View Full Version : What got you started?

06-02-2006, 06:39 AM
I am starting this thread partially out of curiosity. How did you become interested in caching? Was it a friend that dragged you kicking and screaming the first time? Did you read an article in a paper, or see a story on TV? I think there will be many varied answers and stories here. What brought some of the older cachers in may be a lot different than what gets someone hooked now. Tell us your story.

Mine is very simple. I had read and article on an in flight magazine while taking a trip. The premise seemed extremely interesting to me. It was a couple years later that I finally went out and purchased my first GPSr for the sole purpose of geocaching. A Garmin Vista, the top of the line E-trex model in 2003. I went with Garmin since I owned a Garmin model 40 that I had bought for my boat when I lived in Florida back in 1995. I did my first hunt here in Brewer on July 6, 2003 and as they say, the rest is history...I'm hooked. I have met so many good people over the last 3 years, I can't wait to see what the future brings not only for me, but for the hobby in general. Now tell us your story.

06-02-2006, 06:53 AM
I remember seeing your early logs, Brad.

For me, I'm not sure just where on the internet, but that's where I read about it. I had been using my GPS for over a year mapping out hundreds of miles of ATV trails. I was still busy with that project when I read about caching, so I put it on the back burner for a while, thinking I may place one up on Chick Hill, less than 1 mile from my house. I had checked back with the site a few times and eventually someone placed one up there before I did. I went and checked out the cache to see what it was like but did not log it. June 30th 2002 I went to MDI and logged my first caches down there. It was not until July 4th that I went back and logged it.

06-02-2006, 06:55 AM
In the summer of '03, we were on a vacation trip across country to Minnesota, then back trhough Canada. While driving in Ontario, we heard 1-hour story about geocaching that sounded VERY interesting. We researched the subject when we got back, bought a GPSr, and the rest is a great experience! :D

06-02-2006, 07:00 AM
Well, Constance and I are very adventurous people and for my birthday a coupl of years ago she went to a web site ( and printed out a bunch of caches. She cut out just the name and the coords and wrapped them in individual boxes. She gave me these little boxes for my birthday but said I could not open them right now. Her Idea was that we could only open them one at a time on the weekend when we where stuck and had no idea what to do or we where bored. She took them from all over the state and the idea was to get us out of the routine of going to the same places all the time. I already had a gps so it seemed easy enough. Then we got addicted and started an account and off we went:D

06-02-2006, 07:12 AM

I got started the same as everyone else. You see when 2 adults fall in love they begin to have feelings for one another and well ummmmm must I go on. I remember it as "the birds and te bees".:D :p :D :p :D :p

06-02-2006, 07:35 AM
This thread started me thinking so I briefly looked back at a couple of things when I started caching. The fall of 2002 our son was in Alaska so we bought him a Garmin Vista with the mapping software for a Christmas present as he loves the outdoors. I wanted to be sure everything was working properly so I set it up for him and starting playing around with its features. While doing some research on the internet I ran across GC.COM and saw there was a geocache a couple of miles from home. It looked interesting so I asked my wife to get me one for Christmas....which she did. On Christmas Day I opened it up...loaded the software...hand-loaded the coords to two caches, Homeworld and Ft. Point Delight and found them before Christmas dinner. It wasn't until we did Squaw Head cache together, 4 days later, that Charron became hooked. :) 6 of the first 12 caches we did are now archived. I still don't know what my first FTF was and don't have the time to read back through but I do remember my first FTF with my grandson.:) Quarry Rocks.

06-02-2006, 07:47 AM
My doctor told me to walk as rehab. after suffering an injury. Walking up and down the street bored the life out of me. One morning, while reading the KJonline, I came across "Outdoors with Children" by Wendy Almeida (Robotbunny). Having 2 little girls, we are always looking for new and fun things to do. In the article she mentioned geocaching and provided a link to This really sparked my interest. I had all the tools needed by coincidence; eTrex personal navigator and an old PALM and can't ever remember being without an internet connection (well, I can remember but since the "net" has been available, I've had a connection). All I needed was a caching handle and we are ready to cache. Choosing a handle turned out to be the hardest part for us and decided that the girls being "treasures" and treasure hunting sounding like lots of fun, we incorporated that into out handle, lo and behold Trezurs*-r-*fun.

