Pathtags on a refrigerator door that had tags from cachers back home; Kidvegas19, Chumpo, Mtngoat50 & others.
I had brought some trackables from home to exchange too. I had already taken a few of the trackables into the Disney Parks and included them in part of the trip taking photos of them (minus the TB numbers) then posted them on the trackables log page.

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I highly recommend anyone going to Florida to make sure they stop by and check out the big ammo can geocache and Dale & Barbs store which has the 2nd highest favorite points in Florida.

The warm waters of the Atlantic was our next quest & we got prime directions to a public beach complete with an earthcache "Molly Says Sand, do you dig it?" GC32Z0C. After some excavation in the sand and fulfilling the requirements I deployed my two meter parafoil stunt kite & buzzed the sky while standing in the warm ocean, pretty cool.

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Cocoa Beach provided souvenir shops then we had "Chinese picnic" at a restaurant that specialized in take-out. The food was good, well-priced and we were starving! Chinese food with paper plates and plastic silverware, it was classic!

The last days we finished up the theme parks, the virtual caches. Then up early for a morning flight taking us to Minneapolis, Minnesota another one hour layover, there was a nearby virt "Falcon" GCJAHG, however the cache was disabled as the museum was closed for the season. There were a few other close traditional geocaches however a person can't get a delayed flight when they want one! We spent the extra time on the tarmac being de-iced for the return to Spokane.

Flying across the northern states crossing cache after cache, I'd been down there via Amtrak a few years ago and cached my way to Chicago, Los Angeles and back to Spokane. Altitude decreasing, I was recognizing these mountains in Idaho - hey I'd been on the top of that one, "4x4 series, Top of the World" GC5AVX3 & gotten FTF with BruhnWa, & there was the St. Joe River and Lake Coeur d'Alene. Gear lowering, flaps down, tires screeching, were back to snowy Spokane.

It was a great trip, I found 19 caches; 9 virtuals, 1 earthcache & a handful of DNF's.

Traveling is a great way to see the hidden unique places, away from the theme parks and the crowds.

If you geocache, prepare with "Pocket query searches", make geocaching "Lists," find the types and difficulty terrain caches you enjoy, and be familiar with how your GPS or phone operates while caching, and you will have a great trip too!

scareway

Fitness Resolutions for the New Year-Did you make a New Year’s resolution for better health and fitness this year? Even if you didn’t make a resolution, we’d like to challenge you to get out geocaching more! Geocaching is a great way to mix up your day and get outside. Not every cache run has to be a trek out to the woods. Chances are you pass fun and quick Urban caches every day on your way to and from work, school or running errands.

Whether the new year inspired you to be more active, healthier, or you just want to break up your daily routine, caching can help you meet your goals in a new way.

If you’re looking for a way to get outside more or increase your activity level consider plotting a short caching route during your daily activities or before or after work/school. Park further away than you usually do or walk the whole way. Be sure to set the Trip Odometer on your GPS at the beginning of your jaunt and see how much extra distance you rack up just grabbing a few caches -you might be surprised. Just assess the difficulty level of your targets before you head out so you stay within your schedule, and watch the clock. You’ll find it’s a great way to get some exercise in without having to hit the gym. You also may find yourself more relaxed and able to focus better getting a little more activity throughout the day.

Take Dr. B's Cache Repair Kit with you!
Take Dr. B's Cache Repair Kit with you!

Of course the weekends are still open for bringing along the family, friends or your best four-legged pal and heading out for that trek into the woods! Or maybe you’ll want to show everybody your new favorite Urban caching route. Either way it’s a great time to go caching.

Do you have any suggestions or tips to share for working geocaching into your fitness plans?

GeocacheHey Cachers! This is Lookout Lisa from Cache Advance, and I’m your host for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Cache Advance is your geocaching hub for all of your caching needs, including the Cache Crate, a monthly subscription box of geocaching and outdoor gear.

Monday through Thursdays, we ask our followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ a question about geocaching.

We recently asked: Are there certain geocache attributes that you avoid when seeking?

After tallying all the answers, we found that about a third of you don’t avoid any particular cache attributes. The main attributes that most cachers avoid are: Needs Maintenance, Front Yard Caches, Tree climbing, Boat and Scuba required.

