Monday, December 01, 2008

VE goes GEOcaching

In an ongoing quest to keep occupied with something stupid and unimportant so that I don’t get bogged down with real responsibilities I have decided to take up GPS cache hunting.

Like real hunting I’ll get to head out into places no normal person would ever think of going. But in this case my foe isn’t some wild animal using thousands of generations of genetic mutation to devise a strategy of stealth in avoiding being the next Safeway meat special of the day. No, I’ll be matching wits with an even more cunning foe: That of the conflicted introvert with a tendency for obsessive/compulsive behaviors.

They call it GEOcaching! No, it doesn’t involve leaving spitballs or Bratz toys on a Geo Metro automobile. It’s just a fancy name they came up with to cover up their desire to go tramping to the most obscure places on Earth and hiding the most useless items ever conceived. What is the theme of this sport? To boldly go where other idiots have gone before?

But VE, I live a normal life, what on Earth is this ‘sport’?

It’s a good question and one worth explaining. I can’t really explain how you could call this a sport though. It’s not like I’m tackling other cache searchers in a quest to be first. It’s not like there’s some kind of score I get for how quickly I find one. You can’t even do synchronized cache hunting. There aren’t any judges giving you heavily biased scores just because you have a booger hanger or because their sister got dumped by somebody in your country. But I digress…

So the idea is you first buy an expensive GPS locator. This will especially appeal to those of you gadget hoarders. This is a gadget that lets you know exactly where on Earth you are and as long as you know the coordinates of where you are going it will help you get there. If you don’t know either of these pieces, it’s just an expensive gadget and you can still flash it around at the water cooler and buy your own stupid fake cache treasures and tell wild stories of your search adventures...

For those of you actually competent though, there are real web sites that have cache locations for you to go find. When you do, you can put your name on the list in the cache and take a treasure and then replace it with your own treasure. Remember, it’s the concept of finding it and not the item that is important here. Now seriously…if the bank teller told me that and gave me only that advise instead of my withdrawal, I’d strangle him…

But VE, what exactly is a cache?

Another excellent question. You should go on Jeopardy! A cache looks like:

It’s full of useless crap that even Cracker Jacks passed up as their free prizes these days. It is stuff even more useless than a digital telegraph machine with a USB port.

Some caches are placed for their difficulty in finding them. I like that idea. I think I’m going to go out and add a few of my own caches. I’ll have people wading through swamps and across highly toxic biohazards all to find a little box that says “suckers!”

40 comments:

Kurt said...

I posted about this YEARS ago!

Megan said...

I've done this!

VE said...

kurt - I'm gonna look it now and do a comparison post. It won't be pretty...

megan - Did you keep the worthless crap you found? Do you replace it with something even more worthless? Maybe that's the trick; try to find something ever worse to put in the caches.

Matt-Man said...

I hid my virginity and dignity long ago. No one, including myself, has been able to find it since. Cheers VE!!

Roy Scribner said...

I find brewcaching much more enjoyable.

VE said...

matt-man - More like you LOST it! ha ha. I don't think anyone is looking for it though; we like you without your dignity...

roy - Now that seems reasonable; provided we're talking about a good micro of course.

Perpetual Chocoholic said...

We kept seeing people sporadically disappearing into the bush in a field behind our house. We thought they were dealing drugs until we recently figured out they were geocashing.

cathouse teri said...

My sister is very much into geocaching. She has taken me on a couple of "outings" which I enjoyed immensely. It really is a fun sport.. er.. hobby.. er.. thingie to do!

VE said...

perpetual chocoholic - Ha ha. Wait until they start looking for that one I put under your foundation. I told them the house was empty and abandoned and to pay no attention to those squatters!

teri - I actually did one too. I'm pretty good at finding them because I have searched for old beer cans out in the woods before as a hobby. It somehow makes me think where people might stash something. I had a fun time actually; I'm just messin' with the concept.

leelee said...

Wow..there are several 1.2 miles from here....

I'm strangely intrigued..


HUGS!

Mike said...

I've heard of that.

When the prize is good looking blondes with big boobs, I'll buy myself a GPS!

padraig said...

I just got my ARRL Handbook to test for my Technician's (HAM radio) license. That's two orders of magnitude more uselessly nerdy than GEOCaching. Ham Radio operators are so nerdy, they don't even blog about being Ham Radio operators.

Also: I can't visit again until the zipper tongue picture is off the front page. It's freaking me out, man.

VE said...

leelee - Probably your car keys! ;)

Mike - ha ha. You're looking for the "Wild On..." version of this hobby. Try looking in Vegas...

padraig - Congrats! I was waiting for somebody to comment on the tongue! You win. And Ham radios? That's so old school! ha ha. You don't have one of those 600 foot multi-pronged antenna thingys on the roof I hope...

ReformingGeek said...

VE, I thought I was the geek!

For some strange reason my tongue is sore today.

leelee said...

geez...i just went and spent a 1/2 hour fidgeting with geocaching..then on to google earth, which had me viewing my house...and my neighborhood. Like I don;t already know what it looks like...cheesh...

good thing I'm self employed..

HUGS!

PS: yeah that zipper tongue is gross

iamnot said...

I've taken the boys out for this a few times. They enjoyed it, but weren't interested enough to keep it up. I think it was 113 degrees outside at the time though...perhaps the heat stroke discouraged them...little wimps.