On May 5, 2005, I headed out solo to find "The Bog Road" Cache by Smitty and Co. just across town from where we live. There are two old bridge trestles in that location, one being the old Narrow Gauge and the other, the old vehicular bridge that collapsed. The reason I mention this is because I went to the wrong location and then tried to realize why my GPSr was wrong. I looked at the coordinates and they didn't match up with the coordinates given. I figured I had the foolish GPS set up wrong or that it was a piece of junk. Then I remember the words of a pilot friend of mine, "Always trust your compass, never question it no matter how wrong you think it is." Reading the numbers, I slowly managed to get where I was suppose to be and with Smitty's great coordinates I found the cache. I was hooked!!!! First thing I did when I got home was dig out the users manual and learn how to use the GPSr and with all the time off from work to rehab. my injury, I managed to rack up a lot of finds quickly and become hopelessly addicted to geocaching!!

I'm back to work after a 6 month rehab. and find that it really does interfere with my caching, LOL!!!

Cache On!!!!!

06-02-2006, 08:34 AM
My experience is perhaps opposite most. Instead of finding out about geocaching and buying a GPSr, I bought a GPSr and then found out about geocaching.

I had been kayaking for a while with some old buddies, primarily in NH. I always borrowed a kayak and finally decided to get my own. When I got one, I went out a few times by myself and found that I really needed to know a little more about where I was and, more importantly, how to get back to the start. I did some research and found a GPSr that was waterproof and would do well for kayaking.

I'd had the GPSr for about a month before I investigated the geocaching options. I had seen them when I was learning about the unit but I didn't bother with them. It was nearly another month before I printed out several pages and punched in the numbers. Back in Spetember, my first cache was a kayak cache. I did about 4 that day and I've been caching ever since.

My first 50 or so finds were solo. I'd venture to guess that now more than half have been with another cacher or in a group.

Interesting question Brad. Thanks for starting this thread!

Hiker Twins
06-02-2006, 08:35 AM
For lack of anything to get the guys for Christmas we bought them each a gps for Christmas of 2000 which they never used! In August 2001 I happened to read a news article about brdad and Thornbird Sanctuary and geocaching. I scanned the article and emailed it to Twin One and a couple days later we found the cache at Kineowatha and a DNF at Monument Hill. That was it, we were hooked!

06-02-2006, 09:01 AM
It was October of 2004 and Troy came home from school with the story. Dad there's free stuff out there and all we need is a GPS. Needing to teach him a lesson of life, Troy there is NO free stuff and what the heck is a GPS. A month later at his parent teacher conference, one of his teachers had an eTrex that I was showed. He also gave us the address on a post it note. I went home and left it next to the computer. Just before christmas I looked into the website and was hooked immediately. There were alot of caches around our home. I ran up to L.L.Beans the next day and bought him a GPS for christmas. We found " cache on the fly " well Troy found it christmas day 2004. We have been caching ever since and love spending the time together outdoors. The people, the places, the stories. I would not have met you all, espicially Karen who still remains our best find, while geocaching.

06-02-2006, 09:29 AM
Like most other things in my life, my intro to caching was a mistake.... I was browsing the internet one day for software to use with my GPSr and stumbled across geocaching... puzzled about the game I did a search for geocaching... and one thing led to another and the rest was history...

06-02-2006, 10:43 AM
My Uncle (Senior Dave) took John out for a few geocaches while on a family trip to Ft Lauderdale. John told me all about it and I kinda brushed it off. A year or so later I was looking for a birthday gift and thought about the GPSr, (although I seem to recall he kept bringing up how helpful it would be to do this and that and the other). Now, though we still go out mostly together, I'm WAY more addicted than he is. And we took my brother and his wife out shortly after we started and they WAY surpass addicted.

06-02-2006, 11:06 AM
I looked up an old radio co-worker on the internet and found him in a Yahoo group for geocachers in Nevada. He's really enthusiastic and wasted no time getting me enthusiastic too! I just can't stand knowing that they are all around me. That was in March. In May I needed to be in Minnesota for a conference and he flew up there so we could be cache buddies for a couple of days. We didn't break any records but we sure had fun!

