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February 2015 Geocacher of the Month Nominees

What do you want to be when you grow up? Nuclear physicist? Diplomat? Physician?

Come on, you’re selling yourself short. Be Geocacher of the Month. 

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin
The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin

Widely acknowledged as the most coveted title in the world (of geocaching), the Geocacher of the Month award is granted to one outstanding geocacher or geocaching team every month. The winner stands out as a pillar of support in their local community, and is an example to geocachers everywhere. Their contributions to geocaching run the gamut, from creating stunning caches to teaching Geocaching 101 classes to ‘caching newbies.

February’s three nominees for Geocacher of the Month could form the A-Team of geocaching. They are known by fellow geocachers in their communities as the best people to contact for geocaching advice…even if it means sacrificing a coveted FTF.

Read the profiles of this month’s three nominees, and write a supportive comment below this post describing why you think this person should be recognized.

A panel from Geocaching HQ will then use your comments to help guide the decision of which geocacher is awarded the Geocacher of the Month honor.

 

 

 

TexasWriter

TexasWriter and CornDoll
TexasWriter and CornDoll

This geocacher from — you guessed it — Texas, is always rushing out the door to be the FTF, but won’t hestitate to help out a fellow ‘cacher along the way. If you live within 50 miles of him, he’s probably at the top of your Phone-A-Friend list.

TexasWriter has more than 10,000 finds and over 350 hides. Keeping that many hides in order is a lot of work, but TexasWriter rises to the challenge. In January, geocachers celebrated TexasWriter’s streak of 1,0001 straight days of geocaching. The widely attended event was “a testament to the impact he has had on geocaching in SE Texas.”

 

 

 

 

Ramgab

Ramgab on the hunt
Ramgab on the hunt

This geocacher has found just about 58% of the geocaches in his country. That’s quite a feat when the total number of geocaches in Hungary around is over 6000.

As a cache owner, Ramgab takes the cake. His cache series “Rowing in Budapest” consists of eleven caches accessaible only by canoe or kayak, and has been awarded over 80 favorite points in total.

Ramgab has also helped organize multiple geocaching Mega events in Hungary. As a result, the Hungarian geocaching community has grown significantly over the last few years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TeamPommes

TeamPommes
TeamPommes sharing the logbook

This German geocaching Team has amassed hundreds of favorite points for their creative gadget caches, tricky Mystery caches, and stunning cache locations like this one, which has been featured on the geocaching Instagram page. You’ll recognize a TeamPommes cache by their signature pommes frites (french fries) page background.

They are always more than willing to help out a geocacher with a tricky puzzle, or point them in the right direction while on the hunt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comment below to tell us who you think should be the February 2015 Geocacher of the Month. We will be accepting comments through March 18th, 2015. 

Know an outstanding geocacher who should be recognized? Nominate them for next month’s award!

 

 

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5 Geocaching Dreams — And How to Interpret Them

You know you’re a geocacher if you’ve had a geocaching dream, right?

 

What you might not know is what your subconscious is trying to tell you. Whether you were digging through trackables in a bottomless lock-n-lock container, or found yourself frighteningly under-dressed for a geocaching event, your subconscious is probably trying to tell you something. Don’t worry—here are our interpretations of the 5 most common geocaching dreams.*

*And here is a grain of salt.

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What dreams may come when we have cached away this mortal coil?

Dream #1

You’re out geocaching for days and days on end, and all you get are DNFs, even on the easiest geocaches. Each time you reach GZ you look everywhere, but the situation is hopeless… not one geocache is found before you wake up.

What it means: You might be feeling incomplete or ineffective in your geocaching of late. Think about your recent geocache finds. Have you been misinterpreting hints? Struggling to find good quality geocache swag among a sea of useless fast food meal toys? Or maybe your trackables just haven’t been getting the logs that they deserve. Whatever it is–something is missing from your experience. Figure out what it is and you might just have put a smiley on yourself. And remember, you’re not alone. Check out this DNF Pride video.

DNF Pride Party
DNF Pride Party

Dream #2

You’re on your way home from a successful geocaching outing at a really awesome geocache, when you realize you still have said geocache in your hands.

What it means: Wretched thief! Just kidding. Your subconscious might just be coveting more favorite points, and gently prompting you to hide your own geocache. If you’ve never hidden one before consider giving it a try. If your geocache hides already number in the dozens, this is your chance to access your creative side and design a cool new geocache container.

Those favorite points can be yours if you start thinking outside the lock-n-lock.
Those favorite points can be yours if you start thinking outside the lock-n-lock.

Dream #3

You’re geocaching deep in the woods and suddenly everything goes silent. You notice the light has faded and a strong, chilly wind has picked up. You’re miles away from civilization and your phone/GPS has just warned you that it’s losing steam. The tree cover is already making the GPS signal hard to pinpoint. You ate your last energy bar two hours ago.