I have a stack of 2x3 American flags that I fold up and deposit in caches. You being from the NW and all, I'm sure you could substitute a Che t-shirt or something else appreciated by the locals.
:-)

Giggle Pixie said...

I've heard about this and really want to try it, but alas, I'm GPS-less.

Maybe Santa will answer my wishes for the GPS gadget so I can play too!!

VE said...

reforminggeek - Yeah...I might have to move that picture pretty quick...people are getting grossed out.

leelee - See how it sucks you in! ha ha

iamnot - Ha ha...yeah, try sucking me into your politics! Didn't you know I dress like Che every single day? I leave vote for Nader buttons in the caches...what could be more worthless than those?

VE said...

giggle pixie - Makes it a lot tougher without a GPS...sort of like making cell phone calls without a cell phone...

Bee said...

And now you have given me the perfect plan to dispose of my Split Pea Soup! As yummy as it is, I think I'll be sick of it by Wednesday.

Memarie Lane said...

oooh i've always wanted to try this. maybe when the kids are older...

colbymarshall said...

Ok, this isn't really about this post, but tha tongue picture over on the sidebar is freaking me out...

AngieSS said...

This just sounds like too much work for a bunch of useless crap. Couldn't they at least leave a bottle of Rum or something -- so's it would be worth the trek?!!

There's an idea -- let's just start our own Drunken Geocache. You go in sober and come out sloshed! :)

VE said...

bee - Sounds like the timing was perfect. I'm sure everyone will appreciate finding your split pea soup after trekking into the middle of nowhere!

marie - Beats playing on the freeway...unless there's a cache on the freeway...hmmm...no, I've got to stop coming up with mischevious ideas for placing caches...

colby - Makes your tongue cringe, doesn't it? You know I have to put some edgy stuff on here every now and then. Don't worry, I'll swap it out very soon

aniess - Now you're talking my language...RUM!!! I think that's an excellent idea. Even better - just do a pub crawl, it's less muddy.

Serena said...

I love a good cache as much as the next person, but I ain't doing this. No way, now how! I'm scared spitless of swamps.:)

lime said...

i have a friend who is very into this. he was visiting a mutual friend in bolivia and demanding that said mutual friend drive into a particular area because it's where the cache would be. mutual friend refused politely at first then much more vehemently until he outright refused because the area the geocaching pal was insisting upon entering was extremely dangerous because it was more or less run by some extremely unsavory characters involved in international drug trade.

Jeff said...

My son and I do this together all the time. He's getting a new GPS for Christmas (shhh). Right now we use a laptop with a USB GPS locater believe it or not. And it works pretty well!

We don't normally do the exchange thing though. The most we ever do is sign the little sheet - if there's still room on it.

VE said...

serena - You won't be looking for the caches in Louisiana then I guess!

lime - Well, there goes that idea. I was going to send them to Humboldt county in California for fun...

jeff - Oh jeff, jeff, jeff! Can you imagine what you look like walking around in the boonies looking at a laptop? We'll pretend we never had this discussion...

Quickroute said...

I buried a #2 when I went camping - does that count as buried treasure?

Annie Ha said...

whatever happened to the good old Rand McNally Road Atlas. You know, the foldy kind with the cover that had a snap?

Alex L said...

Sounds like a treasure hunt to me.

Marvel Goose said...

Back when I was slogging on foot to school six miles barefoot in the snow we did something like this. It was called orienteering. You took a compass and a map and followed a course to get to a goal. You walked though a lot of woods and got lost a lot.

But at least there was something nice like chocolate when you got there. That ammo box looks like it is full of Real Estate brochures. Put some old Penthouse Letters books in there -- at least you'll have something to do with your hands when you find the GeoCache.

Wasn't that the name of a car?

Jacki said...

I've never done that myself, but I just read a book recently that involved geocaching. A serial killer was targeting women and then using geocaching sites to lead unsuspecting geo-cachers to the bodies. Hope you don't end up in a similar situation.

The Incredible Woody said...

I had a friend that found a doobie in a cache! And yes, he smoked it.

Sarah said...

I think you might need to create a poll asking readers to vote on what strange/obscure things you should leave in the boxes when you find them!

VE said...

quickroute - Ha ha. That's right up there witht he quality of treasures you will find!

annie ha - That so....paper! And it won't show you how to get to that bog over by the manure patch...

alex - Yeah, without the treasure.

marvel goose - Ha ha. Compass and map? Nobody knows how to use those two together. Come on, that's harder than Rubik's cube! I'll bet those are real estate brochures. They are pretty desperate these days!

jacki - Well that's uplifting! Talk about finding the wrong thing!

incredible woody - Ha ha. Suprised a bunch of officers didn't jump out of the woods and bust him...

sarah - That's an excellent idea for a poll! I love it when you write my blog for me. I'll be able to retire and you can be the dread pirate VE!

Jeff said...

What discussion?

Sarah said...

haha I love a good Princess Bride reference!

VE said...

jeff - This one right here...you know, where I tell you that you look dorky walking around the woods with a laptop and you respond in denial...

sarah - Good catch there. I was wondering if you would catch that...I wasn't disappointed!

The Hussy Housewife said...

That is funny because I was out geocaching just hte other day. We started about 6 years ago..then stopped once we had little booger eaters. NOw my son is 4 and he think it is one big treasure hunt. Plus it is never to early to teach your kids how to use a GPS..so when you try to loose them....they can always find thier way home. I love it..cheap entertainment and excerise.