So here is what we heard:

  • Jo on G+ shared: Not overall, but sometimes we'll exclude certain attributes during a specific trip.
  • James on FB shared: .. I go for every cache I can get my hands on
  • Kim shared: I'll at least take a stab at all of em.
  • Jerry shared: Nope. (But if the last log says the unforgivable "I hid it better", I pass.)
    • Probably wise Jerry!
  • Barbara shared: I don't go if it says I need a boat. Also think twice about a cache on someone's front yard.
  • Lori shared: Disabilities cause me to look in advance. Wish some cachers would use them. Its so disappointing to get to a cache and see that there is no way I can get to it . Side note: if you claim a t-1 it better be handicapped accessible, more times than not I can't get it.
  • Gene shared: I gave up tree climbing for Lent many years ago and I only go after water caches if somebody has a canoe and wants me to go with them.

As always we really enjoyed hearing about cache attributes, and you can too, if you-

-Follow us, Cache Advance, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Watch the Periscope Recording:

Thanks, and Happy Caching!

This week we have a wonderful guest blog post from Josh and Liz over at Peanuts or Pretzels!  Thank you Josh and Liz for sharing your geocaching experiences with us!

Geocaching Resolutions

As the year draws to a close and a new year is on the horizon, it's common for many of us to look back on our experiences and look forward to the new adventures that await. One of the coolest things about being a Geocacher is that we have the opportunity to have some pretty amazing, and unique memories that many others don't have the opportunity to experience. Even with all these great memories, there is always something more to be had. And the first step to accomplishing something is to set a goal. So to help you come up with some goals for the new year, we have put together our recommendations for Geocaching Resolutions for the New Year.

Discover a Geocache High in the Mountains

Sunrise 2

Sometimes nothing beats setting out on a 3 to 5 hour hike in search of a view that can take your breath away. What makes it even more rewarding is being able to sign a logbook at the end of that hike. Not only can you get some good exercise, see some amazing views, but to do it all in the name of geocaching is a great resolution to set for for the new year. Go get that 5/5 geocache.

Discover a Geocache Low on the Beach

Red sand beach in Hana - Maui, Hawaii
Red sand beach in Hana - Maui, Hawaii

To be able to accomplish this geocaching resolution you will need to head to the beach. On a beach you might be able to find an actual cache container or an EarthCache, which helps to explain the science behind the beaches.

Heading to a beach in search of a Geocache may take you off the beaten path, and to some beautiful hidden beaches around the world that you may never have known about. We once found a geocache on a secret Red Sands Beach in Hawaii. No signs, no directions other than our Garmin leading the way for us. And it was a truly beautiful and unique beach!

Read Also: Celebrate International EarthCache Day

Turn a Muggle into a Geocacher

Geocaching Muggles
We met these ladies while out geocaching in Sydney, Australia. We needed them to move to be able to get to the cache. We explained geocaching to them and they were so excited to help us find it. Who knows, maybe they have since discovered geocaches all around Sydney.

Don’t keep this awesome geocaching hobby to yourself, share it with friends and family. This can include a co-worker, a relative, or a close friend. We all know that Geocaching is a fun adventure, and it is even more fun if you are able to share it with someone.

When introducing geocaching to someone new, start off with something easy. A simple 1/1 geocache is a great way to show someone what a geocache looks like, and help you to explain the game. Then take them on a hike or to a really cool and cleverly hidden geocache...then you will have them hooked.

If you want to help them started, how about the Dr. B Newbie Starter Kit

Hide a Creative Geocache

GeoWoodstock, Geocaching, Mega Event, event, St. Louis, Missouri, Geocache, Peanuts or Pretzels, Travel, adventure, Lewis and Clark, History, event
Creatively hidden geocaches make geocaching so much fun. Here we are trying to solve this gadget cache with some friends in St. Charles, MO at GeoWoodstock XII

Another great geocaching resolution is to make a creative geocache that you can share with your local geocaching community. If you are a creative person, and enjoy making things (or enjoy stumping other people), you can let your imagination run wild with the many unique ways to make, and hide a geocache.

Most caching veterans recommend that you find at least 100 caches before attempting to hide a cache. This will help you get ideas on various creative techniques. Another way to get creative ideas for caches is searching on YouTube and by following a couple of geocaching boards on Pinterest.

