GeoTea—an interview with the owners of a geocaching cafe in Belgium

Geocaching love is in the air. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely caught the geocaching love bug. Think back on the first cache you found. What was it like that day? What geocache made you fall in love with the game? Who made you fall in love with the game? It’s easy to get lost in the brush and forget about these moments when you’re caught up in your day to day. But what if there was a way to solidify these moments so you wouldn’t forget them?

One couple in Belgium decided to take not only their love for one another but also their love for geocaching and make a lifestyle out of it. Jolien and Jenno started a geocaching-themed cafe called GeoTea (who is also an official Geocaching partner). The idea behind the cafe came about because they wanted to create a space where geocachers could get together, visit, or hang out. Now, their cafe is a successful business—if you’re wondering, yes, they serve muggles too.

If you’re ever in Belgium, be sure to stop by this shop and say hello. For those who are unable to visit them in person don’t worry, we’ve interviewed them on your behalf.

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Creating story-worthy geocaches: Interview with cache owner jewilk1

In Beaverton, Oregon, cache owner jewilk1 and his son OmNom! create fun hides by using a 3D printer, puzzle logic, and googly eyes. You may recognize the name from this week’s Geocache of the Week. They are examples of creative freedom in the geocaching world because they make both a simple cache and a puzzling cache memorable. After 7 years of caching, 60 hides, and 6,700 finds, jewilk1 continues to add a unique touch or a new level of deception into their cache creations. Some of their puzzle caches have knobs, codes, and keywords to search for on the back of books that help make their hides so interesting.

Often jewilk1 caches with his son OmNom! and his wife. Aside from the technical side of cache hiding, they enjoy the social aspect of the game and how it brings their family together. In their own words:   

The hobby has led us to places we would never have experienced, such as The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the American Revolution or the view of Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Likewise, it is hard not to smile after a fellow geocacher relates a positive story about finding a geocache which you designed and introduced to the game. These smiles have inspired us to continue to create unique cache designs and become a better designers.

We wanted to know more about their creative process, what got them interested in geocaching, and what makes for a quality hide so we interviewed jewilk1 to get the inside scoop.

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Hunter’s Deceit — Geocache of the Week

Traditional Cache
GC4B6GZ
by jewilk1
Difficulty:
3.5
Terrain:
2.5
Location:
Oregon, United States
N 45° 27.610′ W 122° 50.036′

One of the more enjoyable parts of geocaching can be the use of deliberate misdirection,” says cache owner jewilk1.

Some could argue that hides of this type are considered evil, tormenting, and scream-inducing. Others enjoy the masochistic search for a cache that is hidden in plain sight. Jewilk1 takes a new-age approach to a classic deceptive hide: a 3D printed fake log. 

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Geocaching country souvenir: Morocco

Morocco Geocaching country souvenir
Morocco Geocaching country souvenir

Morocco is known for its sweeping desert landscapes, towering mountains, and ancient cities. Within the same country, you could be shivering cold while someone else is putting sunscreen on to protect them from the sun’s rays. Many Hollywood movies have taken place here and Morocco hosts nine UNESCO World Heritage sites. Now, it has another accolade: an official Geocaching country souvenir. 

Here are a few facts about this beautiful country:

  • Marrakech, Morocco, also referred to as the “Red City,” requires sun protection all year-round due to the intense sun.
  • The city of Casablanca was made famous by the Hollywood film of the same name starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. It is regarded as one of the best films of all time and won the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 1942.
  • Morocco has its highs and lows in terms of elevation. Jebel Toubkal is the highest point in the country at a prominent 4,165 m (13,665 ft) and at its lowest point is Sebkha Tah dipping below sea level by 55 m (180 ft). This country also hosts Africa’s highest ski resort.

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Arcade claw machines, mirrored illusions, and mazes: Interview with cache owner mrradach

Everything from arcade claw machines, mirrored illusions, and mazes have been used by creative cache owner mrradach. To break up the monotony of his day job as a tram driver, he was looking for something with action, adventure, and a creative change-up to ease his ambitions. In his own words, “I’ve been looking for such a pastime for a while and found it in geocaching. I especially like the creative aspect of it, as a geocacher and cache owner.” 

Geocaching was the perfect outlet for this, and mrradach’s 31 geocache hides with 90+ Favorite points (2 hides have over 400 FP’s!) speak for themselves in terms of their quality. Though if it weren’t for his dad and two brothers coming home late to Christmas dinner seven years ago, angering the whole family, he wouldn’t have known about geocaching. At the time mrradach didn’t understand why or how they could have forgotten the time but now he says he totally understands.

These cool, fun, and interactive caches inspire cachers at all experience levels. Their appeal sparked some interest at HQ so we reached out to mrradach to get to know what goes on when he is daydreaming of future cache hides, what excites him about the game, and where his inspiration comes from.

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