What it means: It’s time to find a geo-buddy (or two or three) to go geocaching with. Sartre might say, “If you are lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company,” but geocaching was only invented after he passed so his perspective was probably deeply skewed. And besides, geocaching is more fun with friends. It’s been scientifically proven.* Check out Geocaching Events to find geocachers near you.

*sort of

 

When the woods go silent...
When the woods go silent…

Dream #4

A new geocache was just published within a mile of your house, and you set off to find it. Just as you’re within size of GZ, you see another geocacher making his way to the geocache…and he’s moving faster than you. You try to run but your limbs feel strangely heavy, getting heavier by the second.

What it means: Your FTF (First to Find) obsession might be getting a little out of hand. It’s not all about the FTFs, even though they’re fun. Try turning your notifications off for a few days, just to see what it’s like. The goal is to reach a good balance between your day to day responsibilities and your geocaching responsibilities. Maybe 30/70.

 

Woods
The struggle to be First to Find is real.

Dream #5

You walk into the room at a meet-and-greet Event Cache 45 minutes late to accusing and shocked stares. Accusing, because you’re the event host. Shocked, because you’re a tad… how shall we put it?… under-dressed.

What it means: Like any good event host, you feel the pressure to make sure your guests are happy and have a good time. Sometimes, that pressure can translate into weird dreams like this one. Our recommendation? Relax. Geocachers are genetically predisposed to be awesome. Put a bunch of them together in a room and they’ll be laughing and sharing stories all day (until someone gets a new cache notification, of course).

How to spot a geocacher...
We think her ‘cachin fashion is spot on.

Tell us about your geocaching dreams and nightmares in the comments below!

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January’s Geocacher of the Month

The time has come. Earlier this month, three amazing geocaching teams were nominated for January 2015’s Geocacher of the Month award, and a winner has been chosen.

As a refresher, here are the nominees…

 

Timpat is known throughout the New York geocaching community for his impressive hides, supportive nature, and extensive GPS and mapping expertise. With nearly 10,000 finds and 400 hides, he is a true inspiration to all. Not to mention, his kayak geocaches are amazing.

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Tinman and Timpat

family Behrens (aka FB) has helped geocaching bloom in South Africa. He (and his family) are known in the local geocaching community for their creative and challenging geocaches (all 88 of them) and for throwing well-organized, highly attended CITO events.

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T5? No problem for team Behrens

Koouye is recognized throughout the Belgium geocaching community for being a dynamic, passionate, and devoted geocacher. He is a social butterfly, known for hosting great events and for attending other’s events (133 so far!)

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Koouye and his lovely family

The Featured Geocacher of the Month is named by a panel at Geocaching HQ after reviewing community input and blog comments. It’s a tough decision, given the combined contributions of these folks to the geocaching community as a whole.

 

After tallying the sentiment and reading the comments, family Behrens has been officially named the Featured Geocacher of the Month for January 2015.

 

There’s no denying that family Behrens or “FB” is an unstoppable geocaching force in South Africa. Their father, Jamie, leads the pack with his creative geocache hides and wonderful community organized events. Many would say that their passion and excitement for the game has helped geocaching spread like wildfire in South Africa and surrounding countries.

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1000th find!

Finding one of family Behrens’ geocaches is a must. According to the community, they are beyond good, they are legendary. SawaSawa says that Jamie of FB “has become renowned for his wonderful creative caches for which he has garnered numerous Favorite Points and heaps of praise. He has also invented an original ‘trademark’ micro-cache design (100% waterproof) made from discarded plastic bottle tops which I have copied and used in many of my hides in Kenya. His ingenuity in cache design and care in preparation is now legendary in South Africa and especially Cape Town and everyone looks forward eagerly to the next FB creation.”

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Mr. and Mrs. family Behrens

If you’re in the area, you should attend an event thrown by this geocaching team. Andre & Jeanne says FB, “hosts numerous events and CITO’s. He works together with Table Mountain National Park to do path clearing and removal of alien vegetation.”

Suikerbossies sums up the winner perfectly, “We love their hides, their unique containers, enthusiasm for the game and trouble they go to to give back to the game, nature and the community! Simply put, they are a great example and we are proud of them.”

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Jamie of FB. Rain or shine, geocaching is on.

family Behrens will receive the very special Geocacher of the Month geocoin and a special prize package from Geocaching HQ, in recognition of their geocaching efforts.

Send your kudos to family Behrens and our other January Geocacher of the Month Nominees. They’ve made the hobby we love WAY more fun.

 

The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin
The earned, never for sale, Geocacher of the Month Geocoin
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Three Cheers for January’s Geocacher of the Month Nominees

Each month, the global geocaching community meets three outstanding geocachers. As part of this community, your task is to help decide which one will be known forevermore as a Geocacher of the Month.

