My First Geocache

2008-04-22 15:39 - General

Somewhere about two weeks ago, I saw a PBS documentary (YouTube trailer) on Geocaching. It wasn't the first time I had ever heard of it, but it was a rather well made show, and it got me thinking. I decided I might like to try it.

I looked around, and quickly discovered that eBay was the way to go for a cheap used unit. I picked up a Garmin GPS 12 unit for about thirty bucks plus (fair!) shipping. It's a bit old and simple, but with a little experience I can say now that it works just fine for my needs.

I'm on vacation this week, visiting my father. Trying out this geocaching thing was on my short list of activities, and we got to it this morning. We had picked out a few caches, from the site, and set out. Our first stop, the closest to the house, was a bust. Our second was also a bust, no finds.

Luckily, I had looked up another pair by the same user, very close to the second try we made. A short walk, in fact. On our third attempt ...

Map of my first geocaching find
Image credit: Google Maps

... Paydirt! We looked around and around a bit, and this time we spotted the dark green ammo case tucked under a fallen log. So I opened up the notebook and scribbled down a little note about it being our first find. Hurrah! There were notes in that book from April of '06, so that cache has been around a while. As you can see, it was a dozen or two feet off in the woods, from what was a rather nice paved walkway out in the middle of a bunch of trees.

It was our only find that day, but overall, it was certainly entertaining, and nice to have a fun thing to do outside.


Congratulations of your first find!
2008-04-22 19:34 - tonka_boy

Welcome to the addiction. Geocaching is great fun. Just be patient about the first DNFs. When you get used to the "feel" of your GPSr, you'll be finding bunches of geocaches. If interested, we have a geocaching blog on Blogger. Stop by and say hello. Cache on!

Yes, I'm a beginner
2008-04-22 23:22 - arantius

Thanks for your comments. Yes, I'm not terribly surprised by the fact that my first day's attempts weren't perfect, and it doesn't discourage me.

A great reason to get outside
2008-04-24 19:52 - BigNerd

Yep, geocaching is great fun. It's amazing how many are out there! I'll download waypoints before we go camping and it makes for a nice diversion on the trip. Some are more challenging than others, be it the terrain or how well they're hidden (or both!). Make sure you create an account at and start logging your finds. Go hide a cache yourself and check in on it once in awhile. You can even opt for email updates of new caches in your area (you decide the # of mile radius to be included). One last comment, I tend to bury my head in watching the GPS screen. My wife tends to find them before me for this very reason! So use your GPS as a guide but not the ultimate treasure finder - your brain and eyes will complete the task!

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