It’s all in the details — Interview with cache owner mo pirate

Mo pirate started geocaching in 2007 after being introduced to it by his wife, Sho me da cache, and has been hooked ever since. He has an impressive number of finds, but as he told Geocaching HQ, making and placing caches is what keeps him engaged with the game. Over the years he has created and hidden 390 geocaches that have collectively gathered over 3300 Favorite points.

Mo pirate’s hides showcase his thoughtful and creative approach to creating geocaches. A number of the caches have electronic components, custom carpentry, and repurposed materials like the Etch-A-Sketch in GC8AP8E which gives a combination to open a lock and find the logbook.

A look at the hiding career of mo pirate is excellent inspiration for anyone trying to boost their hiding game!

Geocaching HQ: What’s your background outside of geocaching? 

Mo pirate:  I am now retired from my job as the City of St Joseph Building Inspector. I have a teaching degree in Secondary Education for History and Journalism. I have lived in this area (St Joseph, MO)  all my life.

Geocaching HQ: How and when did you hear about geocaching?  

Mo pirate: My wife, Sho me da cache, actually is the one I found out from because she worked around the country as a traveling Nuclear Medicine Technologist. She was doing a stint in Maine and a fellow worker asked if she wanted to go out and do some geocaching when their weekend arrived. When her job was over she came home from Maine and told me all about it and I thought it sounded interesting.

Geocaching HQ: What is your favorite cache(s) you’ve found?  

Mo pirate: I think without a doubt The Necropolis of Britannia Manor III  in Austin, Texas by LordBritish would be the favorite. The amount of extensive work and thought that went into that all day adventure and then the final being so creative made it super fun and challenging to complete. Another one I have not duplicated yet was Don’t Shock the Goat at the Berkshire Geobash in Massachusetts. It makes you use a loop hand wand and move it along a metal shaped wire of a goat without touching the wire to get to the other end for success. Many others have received Favorite Points from me for their creativity or how the placement was such a good place.

Geocaching HQ: For you, what makes a quality cache? 

Mo pirate: DETAILS!  It could be a well thought out gadget cache that was a lot of fun to work on or it can be a simple traditional cache that is placed in such an appropriate spot because of the cache name or location. A cache series is fun also. I used a bunch of triangular shaped Tupperware containers that were shaped like a slice of pie. Thus I had about 15 different named pie caches around the city. Then place them appropriately, like my apple pie cache was near a store called Apple Market. Berry pie was placed near a berry tree.

Geocaching HQ: What keeps you engaged with the game?

Mo pirate: I actually really think making and placing caches appeals to me more than hunting for them. As a builder (I have built a couple of houses) it challenges me to see what I can come up with. Of course, hunting and finding other creative caches give me ideas and inspiration to build something similar sometimes.

Geocaching HQ: What’s the best approach to creating a geocache?  

Mo pirate: It is not just finding permission at a place and running out there with just a camo taped pill bottle but thinking what would be a really cool good type of hide at a certain location.  Take time and give it some thought. If you are wanting to do a gadget cache use your skills and knowledge to do something you can maintain. Remember who your audience is and what they might enjoy. Don’t do logic puzzles or something that may take way too much to figure out for every cache. One or two is good as “variety is the spice of life” in my thinking. When building a gadget cache you will need to work backward from your end container recovery to the beginning or the starting spot. This way you can finish with the correct size of the entire cache build. Always keep in mind how many steps you want to get to the end.

Geocaching HQ: If someone reading this was looking for inspiration, what words of advice would you give them?  

Mo pirate: Please go out and find many caches to help give you ideas or check out the web and videos on what people are doing that looks like fun and something similar you like and could do. I am not so tech savvy so a couple of caches I would like to do have not been done yet as I am not an IT person. Maybe if I keep learning I will be able to make these later! If they are electronic minded maybe they could use that in a build. I have always tried to do the largest container I could without it being noticed by muggles. So think of ways to incorporate! My inspirations have come from doing many geocaches by many placers.  Woodcarver Dan in Rhinelander, WI and WVTim in Berkeley County, WV and others are on my list of good gadget cache builders.

Geocaching HQ: Do you have a favorite hide of your own active caches? 

Mo pirate: I like caches for different reasons so I like my Pony Express Trail Challenge as it gives you a tour of the 1066 mile trail from St Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA. Just imagining the travel of this trek without any fast food stops or even a GPS would have been something back in 1860. However, if you can not make the journey, I created a maze in a box to replicate the Pony Express Route (GC7JWV9) and placed it across the street from our huge Pony Express Statue in downtown St Joseph. You need to open it to move the magnetic gamepiece from the start in St Joseph, MO through the mountain passes and obstacles all the way to Sacramento,  CA where you use a UV light to read the bottom of your gamepiece for the final combo code. I made it so all of my sliders open and then close so it resets itself for the next user. It is a “must do” as it is my most elaborate build so far. It is also a nice teaching tool for the kiddos to learn about this part of history while being in the city where it all started!

Genevieve is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ.