ProGeocaching Quality in geocaching

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Why we geocache

Today I thought I'd talk about something different.

I was out finding a cache (GC2Z9KW) today in the bush that is near where I live. As it turns out it was an excellent cache. The container was large... yes large! It was hidden in a beautiful piece of bush near a small creek. It was really worth the several kilometre walk to find it.

Spring has sprung here in Sydney and the wildflowers are out and are sight to behold.

One of the big reasons why we go geocaching is to enjoy the outdoors. It's about adventures and experiences, and one of the great experiences is enjoying creation at its best.

Because I am out in the bush so much I thought that I should learn more about the local flora and fauna. So I bought a book and a CD about plants that grow locally. Now, I'm certainly not an expert on the subject, but it's nice to be able to walk through the bush and identify the various plants that I encounter. It's also good to watch the changing seasons and know the different times that plants bloom. It gives you a closer connection with nature.

I got my camcorder out and recorded a small sample of blooms that you'll see if you take the time stop and smell the ... err wildflowers.

Go out and enjoy your local piece of the outdoors.


How to solve puzzle, or mystery geocaches

DJHobby is well known around Bloomington, Indiana for his innovative puzzle geocaches. In this interview he gives some tips on how to solve puzzle, or mystery geocaches.

Some of the tips he suggests include:

  • Understand that Groundspeak rules say that a cache should be no more than 2 miles away from the initial co-ordinates, which narrows down where you need to look;
  • Look for patterns in the numbers;e.g. N for north.
  • Puzzle designers use a variety of encryption methods including braille, morse code, the letters on a telephone dial; keyboard - numbers above the letters, etc.
  • Google Earth.  Use the ruler tool to look at the area within 2 miles of the posted co-ordinates;
  • Try to using Fizzycalc;
  • Use code-breaking websites e.g. look up code-breaking on Wikipedia;
  • Look at the source code on webpages.  (e.g. right click somewhere on the web page and select "View Page Source). Clues are often hidden there.
  • Google is your friend.  Search on terms used in the description.

Apologies for the poor quality sound.  It was a rainy day and we did the interview in a noisy restaurant. I have put captions in there so that you don't miss anything.


How to build a Sneaky Birdhouse Geocache

In this video, MonsterCatAmbush in Bloomington, Indiana gives away the secrets of his latest geocache. He built a very sneaky birdhouse geocache that you can't open... that is, unless you solve the puzzle and let the birdy help you find a way in.

If you live near Bloomington you really need to check out this video. Of course he only shows you how to open the geocache - not how to solve the puzzle. For that you'll need to do some ornithological research.

This is another example of a high quality geocache. Hopefully you find some inspiration for your next geocache. I know of at least one geocacher who was inspired to build a more creative geocache since watching MonsterCatAmbush.