Help a Trackable Reach its Goal

Trackable, travel fleas, geocaching, geocache, travel bugs, Savannah, oak coins, world, adventure, peanuts or pretzels, GC, patch, tags, Geocaching trackables
Here is a Trackable we released in Key West from our wedding. We wanted it to make it to Hawaii, and we saw a picture of it online in Hawaii just a couple of months later. Thanks to the geocaching community!

Some people may not be able to travel and see some of these iconic or off the beaten path destinations around the USA (or the world). So a fun aspect to the Geocaching game is to release a trackable with a specific destination goal. This let's them feel like they are going on the journey too -- especially when people share fun pictures of the trackable in all these locations.

As travelers, we find it SO rewarding to be able to help others reach their goals through geocaching. **Make sure to read the profiles of trackables to help them reach their goals.**

Read more about Geocaching Trackables here

Get 10 New Geocaching Souvenirs

Thailand Souvenir
Geocaching.com NEW Thailand Souvenir

If you are like us, then you love to see new souvenirs in your geocaching.com profile. Another great geocaching resolution is to set a goal of collecting 10 new souvenirs. You can get a new souvenir by attending a Mega Event or Giga Event.

You can also get a new souvenir by discovering a geocache in a new US state, which you have not found a cache in previously. Also keep an eye out for geocaching.com summer souvenir challenges. That's a great way to get some souvenirs added to your profile.

Host Your Own Event With a Twist

Maker's Madness, Geocaching, Rome, GA, Rome GA, Geocache, Hiders, Hide
Liz and Victoria from (I Hunt For Fun) picking out the perfect disguise at a local geocaching event

Do you attend geocaching events in your community? Did you know you can create and host your own event in your community? But not just a normal event...make it unique, interesting...and fun!!!

Hosting a fun Geocaching event with a special twist is another great Geocaching Resolution for the new year. You can create a geocaching event during your travels, or host a lunchtime meet and greet. Have a pot luck and get to know your local geocachers (and their cooking skills).

How about hosting a water balloon fight to cool off in the summer, a cookie cook off, potluck, Christmas gift exchange, etc.

The possibilities are endless with a little creativity!

Discover the Oldest Cache in Your State

Keep Mingo Alive
Here is the Oldest Active Geocache - Mingo GC30 in Kansas

There is something cool about holding a piece of geocaching history in your hands. Geocaching has been around for over 15 years now and there are caches hidden around the country that are still active from when geocaching went live.

A cool geocaching resolution is discovering your state's oldest cache. If you have already done this then find the 10 oldest caches in your state. If you have already done this, then search for the oldest in another state.

Read Accidentally Discovering the Oldest Active Cache in Mingo, Kansas

Complete a GeoTour or GeoTrail

Josh Geocaching in Seattle - a great way to tour the different areas of the city!
Josh Geocaching in Seattle - a great way to tour the different areas of the city!

Completing a GeoTour or GeoTrail is no easy feat, so adding this to your geocaching resolutions is a must. There are so many great GeoTours all around the world. From Washington, Italy, Peru, and Australia, there are GeoTours and GeoTrails for everyone.

GeoTours are a great way to get to know the history of an area better while also discovering new off the beaten path destinations as well. Another bonus is that most GeoTours have an award for completing the tour. So it's a really fun way to explore a destination while on vacation, during a short getaway, or if you are just passing through.

Checkout the NEW Spokane History GeoTour

Search out GeoTours & GeoTrails near you HERE

Make a New Year Resolution to Accomplish a Personal Geocaching Goal

So as you think about the past year and all you accomplished, take some time to consider the upcoming year and all the the things you want to accomplish. The best way to accomplish something new is to set a goal and go for it. That's why Geocaching Resolutions for the new year are great!

The great thing about geocaching is that you can do it however you like, and it has a little something to fit everyone's interests. And surely there are some things you would like to see and do through geocaching that you haven't yet accomplished. So we hope these Geocaching resolutions have inspired you to come up with your own Geocaching goals for next year.

Happy New Year & Happy Caching!

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cache advance geocaching bloggers, peanuts or pretzels, travel caching, adventure caching
Josh and Liz
Caching Name: Peanuts or Pretzels

We're Josh & Liz, expert travelers who love a good Geocaching adventure. Visit our website Peanuts or Pretzels to find out how we can help make your trip planning easier and more fun...as well as incorporating Geocaching into your next vacation!

Discover the Fun Now!

 

 

 

Join the adventure and follow us on Social Media!

