The username is the geocacher’s calling card, signature, or tag.
It’s as primeval a mark of territory as a bear scratching trees in the woods. It’s “I was here!” yelled at the top of the lungs on a steep mountainside at twilight next to a small Tupperware container.
Like the superheros who grace the pages of dime store comic books, every username has an Origin Story. Some usernames are born great, some usernames achieve greatness, and some usernames have greatness thrust upon them.
We asked geocachers in and around Geocaching HQ how they chose their usernames—or did the usernames choose them? Read them, then answer the question at the end.
Some usernames are unexpected.
Gunguy&fam – Is a forensic firearms examiner who started geocaching with his family.
Sparkle Donkey – Is a fan of the Sparkle Donkey brand of Tequila (El Burro Esparkalo).
Grillography – Was given a ‘Big Green Egg‘ Grill for his birthday and is also an avid photographer.
Some usernames evoke personal memories.
ThumbsGarcia – Had an intimate encounter with an X-Exacto knife that came abruptly and aggressively to life during a design project.
Ursa_Minor – A personal nickname used fondly in conjunction with her close friend’s nickname, Ursa Major. Little Bear and Big Bear.
SalemPirates – Started geocaching for the first time in Salem, Oregon, during a family member’s ‘Pirate’-themed 40th birthday party.
Some usernames just work.
Eliot Mechanism – Is a perfect anagram of this user’s real name.
Moun10Bike – When this user signed up in 1990, AOL only allowed 10 characters in a username, hence the shortening of the name. (His son’s username: Moun10Tyke)
Prying Pandora – References the bit in The Phantom of the Opera when the Phantom calls Christine, “You Little Prying Pandora!” after she pulls his mask off. Pandora…Boxes…Geocaching. Voila!
Love – “Is all you need.”
It’s a requirement of Geocaching.com that every username be unique. But we think it’s more the story behind the alias rather than its characters that creates distinction.
Now we ask you—what’s the story behind your username?