These exceptional people stand out among others for their demonstrated dedication to the game we all love. If you’re lucky enough to someday meet one of them, give ‘em a high five. Each of the nominees below will receive a prize package from Geocaching HQ in Seattle, but only one will be the next Geocacher of the Month. A  panel from Geocaching HQ will use your comments, community input and other data to decide the winner.

Now it’s your turn to help us select the next Geocacher of the Month. Write a supportive comment below for the nominated geocacher you feel should be awarded the title.

 

Timpat

0820de7c-38b3-4c79-a028-656dc0c33c36Timpat is known in the New York geocaching community for his impressive hides, supportive nature, and extensive GPS and mapping expertise. With nearly 10,000 finds and 400 hides, he is a true inspiration to all. Not to mention, his kayak geocaches are amazing.

Renmin says, “Impressively, he records tracks on his GPS as he travels unknown trails. He  converts them to a map file to share with others to use on their gps units. He also has supplied local preserves with trail maps of their land to which they use at the kiosks for any who hike them. Through his volunteer work in helping these preserves with better maps, he has been able to put a good face on the local geocaching community.”

 

 

family Behrens

3b0c2482-8303-4ef9-b4f6-0db9a4c1e10cDescribed as “the ultimate geocacher”, family Behrens (aka FB) has helped geocaching bloom in South Africa. He is known in the local geocaching community for his creative and challenging geocaches (all 88 of them) and for his well-organized, highly attended CITO events.

Earnst Gucken states, “In short “family Behrens” has become somewhat of a legend in our neck of the woods. family Behrens is always trying to encourage others to hide their own geocaches. He does this by leaving his micro trademark cache containers in other larger containers, with a note attached; urging others to take his container and place it. He even adds basic instructions to help a novice CO.”

 

 

Koouye

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Koouye is recognized throughout the Belgium geocaching community for being a dynamic, passionate, and devoted geocacher. He is a social butterfly, known for hosting great events and for attending other’s events (133 so far!)  With over 7,000 geocaches and 161 hides, he is a geocaching pro.

According to TREGASTEL, “Koouye has an engaging personality. He does not hesitate to share his passion with new geocachers and give them valuable advice. Many creative geocaches were hidden by Koouye which has helped spearhead geocaching in the area.”

 

 

 

 

Comment below to tell us who you think should be the January Geocacher of the Month. Comments accepted through through February 25th.

 

If you know an outstanding geocacher who should be considered for the honor, simply fill out this webform.

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Your Path to Platinum EarthCaching

 

earthcache platinum

Written by: Gary Lewis, Senior Director of Education and Outreach, The Geological Society of America

EarthCaching is different – while part of your geocaching experience, it involves a lot more than finding, logging and replacing a physical geocache.  A visit to an EarthCache involves a lesson, a opportunity to think, discuss and ponder and a chance to be rewarded with achievements beyond your number of finds.

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Garden of the Gods Earthcache GCND0E

EarthCaching started in January 2004 when I placed the first EarthCache with my daughter on a headland in southern Australia.  My goal was to teach geocachers more about the wonderful geology of our planet.  So Earthcaches involve you visiting a site and undertaking a logging task that teaches you some aspect of geology related to what you see.   There are now over 18,000 active EarthCaches around the globe – and at least one on every continent!

Can you name this EarthCache? Do so in comments below!
Can you name this EarthCache? Do so in comments below!

I realized early on that the effort required to place an EarthCache needed to be rewarded.  On top of the normal geocache needs, an  EarthCaches require some research and planning to meet the guidelines. Out of that realization was born the EarthCache Masters Program – which rewards caters for visiting and placing EarthCaches.

The genius of the EarthCache Masters Program is that it’s quite simple.

  • The first level, Bronze, requires you to visit and log three EarthCaches.  The trick is, those three EarthCaches  cannot be in the same state/province/country. We want you to travel to experience the geology away from your home location.
  • The next level, Silver, requires you to visit and log six EarthCaches and develop and have published one EarthCache. So after you have visited a handful of EarthCaches you get rewarded for the effort you put into having your very own EarthCache published by the Geoaware team.
Can you name this EarthCache? Do so in comment below!
Can you name this EarthCache? Do so in comment below!

 

  • Beyond this the levels are Gold (visit 12, create 2)
  • Platinum (visit 20, create 3).

You record your efforts via the EarthCache website here and are rewarded by an icon you can place on the profile page.  You can even buy Masters coins.

Being an EarthCache Master shows the community that you are not only committed to learning about our Earth, but committed to having even more fun geocaching!

Here’s my challenge. Lets see if we can’t double the number of people who are at each of the EarthCache Masters levels by International EarthCache Day (Sunday 11 October)  this year. You have more than 18,000 EarthCaches to choose from to start!

Current Number of EarthCache Masters by Level

Bronze     = 14122

Silver        = 3731

Gold          = 2086

Platinum  = 1678

 

TOTAL = 21617

 

Can you guess this EarthCache location? Do so in comments below.
Can you guess this EarthCache location? Do so in comments below.