Geocaching HQ joins in the Maker Madness

MM group of HQ staff
Celebrating Maker Madness – Geocaching HQ style.

By: Maria McDonald

The Seattle geocaching community came through strong with over  100 attendees at the recent Maker Madness event hosted by Geocaching HQ. This HQ sponsored event added to the 970 other Maker events spanning more than 50 countries around the world to celebrate something truly special – the amazing ingenuity of our geocache makers! Here’s a quick re-cap on the HQ Maker Madness event in Seattle.

MM fascinated
A geocacher admires one of Goblindust’s many mysterious creations.

The event kicked off with a quick hello and welcome from Geocaching.com Founders Jeremy Irish and Bryan Roth, who were then followed by nine enthusiastic speakers (including six of our very own HQ staff!) covering a wide range of hider and maker related topics. The presentations included a little something for everyone so that attendees, ranging from potential first time hiders to experienced (and seriously creative!) makers, all got a little taste of the maker magic. We learned about the importance of good coordinates, DIY camouflage (blending yogurt and moss gets you a natural looking fake rock moss coverage… who knew?), how to silence your inner creative critic so your making senses can burst forth and create, and more.

Following the presentations geocachers explored an exhibition highlighting local makers and their most creative caches. Geocachers were able to ask the makers questions and examine all the moving parts on some very unique cache containers.

MM proud Bill
Geocaching HQ’er and geocache (and swag!) creator Captain “Wrong Way” Bill of the SalemPirates shows off his Maker Madness pride.

Curiosity reigned and the enthusiasm was palpable. When I asked how specific caches were chosen for today’s exhibition, Mr. Gadget#2’s wife responded, “He ended up bringing them all. Asking him to chose between his caches would be like asking him to choose which child he likes best.” It is this type of dedication and pride in making great geocaches that elevates the game for us all and makes getting to know other geocachers so much fun.

At the end of the afternoon, happy geocachers and  HQ’ers had done what we all do best at events – joined together for a great afternoon of creating memories, sharing stories and inspiring our beloved game to new heights.

My fellow HQ’ers and I all hope that, no matter where or how you celebrated Maker Madness, you now feel a renewed sense of curiosity and creativity, and that you’ve seen the geocache maker inside of you…  now go forth and create!

Editor’s Note: Maria McDonald is Geocaching HQ’s Office Manager. She’s also an avid geocacher, and geocaches under the username AKprincesswarrior.


MM kens daughter with saw
Go Forth and Create!

How did you celebrate Maker Madness? Tell us about the event you attended in the comments below.

Paige Edmiston
Paige (ThePaigeTurner) is a Marketing Specialist at Geocaching HQ. She likes books.
  • Goldfinch593

    I celebrated Maker Madness with about 50 of my Geocaching friends by hosting this event “Maker Madness at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge” – at the Visitor Center, where I am also a volunteer. I decided on a theme of “Return to Tradition” by offering an Introduction to Geocaching. I designed it so both veteran cachers and beginners would enjoy it and from the “attended” logs, it sounds like everyone had a great time!

    I created a display board and a table full of cache containers, with a focus on my favorite… a big old ammo can! And I shared the various books that have been published about Geocaching over the years. I even played part of now-vintage video, “The Complete Guide to Geocaching”, produced by Groundspeak in 2004. Our GPS receivers and tools may have changed since then… (this video had no mention of cell phones or the geocaching app!) but the basic information about the history of geocaching, finding and placing a geocache and safety tips never change! And everyone loved the adventures of Herb Fincher… 🙂

    Also, three veteran cachers came prepared to talk about various geocaching subjects! robandsamcabot shared his experiences with creating two very unique caches, on called “Whale’s Jaw” that are hidden in a remote area of Cape Ann called Dogtown. Whale’s Jaw is a well know glacial erratic that was once shaped just like the open mouth of a whale. He talked about how he conceived the idea to place a cache there and about how he created a cache container from a ammo can and painted it to look like an open whale’s jaw when it was opened! I haven’t found it yet, but have added to my top ten list of caches to find next!

    Yukionna brought some maps that she printed out of a collection of caches that she has hidden on a local island which is out in the salt marsh. She showed the Geocaching map first, that shows the caches placed in a circle around the perimeter of the island. And her second map was a topo map, which illustrated that it would not be a good idea to try to follow the GPS signal directly “as the crow flies”… because there is a large swamp in the middle of the island! It was a great visual for anyone who might be planning to find those caches. We watched Herb Fincher walk strait into a swamp, in the Geocaching video, as he was following the arrow on his GPS receiver. But now, we all know that will NOT be a good idea when searching for Yukionna’s caches!

    And most appropriately, Frodo Bagginz brought his cache making supply box, and shared the large variety of different containers that he uses to make a good, weatherproof cache containers. He also showed a collection of containers that are not waterproof but are often found in the field with soggy logs, and damaged swag. It was a perfect presentation for the Maker Madness event!

    A special thank you to all of you for your presentations!

    The event was also publicized by the PRNWR so a few people attended who had never tried geocaching but were curious. By the time they left, they were ready to go find one, so we agreed to not call them muggles! And a few people brought GPS receivers and asked for help with operating them.

    To finish up the day, we had a raffle of some Maker Madness items… the new plastic ammo can from Groundspeak, some Official Geocaching labels for new containers, a unique reflector cache container, and FIVE Maker Madness Travel Tags!

    The best part was enjoying the time with all of my Geocaching friends, some who drove many miles to attend. Isn’t this really what it’s all about? Thank you to all of you for your support and help to celebrate Maker Madness!


  • Thanks for this comprehensive reply – and for hosting such a fine event. Nice work, Goldfinch. 🙂