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Make Geocaching aOften the Holiday Season brings with it an influx of family members from out of town. They arrive in your city expecting you to show them the sights and take them to some of your favorite places ... And how better to do that than to take them on a fun (and Holiday treat calorie burning) Cache Run!

But before you go, keep some of these fun-enhancing tips in mind:

Make sure you have a GPS unit you know well and plenty of extra batteries.
You don’t want your GPS to die in the middle of the search. And bring along one for the kids! The youngsters love to be in on the hunt!

Consider the activity/energy level of your caching buddies.
Although you may be an experienced cacher those with you may be new to the game or have never cached before. If this is the case plan a cache route that will be appropriate for them. Also keep in mind that if you have an older family member along they may not have the mobility or stamina that you’re used to.

Have a newbie in your group? Dr. B's Newbie Kit can help!
Have a newbie in your group? Dr. B's Newbie Kit can help!

When caching with Newbies we recommend avoiding Micro and Small caches.
Caches with larger containers are easier to find and usually have fun trade items for the kiddos. Also try to steer clear of caches with high terrain and difficulty levels.

Have a clear idea of the route you want to take and it’s great if it includes cool landmarks or points of interest.
Don’t plan a full-day, not everyone has the caching stamina you do! And don’t forget to pack snacks!

Remember, this is your opportunity to show your family some of your favorite local spots and also share your love of the game. With a well-planned, thoughtful route, a fully charged familiar GPS, and the right supplies, you and your family will be headed for a fun-filled caching adventure.

What tips can you add?  Please share your comments below!

 

Is your first geocache hide still active?

GQotDPinterest

Hey cachers this is Lookout Lisa from Cache Advance, and I’m your host for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Cache Advance is your geocaching hub for all of your caching needs, including the Cache Crate, a monthly subscription box of geocaching and outdoor gear.

Monday through Thursdays, we ask our followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ a question about geocaching.

We recently asked: Is your first geocache hide still active?

 

 

  • After tallying all the answers, we found that a little over half, or 54%, of first cache hides are still active.
  • So here’s what we heard:
    • Danno on G+ shared: Nope it was muggled and I now live 2 states away.
    • Alan on FB shared: No, long gone. It was near Big Fern Hill Park in Bothell, which is now Kirkland.
    • Jim on FB shared: No. I was way too new to the game to know what a quality hide was. It's LONG gone!
    • Lindsey on FB shared: It has been out for about 2 and a half years and has never been muggled. The downed log that it was in has decayed quite a bit and it had to be moved a few feet, but the original container is still there.
    • Dina summed it up for a lot of us: Yes. It's nothing special but it is sentimental.
    • For those of you wondering, my first hide, hidden in November 2002, is still active. I have also adopted 2 older caches, 1 hidden in ’02 and the other in ’01, and they are both still active!

As always we really enjoyed hearing about our first geocache hides, and you can too, if you-

-Follow us, Cache Advance, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Thanks, and Happy Caching!

GQotDPinterestHey cachers this is Lookout Lisa from Cache Advance, and I’m your host for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Cache Advance is your geocaching hub for all of your caching needs, including the Cache Crate, a monthly subscription box of geocaching and outdoor gear.
Monday through Thursdays, we ask our followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ a question about geocaching.

We recently asked: Do you prefer geocaching with a handheld GPS or Smartphone?

 

  • After tallying all the answers, we found it was pretty much 50/50, and most cachers actually use both.
  • So here’s what we heard:
    • Dave on G+ Shared: GPS, tho my resistance to smartphone caching is getting less now that batteries are better, USB power packs are decent, and the tech on the phone isn't nearly so annoying.
    • Agent Questermark shared: Both! I'll usually start on my phone, but if I need more precision, I like my GPSr. For road trips, I'll load a PQ into the GPSr, but still start with the phone when seeking.
    • Danno Shared: Smartphone. I like to post logs in the field and manage trackables, especially read their missions online before I take them.
    • Hotrod205 on Twitter shared: after getting 3 years each out of 2 Garmins, I don't see the point. New phone is so good that I'm not buying another GPSr.
    • Jessica on Facebook summed it up nicely. She shared: My handheld gps, BUT I geocache 95% of the time with my smartphone because it is always with me

As always we really enjoyed hearing about Geocaching GPS' or Smartphones, and you can too, if you-

-Follow us, Cache Advance, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Thanks, and Happy Caching!

