Thursday, March 21, 2013

Have you hugged a geocacher today?

Before I get into it, can I please state for the record that I'm totally sick of winter.  Or at least how unpredictable the weather has been.  I've been tracking the weather for the thing this Sunday (I'm scared a lot of people will show and there won't be room in the restaurant - my hope was to chill outside, but not literally).  It's warm - it's cold - it's wet - it's dry - it's snow (wtf!) - it's dreary - it's blue... It's supposed to be spring.  I just want spring.  Where is spring?!

Ahem.  Anyways.  Geocachers, yes, that's what I'm here to talk about, geocachers. Last weekend while I was in the park hiding a box for this weekend's event (Hi! Park), the place was pretty busy and there were folks out there participating in all sorts of activities.  And I guess some of them are geocaching.  And I guess I didn't check my locations right cuz I clearly planted my previous weekend's plant too close to a geocache which was discovered by a nice geocacher, Willipan. This kind soul did the thing that letterboxers everywhere hope a thoughtful geocacher would do: found the box, did not assume it was their cache, have a look-see, signed in, put everything away, registered on AQ, and left a wonderful comment as follows: 

I was out geocaching today and thought I'd found the cache for which I was looking about 10 metres from Ground Zero - what a surprise to find this letterbox instead! I've done geocaching letterboxes before but never a non-geocaching one and certainly never found one by accident - I had to sign up and log it! We were the first to find this one - I put in my geocaching stamp but unfortunately, didn't have my geocaching log book with me to use your beautiful stamp! We never did find the geocache we were hunting, but this was a great surprise!

I sometimes see how geocachers are talked about by the letterboxing community and it sort of makes me sad.  Listen, no one will be more irritated than me when one of my stamps gets traded out by a geocacher who is not paying attention.  But isn't that all it is?  Let's face it, all letterboxes will eventually go missing.  At least if it's a letterboxer, there's a chance they will come to our hobby as well.

And really, they're sort of like our cousins; they're just having a great time in the woods looking for tupperware just like us.  How can you be critical of that? Yes, they play the "game" differently but we all know there's no right or wrong - just different.

So, for posterity, some reasons I love geocachers:
  • When explaining letterboxing to them, unlike a muggle, they get it
  • They're blazing the path for knowledge of these types of hobbies, making it easier to come in and plant in areas that are already primed for the idea
  • They bring new folks to our hobby; let's face it, there are some amazing Ontario letterboxers who came to our community from geocaching
  • They're inspirational when it comes to clues and hides (I mean, just look at this!)
  • On the whole, they're great people just looking for a stump to hide a box in.
Have you hugged a geocacher today?

Happy trails, letterboxers and geocachers!



  1. It was a local geocacher who saved my Hawks Cliff box when it was left out in the open. We met up at Hawks Cliff and he helped us select a new hiding spot and provided the photo clues we are using. We are also sharing a location in Port Stanley accidentally. I offered to move my box since his was obviously there first. His response was that these two boxes would be a way to present our hobbies to each group. There is no reason for geocachers and letterboxers not to get along . . .

    1. That's awesome, Pam! It really is a good way to intermingle... I think if there were more knowledge on both sides of each other's hobby, there would be fewer instances of stamps being traded out...

      I'd love to know numbers on how many geocachers find letterboxes and cause no problems. We'll never know because it's silent... Although, I do recall a number of logs I've read where a non-letterboxer had signed in and noted their find...

  2. Wow, uplifting stories. I'm so glad to hear that the the geocachers in Ontario are so helpful and accommodating.

    That Signal Lamp geocache was cool. I've seen some very interesting puzzle caches on the GC site. I may have to apply some of what I've seen to letterboxing.

    -- Lone R

    1. Well, I personally know a few ;)

    2. Re: the weather. You are so right. I'm tired of it too. You know what they say, if March comes in like a lamb it leaves like a lion. It was pretty nice the first week, especially the 9/10 weekend. I'm seeing 2 degrees for Sunday...not bad.

      I'm going to arrive late-ish on Sunday, on purpose, probably 2:15. If there's a good turn out, this will give a newbie first dibs at a seat.