Do you see the Geocache clearly visible in this photo?
It's the small plastic fake stone in that Saltbush.
This small cache was just tucked under a corner of a huge rock and covered with small stones.
Another average sized cache for in the town, in this case tucked under the edge of tin flashing around animal cages.
I haven’t been Geocaching very long but already I can see some of the things that make some caches and some cachers quite special.
Each cache is memorable in its own way, some you hate with venom, some you don’t like doing at all and still others are moderately joyful, indeed there's a lot in common between those few really good caches.
I've found that I really don’t like micro caches*. Most but not all of these seem to have been placed by people who want no one at all to ever find them. Ever!
Maybe this is what happens when you Geocache in a bad mood? I can see them there, hiding the smallest object with military precision, muttering something about “Find this you ********…..”
Most caches though, seem to follow the gentleman’s formula of being hidden in plain sight, an all together more civilized form of caching.
Ordinary people walk by caches all the time without ever stumbling across them, but those who know what they’re looking for, with GPS stashed on their person, can go straight to them and retrieve them without being noticed.
A little cloak and dagger, a little James Bond but certainly none of your thrashing through the undergrowth like Bear Grills** subduing his dinner.
It had even occurred to me that the City Council had placed many of the local caches to save on their gardening costs.
Most of our local new caches are first found by the same few names and I’m bound to wonder how many of those few work for Local Council gardening dept. Hmmm!...
I prefer larger caches, small to lunchbox sized, and have really enjoyed some of the even larger ‘Ammo box’ style caches, but of course those are all out of town, in the bush or up a dirty great hill usually in the middle of a prickle patch or ants nest.
There are lots of great dry creeks hereabouts but when it does rain enough to fill them… (every 20 -30 years) all the caches would be swept away with the abandoned cars, unlucky campers and startled roos.
Here at least, all of the out of town caches are at the top of hills or way, way out in the bush. (read: Press marching through prickles, thorns, spikes, booboo’s and having the crap scared out of you by disturbed rabbits, emu and roos) Consequently these Geocaches don’t get many visitors, witch kind of defeats the purpose somewhat.
I’m quite sure you can guess what happens to larger caches foolishly hidden within the city.
It’s children, of course that cause the most caches to go missing, my own grandkids use everything outdoors as their play gym. I've taken to observing them in the hope of finding somewhere that small kids can’t go. I'm telling you folks, such a place does not exist within the city…
As I watch the kids use a park bench as a gym set there does not remain one area they do not use…yes, even under!
In fact the last time we were at the local park, miss 6 went exploring into the largest cactus patch in the whole city, over the safety fence and wondering in among the huge thorns and threatening giants as casually as going for a walk anywhere else, how could you hide something that kids wouldn’t stumble across? ..and having found it, they are SO curious.
This, I think is the main limiting factor on geocaching within the city limits.
It’s a stark choice. Either you make small annoying micro caches that most people hate… or you make larger caches and hide them somewhere that no one ever wants to go.
It comes down to this I think.
Some people put out caches for the ‘fame’ (such as it is)
Some like to make a challenge or problem for us to solve. (sadists)
Still others are trying to teach us something. (those that can, do! Those who cant, teach)
Others just do it to personally piss me off. (that’s not my opinion, it’s scientific fact!)
For me? I do it for the cache.
* Think smaller than the message tube they put on carrier pigeons. (yes, really!)
** Action man, bound to go the same way as Steve Erwin.