So I went out for a little geocaching this past weekend and had a pretty good time. We didn't have much time to spend because it was so hot outside, but at least we were outside.
I have to admit, I am not the best hunter in the world when it comes to geocaching, but I do find it fun. I felt a bit like Mantracker at times looking more for smashed leaves where other people may have been looking for the same thing and found it. Oddly enough, in doing this I found a ladies wallet that had obviously been stolen and tossed off to the side. I could tell it hadn't been there too long as it wasn't waterlogged and there were only 2 roly polys living in the pocket. There was no money in it (shocker), but there were ID cards and all sorts of other stuff you would hate to lose. So I plopped it in my pocket and decided to drop it off at the police station on the way home. More on that in a minute.
Back to the caching. After striking out on our first one because you had to cross a creek to get to it and then getting distracted by the wallet, we found a good one. It was in a graveyard which normally would be weird, but it was more like a scavenger hunt than a cache.
After finding and logging that one on my newly downloaded free app (which stunk I might add), we were on to the next one. As the sun began to melt our skin off on our way to this cache it was growing obvious that this would be the last one of the day. It was nowhere near any shade and by the time we walked to it (only a half mile) I could tell my caching partner was pretty much done. So we didn't look too hard and started back to the truck and some air conditioning.
On the way home, we stopped by the police station to drop off the wallet and were told by the officer that he thought it was probably the wallet stolen by the guy who was involved in a homicide a day or two prior. Creepy. But we were alive and on the way to grab a cold beverage and watch a Duck Dynasty marathon in the cool confines of the casa.
Now, here are some notes I have learned on just my third trip geocaching. First, make sure your GPS is charged and is one that works pretty well under trees. I have an old model that works great in the open, but under any sort of shade it is as lost as a duck in the ocean (see the tick fiasco blog).
My second tip would be to actually know how to use whatever gear you are taking on your adventure. I had downloaded several GPS and geocaching apps to try. The only problem was that we stood in the parking lot trying to figure out how to get them to work. Whether it was registering them by logging on with Facebook, figuring out how to switch from map to compass, or just the frustrating part of having to key in the points you want to find it was something that was better done at home on the couch.
My third tip is to take some gloves (gardening gloves would do the trick), a flashlight, and some bite / sting treatment. Luckily I was not bit or stung on this trip, but blindly sticking my hand under foot bridges or in stumps I have resigned myself to the fact that at some point I will. This is also where the gloves would have come in handy. I am not a huge fan of sticking my hands anywhere they can't be seen. This is probably some sort of survival mechanism built in to help me keep the other 9.75 digits attached. So gloves are a must. A flashlight will also help put some light in areas so you may not even have to put your hand in them. This could also be handy since many of the caches are black 35mm canisters or something covered in duct tape, which collects leaves like a ghillie suit.
Maybe in the next few weeks it will cool off a bit to where I can do some more caching and will be able to give more tips.
Does anyone have any tips for me on geocaching? Favorite sites, gear to take, apps to use, etc.
Until next time...