Saturday, 16 December

Last year I placed my first ever geocache out in the woods. I have been geocaching for years, but finally decided to contribute to the sport, by making my very own cache. Of course, I wasn’t going to make it an easy and boring one to find! There are plenty of side-of-the-road easy-to-get geocaches out there, and mine wasn’t going to be one of them.

It would take some hiking, and some figuring out, a fun challenge! But now, more than 8 months later, only two geocachers so far have visited my cache. So did I go overboard with my enthusiasm, did I make it too difficult?

Mt St Helens view from Bells Mountain geo-cacheMt St Helens view from Bells Mountain geo-cacheGeocaching is basically hiding a “treasure” in the outdoors, typically an ammo box containing anything from dollar store junk to cool collectible items. The cache coordinates are then posted on the internet. When someone wants to find a cache, they go online and search for local caches, and download the coordinates of the caches of interest to their GPS units. For basic caches, you just follow the coordinates. But there are also more complicated caches, “multi-caches”, where you not only follow the coordinates, but have to solve clues, and follow multiple steps, to find the geocache.

My cache is a multi-cache. You would have to do a somewhat strenuous hike, collecting clues on the route, while enjoying the great river-, and territorial views. Once at the site, your GPS-, and compass skills would be put to test.

I placed the cache at end of August last year, and right away, the following day, one geocacher logged the first visit to the cache. He was after the FTF achievement (first to find). But then, more than eight months went by, with no more logs. I started wondering, was this overkill? Did I make it too hard?

Then, just a few days ago, a warm and sunny spring day in April, a second visit got logged! I got excited, my cache is not dead! Both visitors, the one last summer, and the recent one, didn’t have any trouble finding the cache, so finding it isn’t the reason for the low amount of logs. But rather it must be the location, the required hike to get there.

Oh well, it was intended to be hard, so I think the cache is all good after all, and I will keep it there for the ones who want some challenge in their geocaching endeavors. My next cache will be an easier one, as one of my friends once suggested: “Make a cache for us flat-landers!”

To get started on geocaching, visit the official geocaching site, www.geocaching.com.

If you would like to check out my cache, here it is: Bells Mountain Trail Cache (to see the coordinates, or download the cache, you have to be registered on geocaching.com, which is free).