Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Reid

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Reid

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
reidsomething

Reid on the moutain
Reid on the moutain

How did you come up with your username?
I am a sucker for a double entendre. And I like books. It’s a call to action. My co-worker, ThePaigeTurner, and I couldn’t resist making a name-theme cache.

What is your job title?
UX Videographer

Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?
Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Over 98% of the videos you’ve seen come out of Geocaching HQ over the past 6 years were made with these hands! (with the help of some wildly clever co-workers). Basically, I get to tell stories, geocaching stories, for a living. So, next time you see a HQ video of someone climbing a mountain, crawling through a sewer, or pie-ing our co-founder Jeremy Irish in the face, you can picture me and my trusty Canon 5Dm3 camera doing our best to make it all look pretty.

Geocaching Video Production Team
Geocaching Video Production Team

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I like a cache with a story. My partner and I biked the Oregon coast a few summers back. We stopped for lunch one day at an ocean lookout where it turned out that a momma and baby whale were circling the cove. After much awe, I looked for a cache nearby so I could always remember that spot, that moment.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I’m always struck by meeting different kinds of geocachers. There isn’t really one common trait that all geocachers share apart from a spark of curiosity and adventure. I love meeting new people in our wacky, eclectic community.

Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)
Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
If the cache is placed well, you shouldn’t have to go off-rail/damage plant-life to find it.

Erin Geocaching flower

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Erin

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Erin

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
Oceansazul

Erin Geocaching flower
Erin geocaching in the spring time!

How did you come up with your username?
I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean and my zodiac sign, pisces. Besides “Erin” and “Ocean” were already taken. “Azul” means blue in Spanish (which I speak), so Oceansazul just fit.

What is your job title?
Guest Experience Coordinator

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Geocaching is headquartered in Seattle, where we are lucky enough to meet visitors from all over the world. During HQ visits, people talk all things geocaching, discover rare and cool trackables, find the HQ geocache, take some photos, ask questions, learn more, and even get some cool geocaching merchandise. It’s fun for me too because I love to laugh and I like to make other people laugh – but many people tell me I have a dry sense of humor. If you come tell me a funny story I will give you candy!

Erin Geocaching hotdog
Erin is Geocaching HQ’s Guest Experience Coordinator. Need we say more?

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?  
I don’t have a ton of finds, but I have found geocaches in a lot of states and a few countries. I love the creativity and what people come up with. I like to cache whenever I travel, I like taking newbies on their first geocache adventure, and I also love to Night Cache. There’s a Night Cache in my hometown of Puyallup that’s really cool because it’s a Multi-Cache, and I took my dad caching there. He had a blast. I just like the whole experience.

Erin Geocaching Kyoto
Erin and friends in Kyoto, Japan

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?  
The endless creativity of brilliant people. Geocachers come up with the most amazing hides. One that comes to mind is the second cache I ever found. It was a huge fallen log on the side of the trail, about three feet in diameter. But something in the middle of it looked “off”. I pulled a piece of log on the side, and it pulled out of the log. The geocache was a disguised piece of PVC pipe with part of the log on the top as the cap. I thought, “This game is incredible!” and I was hooked. That was five years ago.

Erin Geocaching Snow
Erin and other Geocaching HQ employees hit the slopes for our annual snow day!

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned? Hmm… Take a step back and look again. And then, look again.

 

Nate geocaching-hiking-mountains

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Nate Irish

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Nate Irish

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
I have two: My lackey name is OpinioNate, and my player name is Nate the Great. In the old days most Lackeys had two usernames but I think now it’s more common to have one.

Nate geocaching-hiking-mountains
Nate the Great on a mountain high

How did you come up with your username?
Nate the Great was a nickname given to me by my grandfather when I was little. He used to make short little poems about me like, “Nate the Great is never late to eat the food that’s on his plate”. That is still mostly true, but I try to make the plate smaller and have more green things on it. Being a grown-up can be a drag sometimes. OpinioNate because I have a lot of opinions, obviously.

What is your job title?
Currently, I’m the Product Manager. I’ve had around five different titles in my twelve years at Geocaching HQ. In the past I have been a project manager, quality assurance tester, community manager, discussion forum moderator, merchandise distributor manager, and way back in the day I stuffed Trackables into little yellow envelopes and drove them to the post office. These days the postman comes to us. We’re in the big leagues now baby!

