All posts by geocarta

California Caching

For this post I wanted to keep it Geocaching relative though and talk about some of the cool caches I found during my time visiting California. On a down day I had during my trip to San Deigo (Carlsbad) I wanted to do a little hiking and hit up a nearby park where I did some geocaching. The weather was great, as it always is in San Deigo and the park was only a few minutes away from where I was staying. Plus it wasn’t anything too difficult since the fiancé and her sister weren’t really up gaining much elevation that day.

There were a decent amount of geocaches along the couple mile stretch that we hiked. I think I found about 7 or so at that place, a few I disregarded since it required walking through picky bushes. I’ve taken my fiancé out geocaching before, so she knows what it’s like though I can’t say she’s as big of a fan as I am of it. She tends to like the ones that are right alongside a foot path or easy to get to. Her sister though had never been before nor knew what it was. I always try to describe it to mugglers (non geo-cachers) as pretty much being a ‘grown up scavenger hunt’. That seems to be the easiest way to get the concept across. He was hesitant until I told her that some of the caches have little trinkets and gifts in them that you can exchange things you have for, I think the idea of there being a tangible reward in it for her convinced her.

I downloaded the GeoCaching App for my phone so I used that to navigate to the first one on the trail, which as we got closer to I gave it to my fiancé’s sister to find. It’s always funny watching someone look for a cache especially when it’s in plain sight but they can’t see it. She eventually found it with some help from us and letting her know that sometimes they may be disguised as something more than just a small tin ammo can. As the day went on we found more and more caches, some of which unfortunately didn’t have the coins in them that I was hoping to find. I’ve yet to find a geocache coin despite some of the caches I’ve found indicated there should have been one in the inventory. The day I do find one I’ll definitely write a post about it and share some stats on how many caches I found until I actually got a coin to exchange.

Back to the story of the day, it’s always interesting to see the various items people leave in exchange for much cooler ones I’m assuming. Almost like they found a neat cache they wanted and didn’t really have much to trade for it so they figure “ehh sure I’ll throw this used gum wrapper in there”. It is quite funny at times, and almost reminds me of the packrat mentality. For those unaware of what packrats are, they are a rodent that will find things throughout your garage or storage area that they want and take them, they then replace the item with random junk they collect such as sticks, paper, or small stones (assuming you won’t know the difference).

Anyway some of the items I found in the caches ranged quite a bit: a noise maker (which her sister took), a lego man (which she then traded the noise maker for), a business card for an online nursery with palm trees for sale (I guess if I’m ever looking to buy palm trees online I’ll know where to go now!), a bouncy ball, and a few other little dollar tree style toys. What did the girls I was with leave in exchange for the things they took, well nothing too exciting, a Macy’s coupon in one and a subway coupon in another from the weekend paper. The coupons wouldn’t have been too bad had they not been ready to expire in a few days. Yep my fiancé and her sister are the type that trade uncool things for cooler things.

Anyway, I think that overall it was a great day not only because we got to get a little exercise in and enjoy the weather but also just inviting someone new into the Geocaching world. After we finished she had told me she’ll need to get her husband out finding some as well. I think I just expanded the geocache world by two people…many more to come!

My Geocache Journeys

Blogging about my caches

I wanted to start sharing my various geocache experiences with those stopping by this page in the hopes that these stories will entice more people to get out and join the geocache movement.

My Japanese Katana
My Japanese Katana

Though this website is primarily focused on teaching others about the sport of Geocaching, I would like to share me experiences in other activities here as well. Geocaching is just one of my many hobbies, others of which include: kayaking, collecting Japanese katanas & learning Iaido, fly fishing (or so I’m attempting to do), blogging (on sites just like this!), weight lifting, hunting, hiking, and coin collecting. To be honest geocaching is actually a fairly new hobby of mine and is something I stumbled across accidently while hunting in northern Idaho.

My first cache

While on an elk hunting trip with my father and a couple other family friends we were hunting up the Selway river northeast of Kooskia Idaho. We had driven a 32 foot RV across the country to accommodate the 4 of us on this hunting trip which took a couple days to make. At times it was a good bonding experience and other times we were ready to kill each other. It’s naïve to think that four guys could be locked in small quarters for a few days and not get on each other’s nerves.

Anyway when you think of rural America this place is the picture perfect example of such. The Selway Bitterroot is one of the largest designated wilderness areas in the country so the last place I’d expect to stumble across a Plano box full of treasures and logbooks would be here.

While fishing the river I had to take a leak so I ran up the bank and went behind a tree, this is where I saw the box. At first I thought it may have been left behind by some campers who had a kid since there were a lot of children’s toys in it (plastic parachute figurine, clicker, maraca, etc.).

As I started going through the box I found a logbook full of messages and weird signature names. I sat down and started going through every page, each note had a joyful saying followed by the date, where they were from, and the signature (which I later learned was their user ID for

Eventually a few pages in I came across one that really got my attention, a note from someone in Littleton NH, the town where I was from. Now for someone from Boston or Philadelphia that may not seem like a big deal due to the population of those cities, however Littleton NH is a town of about 6,000 people located in Northern NH. I couldn’t believe that someone from my town was actually in that exact same spot I was standing in there, in the middle of nowhere thousands of miles across the country. The photo below shows how rural this cache really was.

My First Cache up the Selway in Idaho
My First Cache up the Selway in Idaho

Finding this cache in Idaho and the tie it had back to home not to mention all the other countries that people were from in the logbook had me really interested in this concept. Unfortunately no one in my social circle at the time had any idea what this was when I returned home and shared the story with them therefore the concept of ‘Geocaching’ would still remain a mystery to me for a few more years.

Learning about geocaching

It wasn’t until I moved to Pennsylvania were I met some individuals in a team building course that were talking about geocaching. The term was foreign to me but what they were describing was not, it immediately made me think of that box I found in a tree trunk 6 years back. I told them my story and that was when they had informed me that on that day I stumbled upon my first cache. They explained the sport to me, how many people are estimated to be engaged in it, the number of caches worldwide, and the various types of caches out there.

I was hooked, I went home and downloaded the app on my phone and then starting finding local caches. My first cache here was a vial hidden in a guard rail that I searched for with my fiancé. I don’t think I’ve completely won her over on the sport yet however I’ll keep trying.

Anyway that is the story of how I became introduced to geocaching, an accidental stumble upon a plastic box in the backwoods of Idaho showed me that there is an international game being played every day, in every country, that ties us all together and give me a sense of unity with those also geocaching throughout the rest of the world.

I’ll use this blog section to share my interesting cache finds as well as anything else that may be exciting going on in my life. Hope you stop back by!