06-02-2006, 12:01 PM
Great thread.

Like a few of you I bought my GPSr originally for other purposes -- mainly to use as a navigational aid while four wheeling and specifically to use while four wheeling on the ATV on the Sunrise Trail off Rt. 9.

A buddy of mine (let's call him Joe) and I were out for a day ride last June with the idea being to off load at the Rt. 9 Snack Bar in Clifton and ride to Nicatous Lodge for lunch. We packed some cans of fuel, drinks and the trusty Delorme map.

Unfortunately, the trails were not well marked and we ended up getting lost. We figured it was no big deal though since we had both the Delorme and the local ATV trail map . . . the only problem is that we began to realize that if you have no point of reference as to where you are it's impossible to know where to go (sort of a metaphor for life.) When you're in the woods, often one blue pond on a map looks the same as the five other ponds you passed not more than a mile or so away on the ride in.

We ended up riding in a big half circle and ended up on (I believe) Chick Hill. It had a great view and was nice, but it was not where we wanted to go. In addition we met up with another couple who willingly shared their packed lunch with us since we were quite hungry and in return we shared some of our gas. It was a bonding moment, but it was also one of those "well duh" moments when I knew I needed -- not wanted -- a GPSr to keep me from getting lost while ATVing.

My wife knows that I am never obsessive-compulsive except when it comes to comparision shopping . . . I always like to research products and find out what has the best deal, price, what people like/dislike, etc. And so I went to the internet and began to research GPS receivers and somewhere in that search I stumbled on to

It sounded interesting and I figured it might be a nice side hobby along with four wheeling in the summer . . . plus I figured it would also be another selling point to convince my wife that I would truly utilize this $300 piece of hardware. "See Hon. I can use this for ATVing, snowmobiling, driving directions and this hobby called geocaching."

I bought my Magellan in late-June, signed on to in early-July as a member to find out more information and successfully found my first cache (The now archived Cornfield Cache) on July 17th (after one failed attempt a week earlier -- at the time I still didn't know how or that there was a "go to" point-to-point feature and instead I kept trying to "line" up the numbers on the screen to match the numbers in the posted cord.) I can still remember the excitement that I felt and thrill of finding that hidden cache . . . and immediately afterwards I went up to do Noreasta's Frye Mountain cache as the second . . . and after that I was helplessly hooked.

Ironically, while I use my GPS all the time while snowmobiling to mark trails (for the club and to figure out where I am and make maps afterwards to see where I went and how far I went), ATVing (for the same reason) and as a driving aid (to get to unknown locations) I find myself mainly using the GPSr for geocaching . . . which was originally only a minor reason/justification for buying a GPS receiver.

Oh, and the knickname . . . my real name is Jason . . . but few people call me that. In high school I was "Oliver" named after a nerdy, do-gooder, klutz of an angel on one of those ABC After School Specials. In college I was known as "Psycho" . . . we won't go there as to why. When I started working at the Bangor FD one of the Assistant Chiefs started calling me Jake. Some firefighter told me that probationary firefighters in Boston are called "Jakes" . . . which is true. This is not true in Bangor, ME however. The knickname stuck before I learned that I was knicknamed after the Assistant Chief's bassett hound, Jakob . . . and ironically enough Jakob had a "girlfriend" named Heidi (my wife's name.)

06-02-2006, 01:37 PM
I bought our gps to help me on my snowmobile trips. I liked to explore some of the side trails but the problem with that was that some of those side trails would keep branching off and when you tried to come back the way you came it was hard to remember all the right and left turns you had to make. I bought the gps to help me with that. The other reason is I wanted to plot my trip so I could see where I had been when I came home after the trip. When snowmobiling you take a lot of logging road and you go to some around the way places to get to your final destination. You would be amazed at you actual route and I am still amazed when I plot some of them off the gps.

One day I met a kayaking buddy and in there yahoo profile they listed geocaching as one of there interest. I asked them what it was and when they explained I thought it sounded interesting. So I did some research and found the GC web site and Tink and I tried one (Jims Puddle), we were not very successful the first time, but we went back the next day in a canoe this time and saw what we did wrong and could our first cache. Sine then we have been caching as a hobby or on weeks when we are not busing doing some of our other hobbies.