Go Sounders, Nate, and baby
We’re in the big leagues now, baby!

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I lead a team of six people whose mission is to identify product opportunities to support the game of geocaching. The product in this case is our website and mobile apps. When we do our job correctly, the output is new features that simultaneously serve the needs of our community, our company, and the game of geocaching itself. That’s a very tough thing to do, but we work hard to achieve that balance.

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I’m definitely a less-is-more cacher. Usually when I travel, I sort by Favorite and look for a cache that is high terrain and is medium or large in size. I love to see the best and most extreme of what geocaching has to offer. Gadget caches are pretty high on my list, as well as anything inside a cave.

Nate the Great Papa
Nate the Great Papa

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I love learning about some new local geocaching lingo or hiding style. For instance, in the Chicago area they used to have a lot of “Superman” caches. It’s when you tie a fishing line to a preform container and sling it over the branch of a tree. Then you reel in the line so the container is way overhead and secure the line against a tree knot or whatever. Everyone there knows what to look for when “Superman” is the hint.

Superman geocacher
Nate the Great – Superman geocacher

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
Let someone else stick their hand in there first.

7 Continents, 7 EarthCaches, 1 Dinosaur

Geocaching Bucket List: 7 Continents, 7 EarthCaches

Any serious geocacher probably has a list of geocaches they wish to find before they “kick the bucket”, so to speak. We’ll be doing an intermittent series dedicated to bucket list geocaches, and today’s theme is, “7 Continents, 7 EarthCaches.” We hope this blog post inspires you to explore the world and expand the very idea of what a destination vacation could be.

An EarthCache is a special geological location people can visit to learn about a unique feature of the Earth. EarthCache pages include a set of educational notes along with coordinates. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence. Typically, to log an EarthCache, you will have to provide answers to questions by observing the geological location.

Ready to go round the world and learn about Mother Earth? Let’s go!

Africa / Botswana
Okavango (GC4P93T)
D2 / T1.5

Learn all about the Okavango Delta in the midst of the Kalahari Desert. Per the Earthcache listing page, “Lying in the midst of the Kalahari desert – the largest continuous stretch of sand in the world – the Okavango Delta is the greatest of Africa’s wetland wildernesses, and among its last.”

Botswana Okavango Delta
Botswana Okavango Delta
Hippo says, "AAaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh...!"
Hippo says, “AAaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh…!”
Lioness and cubs
Lioness and cubs
Mommy Giraffe and baby
Mommy Giraffe and baby
Game walk on Chiefs Island
Game walk on Chiefs Island

 

Antarctica
Deception Island (GC115ZX)
D5 / T5

If you are one of the fortunate and adventurous few to journey to Antarctica, one of the high points is a visit to Deception Island. It has a distinctive horseshoe shape with a large flooded caldera, and is the rim of an young, active volcano. Make sure you read this sentence in the cache listing page before your visit, “Please be aware it is classified as a restless caldera with a significant volcanic risk.”

Antarctica Underwater Volcano
Antarctica Underwater Volcano
Through Neptune's Bellows
Through Neptune’s Bellows
Antarctica Polar Plunge
Antarctica Polar Plunge
Humpbacks Bubblenet Feeding
Humpbacks Bubblenet Feeding
Kayaking Antarctica
Kayaking Antarctica

 

Asia / Laos
Kuang Si Waterfalls (GC2HP5Y)
D1.5 / T2

The first EarthCache in Laos is, “…located about 30km from Luang Prabang, this series of waterfalls is a short tuk-tuk ride from town.” To log this cache, consider how waterfalls fall into the different types or classifications, and maybe go for a swim. Now, where did I put my passport…?

Cataract and cascade
Cataract and cascade
The waterfalls are beautiful
The waterfalls are beautiful
Soggy selfie
Soggy selfie
Please don't feed the Loatian Bears at the waterfalls
Please don’t feed the Loatian Bears at the waterfalls
swinging in front of the waterfall
Swinging in front of the waterfall

 

Australia
Uluru/Ayers Rock (GC28WD0)
D1 / T1

Uluru is sacred to the Pitjantjatjara and Yankunytjatjara, the Aboriginal people of the area. The Anangu Aboriginal people are responsible for the protection and appropriate management of these ancestral lands. Uluru’s awesomeness is described in the cache listing page as:

  • The second largest monolith in the world (after Mount Augustus, also in Australia)
  • 862.5 metres above sea level
  • 348 metres (1141 feet) high
  • 3.6 km long (2.2 miles)
  • 1.9 km wide (1.2 miles)
  • 9.4 km or 5.8 miles around the base (that’s walking)
  • Covers 3.33 km2 (1.29 miles2)
  • Extends about 2.5 km (1.5 miles) into the ground

Visit. Explore. Learn. Log!

