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Find the Right Geocaching Party for You

Word on the street is, Mega-Events are the best thing since sliced bread

 

These geocaching parties of 500+ people offer more than a meet-and-greet of other geocachers—though that’s bound to happen too. Mega-Events are more like a celebration of all facets of the hobby we love. Often centered around a theme (ahem, *Pirates*), Mega-Events happen all over the world and are a must for every geocacher. Find one near you.

Geowoodstock

Were you there? Can you find yourself? GeoWoodstock XII.

Living in or visiting Germany? You'll never be short on awesome events.

Living in or visiting Germany? You’ll never be short on awesome events.

Not sure if Mega-Events are your thing?

 

Geocaching HQ’er Chris (Rock Chalk) discusses his experiences at four Mega-Events this past year, and you can be sure that no two Mega-Events are alike.
 By Chris Ronan

I’ve had the good fortune (and the necessary vacation time) to attend four Mega-Events in 2014. I’ve found Mega-Events to be much like any geocaching event in that they reflect the personality and geocaching style of the host community. However, they’re larger than typical events, as an event must have 500+ attendees to achieve Mega-Event status.

At this time last year, I had no idea what a Mega-Event was about, or whether I’d enjoy attending. Perhaps my experiences might be useful as you peruse the list of upcoming Mega-Events around the world.

 

S*W*A*G’s Yuma Mega #11
Held in Yuma, AZ, this was my first Mega-Event. I lived in Kansas at the time, so this was a wonderful mid-winter break from Midwestern winter. It was my first experience with Lab Caches, which took me on a great tour through the area. There’s a great variety of caching around Yuma—from power trails such as the Arizona Star Geo-Art and the S*W*A*G Geo-Art to higher-terrain hiking and climbing caches.

Logbook at the S.W.A.G. Yuma Mega event.

Logbook at the S.W.A.G. Yuma Mega-Event.

 

MOGA 2014
Unlike the Yuma Mega-Event, MOGA is held in a different place each year. The 2014 version took place in Athens, OH in late March. The perfect time for a road trip from Kansas! MOGA was where I experienced my first and only geocaching competition. The organizers took a different approach to Lab Caches, but they were just as enjoyable as what I’d seen in Yuma. The area offered a wonderful variety of geocaches. MOGA 2015 will be held in Jackson, MO, less than two hours from St. Louis.

A map-style logbook at the MOGA Mega-Event.

A map-style logbook at the MOGA Mega-Event.

Geowoodstock XII
Geowoodstock XII was held just 30 minutes from St. Louis, in the historic river town of St. Charles, MO. The immediate area is more urban than Yuma or Athens, which meant yet another different style of caching. Fittingly, the Lab Caches focused on the area’s amazing history. Speaking of history, GeoWoodstock XIII is to be held in Boonsboro, MD. I could talk for days about all the great caching in that area, but definitely don’t miss the Wherigo at Antietam National Battlefield. It’s one of my favorite caches ever!

If you're lucky, you might see Signal at a Mega event.

If you’re lucky, you might see Signal at a Mega-Event.

3IEE
Shortly after joining the staff of Geocaching HQ, I took a weekend to enjoy my first international Mega-Event in Duncan, British Columbia. 3IEE was a complete departure from my previous three Mega-Events, as it focused on EarthCaches. I’m no geology genius, but I walked away feeling like even I might be able to construct an enjoyable EarthCache, thanks to the many educational opportunities at the event. The Lab Caches introduced me to the beautiful Cowichan Valley. And, of course, I nabbed my first Canada caches, which were very cool!

At the International EarthCache Mega-Event!

At the International EarthCache Mega-Event!

I’ve had the chance to meet geocachers from around the world and enjoy very different geocaching experiences in some neat places. In fact, I’ve already booked another vacation to sunny Arizona for S*W*A*G Yuma Mega Event #12 on February 8, 2015. See you there!