06-02-2006, 03:47 PM
I fell into geocaching quite by accident. One day while surfing the internet I came across an article about it. There was a reference about and I went to it and was a lurker there for about a month when I decided to do some more research into a good GPS'r. After a couple of months lurking and researching I decided to purchase a Garmin Vista off from Ebay. Right after that I purchased my first digital camera and they both complimented each other. I just loved going to places I had never been to before and found some absolutely beautiful spots where I could take pictures and even post them to the website.

Oh and before I get too far ahead of myself while at the forums one day I happened to find out about Clayjars site. So I decided to inquire in there about anybody being from Maine that would be interested in showing me the ropes on this newfound activity.

Well wouldn't you know it but a guy named Brdad was in there at that time and he piped up and said he would be willing to help me out. We set up a time and place to meet which was at the China Scool Forest cache on a Saturday morning when he would be available. We introduced ourselves to one another and he showed me how to use the GPS and I found my first cache there.

The rest is history you could say. I did eventually have the opportunity to adopt the China School forest cache from the teacher and his students who originally put it there as it had some special significance to me being my first find and all. I refer to Brdad as my mentor now and we have become great friends, along with so many other people that I have met thanks to this great activity.

The people that I have met and the friends that I have made has been probably the most positive thing that has come out of geocaching and I have seen more of this beautiful state of ours in the 3 plus years I have been caching than my whole life living here. I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my adult life geocaching and hopefully will be making many more friends along the way. :) :) :)

06-02-2006, 06:28 PM
I went on a mountain bike trip with a bunch of friends. We had a great time and I thought, wow!, I gotta come back here again. Well, the summer passed and after winter skiing, I remembered going to a really great little trail system; But what town was it in and where was the trail head? I bought a gps just to keep track of the cool places Iíve been.

Then, one day, I was reading the posts on the and read this post:

I found Ferry Beach Cache on 3Jan02 and the rest is a long sorted tail!

Cache'n Jacksons
06-02-2006, 09:20 PM
We had always been outdoors people... we had taken the kids on many hikes and camping trips and hit a lot of the natural features listed in the Delorme Gazetteer for ME & NH. So I guess it was serendipity when I read an article in the January 2003 issue of Discover magazine about geocaching. It seemed like the perfect activity for us: outdoors, plenty of small adventures, treasures for the kids and some hi-tech gadgets. I read up on it for a month or so as the snow melted and printed out a bunch of the pages. I 'borrowed' my dad's unused Garmin GPSIII and made our first attempt in March, but couldn't find the cache under the snow. Our next cache try was a multi which we couldn't finish because one of the hints was covered with ice! Finally in April we returned and found the multi and another traditional in that day. Found one the next weekend, then two after that, then 3, then 4... etc, etc. It has got more difficult lately as the kids are getting older (teenagers now) they would rather hang out with their friends than geocache. It has slowed things down a bit but Donna and I have gone out together a couple times which is fun. And, yes, the GPSIII is still going strong! :)

06-03-2006, 01:35 PM
I've always treasured the friendship of the IT guys where I work. They are kind enough to call me "geek" and keep me pretty well updated on all the cool technology they think I might enjoy. Randy (RanMan22) showed me his GPSr one morning, told me about geocaching, and by the end of the day, I had my own and was ready to go hunting!

It was Memorial Day weekend, 2003, and one of my stepsons and his wife were up visiting me. It was a special time for us, since their dad, my husband of 24 years, had just passed away the previous January. I was still a bit of an emotional wreck, and really needed something new to latch on to. Not wanting to curl up in the house and feel sorry for myself - I took up geocaching - what amazing therapy.

That first weekend, we did the "Brady Cache" in Bangor and while we were hunting, we met EGSG on the trail. Sharon and I had worked together, many years before, though I had never met Ed. As they said much later at an event we atttended together, "We knew you were hooked from that first day!" And, it's true, I was, and am.

I did about 60 caches with the kids, my cousin, my friends (some of them kicking and screaming), my sister (who would much rather golf) and by myself. Then I went to my first geo-event in Augusta, where I met the famous brdad and his son and we began caching together. Many caches later, I can't imagine life without geocaching or my geocoach, and I will be forever grateful for my geeky friend who said, "Hey, Lee, take a look at this!"