Sunrise over Uluru
Sunrise over Uluru
Helecopter over Uluru
Helecopter over Uluru
At the base of The Rock
At the base of The Rock
Mars or Uluru?
Mars or Uluru?
<3 Uluru
<3 Uluru

Europe / France
Island or not island ? (GC2E34F)
D2 / T1

Mont Saint-Michel sits atop an island just 600 metres from land. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times and since the 8th century AD, has been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. It is easily accessible at low tide, but don’t get stuck there at high tide! Learn about the tides, and incredible history of this wonderful location.

Le Mont Saint Michel in the fog
Le Mont Saint Michel in the fog
Low tide at Le Mont Saint Michel
Low tide at Le Mont Saint Michel
High tide at Le Mont Saint Michel
High tide at Le Mont Saint Michel
View atop the island or not island ?
View atop the island or not island ?

North America / Canada
Table Rock Earthcache (GCMH1C)
D1 / T1

Niagara Falls is made up of three waterfalls: the Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls. It is the second largest falls on the globe next to Victoria Falls in southern Africa. One fifth of all the fresh water in the world lies in the four Upper Great Lakes—Michigan, Huron, Superior and Erie. All the outflow empties into the Niagara river and eventually cascades over the falls. And this geocache is so spectacular, it earned “Geocache of the Week” in January of 2014!

A birdseye view
A birdseye view
A big boat suddenly looks so very tiny
A big boat suddenly looks so very tiny
The falls in winter
The falls in winter
Rainbow over Horseshoe Falls
Rainbow over Horseshoe Falls
How cool is cool? ICE COLD.
How cool is cool? ICE COLD.

 

South America / Bolivia
Formation of Salar de Uyuni (GC4M4B4)
D2 / T2

From the geocaching listing, “It is advisable (and optional) to take some interesting and funny photos in the salt flat area and upload with the log. Can you imagine a reason geologically why such photos can be taken there perfectly, e.g. distance, size, element, colour etc.” The photos on this geocache make visiting this place appealing enough, but in addition, you get to “find” a geocache and learn about the Earth? Awesome sauce.

The 50 Foot Woman
The 50 Foot Woman
The dinosaurs of the salt flats
The dinosaurs of the salt flats
Fee Fi Fo Fum!
Fee Fi Fo Fum!
Liisa from Finland
Liisa from Finland
Sunset and water at the salt flats
Sunset and water at the salt flats

Are there any amazing EarthCaches you’ve visited that you would add to this list? What about other “Bucket List” themes or geocaches you’d like to see featured? Tell us in the comments below!

Geocaching Laura Yoga

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Laura

This is the first of a series of blog posts that will shine a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. :-)

What is your name?
Laura

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
cruisinhughesin

Geocaching Laura Van
“I like to cruise around in a DIY camper van my boyfriend and I created.”

How did you come up with your username?
It was actually a name given to me! I like to cruise around in a DIY camper van my boyfriend and I created—it’s a great way to explore new places. :)

What is your job title?
HR Manager

Holly & Laura Geocaching Photo Booth
Yes it’s true—our HR crew may definitely contain awesome.

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I lead our HR team at Geocaching HQ, which includes managing our recruiting efforts, benefits, and professional development, among many other things. Essentially, I spend my time ensuring that we provide everyone who works at Geocaching HQ with the things they need to be happy and effective. At a company like ours—where we literally play where we work—it’s a delight to be in this role!

Geocaching Laura Yoga
Sometimes finding a geocache is a real stretch!

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?Over time I’ve learned that I’m definitely a social geocacher! I like to be out with friends when we’re looking to earn smileys. If we’re having fun and looking for geocaches, it doesn’t matter how many we find most of the time.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I was surprised to find out that Signal the Frog is actually an epic dancer!

Bri & Laura Geocaching Original Stash
Always bring a pen!

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
It’s basic but a tried-and-true piece of advice—always, always bring a pen.