More Features on the Geocaching App for Premium Members

MailerImage_06302014_IntroAppsForEveryone_vFINAL_BLOG

The perks of being a Geocaching Premium member just got better. Besides unlocking the powerful search and listing tools on the website, now when you sign in to the free official Geocaching App, you’ll have a few extra features:

List View – See geocaches in a new way with the List View.

Filters – Filter your geocache search results by distance, Favorite Points, size, difficulty and terrain.

The perks for Geocaching Premium members will keep getting better and better as we upgrade our app. Stay tuned for more and if you haven’t yet, upgrade to Geocaching Premium.

How to Claim a Geocaching FTF (First to Find)

 

Ping! That’s the sound of your phone or email notifying you when a new geocache is published nearby. Grab your geo-bag, gps device, and get moving… you want to be the FTF (First To Find).

 

Discovering new geocaches before anyone else. Image by @gc_steph

Discovering new geocaches before anyone else. Image by @gc_steph

 

Why would I want to be FTF?

Being FTF on a geocache is an exciting experience. You get to discover the newly published geocache prior to everyone else in the community and you get to brag about it ;) . On many occasions, geocache owners will leave a small gift for the first geocacher to discover their cache. Prizes? Heck yes!

 

Photo by @officialtinysuperman

Photo by @officialtinysuperman

Cash prize! Image by Instagrammer @ruznuz

Cash prize! Image by Instagrammer @ruznuz

 

How do I set up instant notifications to let me know when a new geocache is published (only applicable to Premium Members)?

You can custom build notifications under Premium Member features.

  1. Go to the Add Instant Notification page
  2. Name the notification
  3. Choose a cache type to monitor (e.g. Traditionals, Events, etc.)
  4. Choose the types of logs you want to see (if you are just looking for newly published caches, choose “Publish Listing”)
  5. Set the location (central point) and distance (around that point) you want to watch.
  6. Check the email listed in the “Send to” drop-down menu. (If you would like to send Instant Notifications to an alternate email,you will need to manage your email addresses first.)
  7. Check “Enable Notifications”.
  8. Select “Create Notification” and you are set!

For addition information on Instant and Text Notifications please go here.

FTF! Image by @driftsolo

FTF! Image by @driftsolo

If I’m not a Premium Member, how do I find newly published geocaches in my area?

  1. Go to the “Find a Geocache” page and do a search by your state/province. Then sort by placed.

2. If you have a Premium membership, you can get a similar search from the homepage in two (later one) steps:

– Save your home coordinates in your account settings.

-On the homepage, click on the search icon (magnifying glass) in the “Search for Nearby Geocaches” section. Sort the list by “Placed” and you’ve got the newest geocaches near your home!

 

How can I add FTF to my statistics?

Geocaching.com does not have a feature that showcases FTFs, as Geocaching HQ does not regulate or manage FTFs. However, many geocachers use outside statistics-generating sites such as GSAK.net or MyGeocachingProfile.com to display their FTFs on their profile pages.

 

Now go and search, young grasshopper. 

Young grasshopper

Young grasshopper

 

How will you celebrate your first FTF? Pancakes?

FTF Pancakes

FTF Pancakes posted using #geocaching @Guwisti

 

 

Movember Means: Must-caches

Article written by Janelle Saylor

 

Incognito ammo can

Incognito ammo can

As men around the world started to grow their facial hair in honor of Movember, we wondered about mustache-themed caches, trackables, coins, and geocachers that could be out there. And we found facial hair from a can is pretty popular. Most geocaches encourage people to use a mustache in the geocache to share a picture of themselves, stache’d up, on the geocache page. Here are some of our furriest finds:

‘Stache Caches:

GC415QR Movember - Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

GC415QR Movember – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuzzy, Furry, Fun.

GC3F6P2: Facial Hair – Redmond, Washington, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GC338VM Moustache Cache – Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GC57VAQ Moustache Cache – Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, United States

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GC37WY0 Moustache Geocache - Bourne, East Midlands, United Kingdom

GC37WY0
Moustache Geocache – Bourne, East Midlands, United Kingdom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trackables:

What about “a’sttaching” one to a Travel Bug then acquiring a few fun photos along the way?