06-04-2006, 12:25 PM
I really liked reading how some of you got started in this great pastime. Now some more of you need to add your tales here as well. ;)

Beach Comber
06-04-2006, 01:12 PM
I learned of the great fun from one of the Maine's early cachers ......... Noreasta. He explained the concept, which sounded interesting, but I don't think I could really understand what great fun it would be until I went out to find a cache. Imagine this - the first hunt I went on with him was a DNF - too funny - maybe that's how I got headed down that path so easily - LOL. Just the same, it clearly held great potential so I purchased a GPS and away I went. I began an adventure that I didn't even realize was possible - great fun! great people! great places!

06-04-2006, 03:27 PM
Hmm How I got started, it was from TAT telling me about it and I am not sure if my first cache was Eartha or some of the caches that TAT did on the way to kentucky. After thinking about it and looking around for a long time I finnally broke down and ordered mt fisrt GPS on ebay and started doing it on my own and have loved it. Now that my daughter is out of the house nadI have time I have found it a great way to get out and explore in the afternoons after work on on the day off when you have nothing to do.

Shortley after getting I did learn a valuable lesson though, Do not plot the shortest route to a location on your GPS in the winter and give it to your daughter and ex-wife when they are driving your car........ almost lost my daughter, car and my GPS to a bay :)

I have had some great times, met some really cool people, and had some real fun adventures so far and am looking for a whole lot more in the years to come.


I would tell you when I found my 1st cache but I lost that account so I had to go back and refind a few caches. :)

06-04-2006, 07:36 PM
We first got started when one of my daughter's classmates ( Hanson Rd explorers) told us about it. It sounded interesting. They told us about the cache right behind the China School and the gc website. After, studying the directions, my daugther, myself and my mother (Fairfield Folks) headed out to see what it was all about. Well, we were successful and had a blast. Couldn't wait to do the next one. My son noticed our excitement and said he would go with us sometime. I almost fell to the floor as he thinks everything is "lame." Soon after we changed our name from chinagirls to chinacachers.
We have since acquired a garmin etrex....still trying to figure it out. We look forward to doing lots more. It's been a great way for us to get out as a family and enjoy the outdoors!

06-08-2006, 01:08 AM
An ex-boyfriend introduced me to the hobby while we were dating. I think my use of "the force," my "geo-sense" for finding them, ticked him off. :) I told him it was beginner's luck....

When the relationship ended (his choice), I decided that I would by my own GPSr, as sort of a way to re-claim something I enjoyed from the relationship (though I decided early on that I wouldn't find the caches he owns -- Hey, I may be crazy, but I'm no stalker). To go out and find caches on my own terms has been awesome. I had forgotten how much I loved nature, and Lord knows I need the exercise. Plus the technology is just way too cool for a nerd-girl like me to pass up!! :rolleyes: It's brought me closer to other people in my life as I've shared it with them, especially my Mom, whom I never thought would become a geo-addict like me!

So, I guess I've traded one love for another; I lost the boyfriend, but gained a hobby that is really like no other. Strange the way life is, isn't it? Sometimes out of the worst kind of situations, new windows of opportunity suddenly appear.... :o

06-08-2006, 06:28 AM
Three years ago my old buddy Don(number seven) and myself made a five mile snowshoe trail up and over Russel Mt. Later we were trying to lay out where the trail was on a Topo map,we weren,t having a lot of luck.The next morning was a sunday so Don shows up at the store and saids lest go to L.L.Beans and get a gps.I have to admit I really didn't know what he was talking about,but we went and he bought a geko 201.He spent days climbing the mt. coming home and putting the waypoints on a map.He was like a kid with a new toy,but everytime I would go with him the batterieswere dead,the reception wasn;t good or he couldn't remember how he had done it before.I wasn't impressed,give me a compass anyday.

This spring his X tells him she and her husband are geocaching in S.Me and its lots of fun.So Dons saids we should try it,hey its outdoors and envolves everything we like to do.You know the rest of the story,he's hooked and I'm addicted.In only a few months I have found so many places in this state,a state I've lived in for 58 years,that I never knew exsisted.I also bought a Etrax and have learned how to use it.Now if I could just learn how to type!!!

