Given that my college alma mater’s mascot is a bird (albeit a mythical one—the Jayhawk), perhaps it’s no surprise that some of my favorite geocaches are ones that get me in the air. I love climbing caches!
Some climbing caches are more accessible than others. Those that require ropes, harnesses and other gear can be fantastic, but may be beyond the reach of non-technical climbers. However, geocaches in trees are often suitable for a wide variety of ages and abilities. So what makes for a great tree climbing geocache experience?
- The right tree: It should be sturdy enough for an adult to climb. If the limbs are too thin, it can be hazardous for the geocacher and the tree. (Never damage a tree or other wildlife while attempting to find a geocache.)
- The right equipment: Even if you don’t need ropes or harnesses, you must wear the correct footwear and other apparel. Flip-flops are a no-no!
- The right day: Don’t attempt to climb in wet, icy or otherwise dangerous conditions. And be sure to bring a friend. Not just to keep an eye on you, but to take great pictures!
Tree climbing geocaches are a blast. For me, it’s a combination of adrenaline rush and natural beauty that’s hard to beat. Just last week, I was signing a log and thought, “What a spectacular view!” followed quickly by, “Okay, now how exactly am I gonna get down from here?” On that note, I can’t stress enough the importance of safety in your pursuit. If at any point you feel you’re taking an unnecessary risk, just stop and return to terra firma.
I could talk all day about my personal favorite tree climbing experiences, but just a few that come to mind are “Bird House” (Fort Myers, FL) and Free Bird (Parkville, MO). Sadly, my tree climbing experience doesn’t yet extend beyond North America. But I hope to change that someday.
Have you ever climbed high for a smiley?