TB214CA  PCTM - Picture Crazy Travel Mustache

TB214CA
PCTM – Picture Crazy Travel Mustache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TB4XPHF – Ridiculously Large Mustache

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Geocoins:

Oh these soup strainers are clever…

Crumb Catcher Coin Kid

TB665G3 Geocoin Club November 2013 – Movember Geocoin even comes with a handy spot for inserting a “photo-op” stick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TB5XQY3  “the Mustache made me do it” traveled 3,392 miles before finally landing on the upper lip of its owner.

TB5XQY3
“the Mustache made me do it” traveled 3,392 miles before finally landing on the upper lip of its owner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And finally, no blog about geo-staches would be complete without an honorary mention of Mr. and Mrs. Mysterious, aka TheVillans who bill themselves as, “the most feared geocaching team on the planet!!!” This dastardly duo caches in disguise leaving a comic book and a calling card in their wake. Muhahahaha!!

TheVillans

TheVillans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do you must-cache? Share your photos in the comments and tell us about your fall-foliage and folic-y fun. :-{)

 

 

 

Explore the hidden underground. – Grotte de L’ Observatoire (GC2HC3E) – Geocache of the Week

The main room of the cave. Photo by geocacher irisisleuk

The main room of the cave. Photo by geocacher irisisleuk

Geocache Name:

Grotte de L’ Observatoire (GC2HC3E)

 

Difficulty/Terrain Rating:

1/2

Why this is the Geocache of the Week:

Monaco is known for being a playground for the rich and famous. During a stroll through the city, you’re bound to see incredible yachts, fancy sports cars and maybe even a movie star or two. But there’s more to Monaco than just luxury and relaxation. Just outside the city lies an amazing cave system. Many people visiting the area may not ever know it’s there, but geocachers do. The EarthCache at this location has introduced travelers to another aspect of Monaco that they won’t soon forget.

 

What geocachers are saying:

“WOW!! I planned to try earthcaches while I was on holidays but didn’t look too much in to the details involved. We got lost trying to find this (lack of planning on my side), but it was so worth it when we got there! I was amazed at the whole experience. Thanks so much for this earthcache, my favourite so far and therefore very worthy of a favourite point!” – sarahmur

“Short stop in Monaco. What a marvelous little city with great architecture and lovely boats. I loved it and found a lot of secret places on my hunt once around the harbour and race track.” – Lemmer

“This definitely was a highlight in our short visit to Monaco. First the very nice exotic garden with lots of big plants and beautiful views on the city and the sea, and afterward the many interesting sights inside the grotto. Thanks a lot for this Earth Cache.” – Jan_Peter

 

What the Geocache owner, eisenstaedter, has to say:

“I was on holiday in Monaco and I visited this this great place. Not only the cave, but the Exotic Garden and the view to Monaco Ville is worth to see. My first idea was: Here had to be a cache. And the cache gave my the inspiration to place an Earthcache. By chance, we planned to see the Exotic Garden, then we dicovered the Grotte de L’Observatoire.

…I placed two other “Cave-Earthcaches”, because I think people like them ;). Grotte Gigante (GC3YQ2N) and Eishöhle auf der Rax (GC3BRA1). Thank you for your positive logs and favorite points, this gives me a lot of motivation to seek other interesting points and places.”

 

Photos:

 

Formations inside the cave. Photo by geocacher FTACH

Formations inside the cave. Photo by geocacher FTACH

Stalactites and stalagmites.   Photo by geocacher ohjoy!

Stalactites and stalagmites. Photo by geocacher ohjoy!

The caves from the outside. Photo by geocacher Organisator

The caves from the outside. Photo by geocacher Organisator

What city secrets have your discovered through geocaching? Tell us and post photos in the comments.

Continue to explore some of the most engaging geocaches around the globe. Check out all the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, just fill out this form. Thanks!


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