Finding GZ (Ground Zero) where a cache is hidden and making the find can be fun, exciting and frustrating. Sometimes just finding your way to GZ is a task in itself, it can involve a hike, a bike ride or just trying to find the entrance to access GZ from a trailhead or opening in a fence.

When looking for GZ, try to do some recon first.
If you're using a GPS and using Pocket Queries or GSAK (http://gsak.net/), use some of the filters and keep your selections simpler by excluding Mystery Caches (they generally aren't at the posted coords until you solve the mystery), if you are a beginning geocacher, exclude "Higher difficulty & terrain caches" also be sure to select "Enabled caches" so you aren't searching for a cache that is temporarily missing, run your pocket queries the night before or morning you go caching so your search information is up to date.

Trailhead_parking_area_signCheck for parking coordinates or trailhead waypoints
Sometimes you may have to circle around GZ a few times. For example, one side may be a shopping center, another side no trespassing signs, but on the other side, in between those two trees is a neighborhood greenspace trail access. Be sure to park your geo vehicle so you aren't blocking anyone or access lanes.
While walking to GZ you might take a rest break and read up on the hint or description so when you arrive you are ready to look for that cache.

Once at GZ, take a look around, what stands out?
Is it flat and barren? Rocky? Trees scattered here and there? Take a quick look around. Where does your GPS or phone show as GZ? Perhaps you'll find GZ and the cache right next to a tree covered with geo sticks (usually a unnatural pile of sticks covering the cache.)

If you come up empty, take a look at the size rating of the cache and the D/T (difficulty/terrain) ratings, a higher difficulty means you might be spending some time here and may even DNF (did not find) it and have to return another time to make the find. That's part of the fun. Most of us still have caches we can't find.

Make sure you're looking at the correct cache on your GPS or phone.
Read the hint and description again and check the logs to see when it was last found and if any clues were left for hints. Just because the last few finders didn't make the find, doesn't mean it is not there; perhaps they had only a few minutes to search or didn't jump the small creek to find the actual GZ and the cache.

It depends on the cache owner too. What type of device did they get their coordinates from? Phones tend to have not as good of coordinates, did they average their readings or take several coordinates and average them to narrow down GZ?

FTFMicroCoin-1If you're trying for an FTF (First To Find) you may not have a lot to go on - no previous logs and perhaps the description may be missing some info, a parking coordinates or hint.
Usually at FTFs you'll be soon joined by more geocachers to help make the find if you're having difficulties and its a great way to meet fellow geocachers.

Hopefully by now you've made the find and are happily entering "Found" in your device and heading to the next GZ. If not, and you are hopelessly stuck trying to make the find, take a break, sit down, get a drink and refresh yourself and re-read the description, hint, D/T ratings and logs.

Once you are ready, start outside GZ and begin moving towards where you believe GZ is located.
A GPS needs to be moving to get good readings, so don't stand in one spot and spin - move back and forth a few times to get the readings down around 20 feet or less then put your GPS device in your pocket and start looking around. Use your "Geo senses" - what doesn't look natural, what stands out? Is there a fence, large rocks and a tree 50' away? Probably not in the tree, are you on a hillside or are large buildings or trees blocking the satellites? GZ could be further away than you think. Once you find GZ with that large rock with the mysterious crevice, just don't reach in and grab, it might be a home for a critter or nasty insects, try your flashlight or a stick to see what may be inside.

When GZ is in a bush or heavy ground cover, I use my walking stick to probe around the green mass of plants. It saves the plant, doesn't dig up the area and saves your arms. With repeated probes, you may soon hear the clunk or a cache, or an aluminum can that you can CITO (Cache in trash out.)

tricky-find-postIf you still can't make the find, know when to give up.
When you get frustrated trying to find the cache, its time to either take another break or move along. Spending 2 hours looking for a cache my be buckets of fun to some but I'd rather keep finding caches and move to the next and return another time with a new clue or maybe the cache is just gone.

After you do find GZ and the cache, leave a good log for the cacher who hid it, a TFTC (Thanks For The Cache) shows you found it, a little longer log of "Great cache and beautiful area, thanks for bringing me here" shows the cache owner they are appreciated for the effort they put out finding GZ and hiding the cache in a fun, find-able way.

--This article was written by Scareway, Cache Advance Team member.  These tips were part of the October 2015 Cache Crate!  Click Here to up today to start your Cache Crate subscription.