06-08-2006, 08:59 AM
Well Its like this i saw thie thing in the paper. seem liked it would be fun.
and i figured maybe just maybe i would find a lost female geocacher lost and i would lead her to my place opps i mean out of the woods.
but so far all i hjave found is 1 xxx dvd no woman and no blow up dolls but ill keep looking .

06-08-2006, 01:37 PM
Well Its like this i saw thie thing in the paper. seem liked it would be fun.
and i figured maybe just maybe i would find a lost female geocacher lost and i would lead her to my place opps i mean out of the woods.
but so far all i hjave found is 1 xxx dvd no woman and no blow up dolls but ill keep looking .

What about spunky? She seems to have a lot of people talking about her lately.:D :D :D :D

Cache Maine
06-08-2006, 01:53 PM
An ex-boyfriend introduced me to the hobby while we were dating.

My story is vaquely similar....however I introduced caching to the ex-boyfriend. He had heard of it before, but never found any. I had heard of it just a few days earlier and just had to find out what it was about. We set out to find our first cache, Sanborn Pond, without a gps, about two years ago. (Actually, this Sunday, June 11, 2006 will be my 2nd Anniversary for caching.) It wasn't long before I was hooked. We found a few here and there, placed a few and eventually, I started finding caches on my own, more and more of them, and he found less. Caching was suddenly how I wanted to spend my free time so I launched my solo career and it's been non-stop ever since.

06-09-2006, 10:34 PM
it's pretty interesting to read how so many people adapted their lives around geocaching... people that were at work, or tromping on the trails now planning their days to fit in some caches. It definitley makes some boring days a bit more exciting. I love it when I'm at work and just happen to be lookin at the GPS and see a cache within a short distance of the route I'm driving. (it's just for that reason that I started enjoying the stop and gos, and the little micros here and there, it's a great excuse to stop and stretch) :D :D :D

The Family Three
06-12-2006, 01:35 PM
Hello everyone, we are The Family Three...(old parents and an adult son!) Hubby mentioned a GPS system a few weeks before our 28th anniversary and since he's the hiker in the family I thought it was a great idea to get him one. On Mothers Day we took it out for a spin and we were hooked! And what a plus to have our son along...he says it reminds him of our Boy Scout days! (Long time ago!) Of course, once it stops raining his motorcycle will be calling:) Last weekend we had one of my sisters and her husband joining us and now another one is interested. People have been so helpful and friendly...thank you!

06-12-2006, 02:49 PM
Welcome aboard Family of Three. If there is anything geocaching related that we can help you with just ask and I'm sure there will be someone who will pipe in and give you the help that you may need.

This website is run by our own Rick (Attroll ) of Blazing Trolls and does a great job of taking care of the site for us. We are quite an eclectic group of people from all walks of life with one thing in common and that is the love of geocaching.

I would like to invite you to our forum chats that we have on Monday and Wednesday nights. Mondays is kind of for all the newbies that we have who might have any questions about geocaching and Wednesday evenings are kind of potluck and the discussions can be quite non geocaching some nights but most people have some fun with either nights. We usually chat at around 8 PM on those 2 nights if that is something you would interested in.

I would also like you to check out our photo gallery where we have some quite talented people who have posted some great photographs for all to enjoy. And one other thing we have that should be used more is the links section where you also can find loads of info on caching.

I know some people have complained that our topics of conversation here in the forums can be quite heated at times but in the long run we are all friends and after the debates and discussions are over we truely are good friends.

Happy Caching Haffy John Hafenecker

06-12-2006, 02:56 PM
Just chiming in here . . . welcome Family of Three.

06-30-2006, 10:41 PM
I've always treasured the friendship of the IT guys where I work. They are kind enough to call me "geek" and keep me pretty well updated on all the cool technology they think I might enjoy. Randy (RanMan22) showed me his GPSr one morning, told me about geocaching, and by the end of the day, I had my own and was ready to go hunting!
Many caches later, I can't imagine life without geocaching or my geocoach, and I will be forever grateful for my geeky friend who said, "Hey, Lee, take a look at this!"

It's true, I created a monster...

And hey -- who are you calling a geek? ;)