Finding Health and Good Habits with Geocaching

Earlier this month we received an email from a geocacher named Karen. In her email, she described how geocaching has completely turned her and her husband’s lives around with more exercise, lower blood pressure and a slimmer waist line. Then, her husband, Mike, sent an email to elaborate on their story. We love reading stories like this and can’t help but share it with Karen and Mike’s permission and an ear-to-ear smile across our faces.

After retiring, Karen and Mike found themselves with a few bad habits: eating more and being less active than in previous years. That is, until a local outing for retired and active police officers. This is where it all began to change for Mike and Karen. “…Officer Sean Sullivan was present at this one. At the end of our dinner, he showed me a key ring of “path-tags”. They, of course, looked cool and he told me he has collected them “Geocaching”. I didn’t know what he was talking about. He explained the whole process to me that evening, and I was intrigued,” said Mike.

Mike and Alex on the hunt.
Mike and Alex on the hunt.

Later, Mike dug out his older GPS device he had used for boating. Admittedly, he hadn’t learned to use it properly, but spent a few days reading the manual and getting the basics down. From there, Mike and Karen created a Geocaching account as NHBucket and set out for their very first geocache. “We ventured out and found my first cache (Rhoades Cemetary Pt 2, Alexandria, NH)….in thigh-high deep snow. I was hooked, right then and there,” Mike wrote.

Since they earned their first smiley, Karen says, “We have gone geocaching in New Hampshire in Andover, Franklin, Tilton, Laconia, Lochmere, and Belmont. We took a vacation last week in Maine and spent every day geocaching.” During that vacation in Maine, the couple found 47 geocaches. And they’ve begun to see the benefits, too. “Mike and I are both benefiting from geocaching because it makes exercising fun. Before we know it, we have walked 6 – 10 miles a day. Mike is also seeing his diabetes come under control with his numbers dropping,” said Karen. Mike added, “In the couple months since, I’ve lost 20 pounds, I eat less, have reduced my [blood pressure] & [blood sugar] levels overall, and just plain feel better about myself.”

Mike and Karen have shared the geocaching love with others, as well. “I’ve taken my wife, my 16-year-old son, and my 8-year-old grandson out geocaching. I’ve also introduced my brother Chris, and his wife, Carla to geocaching…Now, she (Car-Crazy) is hooked with the GC Bug worse than me. AND, she “hooked” her father (Yogi1940),” said Mike.

Thanks Mike and Karen for sharing your story with your fellow geocachers. If you have any inspirational stories about how geocaching has changed yours or someone you know’s life for the better, share it in comments below. Happy geocaching!

  • Sharon

    I agree about the benefits health wise geocaching! I feel so much better after a good hike or two! I drink more water and am not sitting around watching TV. I’ve made some great friends too to go caching with now! It’s a life changing experience.

  • I would love to do something like this, but I am in recovery from a stem cell transplant and I have been told now that I need knee replacements on both knees. I can barely walk for the pain. I DO walk but I am in agony after three or four steps. I used to run and go to the gym, so pissed off now that I can’t do active things. I have to be satisfied with doing the housework and walking around the garden. 🙁

  • Bandyrooster

    How exciting to see the information on two of our local geocachers in NH! Mike and Karen have found many of my geocaches and although I have not met them in person we have talked on the phone and I look forward to meeting them at a local event! When I talked to Mike on the phone the thing that struck me was his enthusiasm. I agree it’s a great way to get out and get exercise.

  • Sharon

    Hang in there Anne. I don’t know what it’s like to be you. However, my husband has had both hips and shoulders replaced plus 18 other surgeries. Just do what you can do. Just enjoy the fact that you will be able to do all the things you want to do in time. My son is in the Marines just trying to get to his school for his job. He gets hurt in training and ends up going one step forward and two steps back. He just keeps trying again. Stay strong and positive.