Cacher of the Month - September 2008
- When did you start Geocaching?
- How did you find out about Geocaching?
- Have you cached in any other provinces, countries?
- Have you ever introduced someone to geocaching? If so, who?
- What are other interests or hobbies that you have (please go into detail / accomplishments)?
April 16, 2005. I had known about geocaching for a while but had never gone to find any. My use of GPS receivers was limited to work (biology type stuff) and wilderness travel. Based on my experience I was asked to teach a navigation course including the use of GPS. I figured that geocaching would be something interesting to add since it was quite popular and I thought it would be a good idea for me to go and find a few (5 or 6) so I could speak with some knowledge - I found those few and many more.
I had friend that did some geocaching and mentioned it in passing one day when they heard that I had a GPSr. I had been using a GPS for finding (and re-finding) botanical treasures for a long time so it might have been a natural progression.
Just the USA and Canada. In Canada I have cached in BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, NS.
I have run a couple of workshops each year on GPS, Navigation (including using those map and compass things), and a few specifically on caching. I have introduced caching to several people in my family.
I have run a couple of caching workshops for schools that went very well - there were lots of kids involved there in those classes. A couple of phys-ed classes and one outreach/community access class.
- Bike riding (both road and MTB)
- Botany (ecology, ethobotany, wild edibles, mushrooms, etc...)
- Sking (cross country),
- snow shoeing
- Wilderness stuff
- Reading - fiction/fantasy literature/most anything else that is printed on a page.
- I really like teaching
I found a pair of hand guns. I didn't find them in a cache but beside a cache.
I think the people who hid the guns figured it was a good, secure, private location - so did the cacher. The container that the guns were hidden in could have been a poorly maintained cache container. I got to explain geocaching more than I really wanted when I phoned the police and then several more times as cruisers arrived at the scene to confirm what I found.
Hmm - my bike and courier bag. Caching useful things include my GPSr, pen/pencil, pocket knife, multi-tool, note book (for botanical lists), some swag for trades, a real map. My partner and some friends would like me to carry a cell phone. Another friend insists that I at least carry 50 cents so when my HPV breaks down or I crash I can call for help.
Muggles - what are those? Usually if I see any I move onto another location and come back later. If this trick doesn't work I just ignore them and they, usually, ignore me.
Foxfiresyxx and Kildonan61 - both have longer single day rides to find caches than I have tried. There are too many great cachers for me to list here but Lizardo and TurdleEggs come to mind, 1Q4J for sure, Kabs for the stories. Every cacher that I have met has been friendly and interesting, someone worth knowing.
My first cache DLSS Monument - is still my favorite because it talks about the Dominion Land Survey. The most fun to create was PI in the Woods. I think this is also my most useful cache. Highway 61 brought back many memories and re-introduced me to TurdleEggs.
The nearest cache to my house is just over 1.5km.
GPS Utility, GSAK, rarely an old Axium PDA. Can I count the city and provincial map I keep in my courier bag as another tool?
Yes. Hiking and Canoeing - but only occasionally since my preference is for low technology: a topo map and magnetic compass. Mostly when I use my GPS when canoeing or hiking I am showing others how to work between the GPSr and a topo map. Generally I find the GPSr screen too limited for making choices about where I want to go. I have used a GPSr since the mid 1980s for doing ecological/botanical work. It is useful to have a GPSr when you are standing in the middle of the forest with no landmarks next to a new rare (or never found in MB) plant and need to return. I have used it when developing some interpretive trails and mapping existing ones. Periodically I have used the measure area features for crops (disease and weeds) and some native community coverage. I got a mapping GPSr last year and have used it a number of times for traveling. I do a fair bit of GIS work where I am employed and have used my GPS for a bunch of GIS associated stuff.
I used my GPSr once when skiing to find my way back quickly. We had been out for a back country day trip and and it was getting late. Over the whole day we were just kind of poking about and it would have taken us a while to backtrack our route and consequently we would have been late getting back. Fortunately I had bookmarked my car and the trip back was a little more Direct. The downside was it was an old GPS12 which did not like getting cold. The screen was very (very) slow to update even keeping the GPSr warm inside my coat.
Travel to about 80% of my finds has been by HPV. This makes it somewhere north of 800 caches. The most common form of transportation is my blue MTB with the longest single day caching ride ~160km. My red road bike is a close second for distance - I got sidetracked one day on my way to BHP and ended up going through Niverville. It was one of those days where the next cache is only another 10km further down the road. It took a month and 340km of riding to find Winnipeg GPS Validation Network. I do have a car and I have found a number of caches driving, usually with friends or family that are not interested in riding to Morris. My brown shoes are the next most common HPV with the longest home-cache-home distance in the range of 25km. I have walked through at few sets of shoes in part finding caches. I have to say that I count a cache as an HPV find if I traveled from my current residence (which could be a tent) to the cache by HPV. I have skied and snowshoed to a number of caches. The most fun but least used transportation is my white HPV (canoe). To count as a find with my canoe I have to walk to the river from my place, paddle to or near the cache, and then return. Since I don't want to leave my HPV on the shore unattended I don't often use this method but it was fun to show up at an event in Kildonan park with a canoe. I do have an aluminum canoe but that has not been caching with me yet.
I enjoy mixing and matching HPV transport - biking and walking of course but also biking and snowshoeing or skiing gets double looks from some people.
In the end for me caching is an excuse to go for a ride (walk, canoe, ski...) and a chance to see something I may not have seen. I have seen so many new parks and green spaces within and near Winnipeg I am continually amazed.