New Year’s Resolution: A Geocaching Diet

Martin Pedersen, pictured here with his family, spent a year on a geocaching diet.


Editor’s Note: Martin Pedersen was the focus of a Geocaching.com video, “Geocaching Diet” in mid-2010. He succeeded in losing more than 30 pounds. But Martin will tell you losing 30 pounds still leaves him with a sense that he hasn’t fully succeeded. His weight loss goal was much loftier. The author of the blog FamilyNavigation.com hoped to lose 100 pounds. We still think his geocaching diet was a success. Martin leads a healthier and more active lifestyle today and he’s kept the weight off. Here is Martin’s story, in his own words.

Geocaching Diet

By: Martin Pedersen

Last year my New Year’s Resolution was to get into shape and lose weight.  On January 1st I had no idea how I would do it.  A fad diet and a gym membership were not going to work for me and two weeks into January I still did not know how I was going to keep my resolution.  There had to be a way I could add enjoyable daily exercise into my busy routine.  I wanted to pick an activity that I would crave to do each day and was more enjoyable than the passive activities I had been wasting my time with.  Still confused I did what I normally do when I have important things to think about; I went for a hike.  The combination of nature, fresh air, and exercise always lifts my spirits and allows me to think clearly.

Martin geocaching in British Columbia, Canada

I quickly threw the essentials into my backpack which includes water, notebook, pen, and a GPS receiver.  The first three items had been part of my hiking pack for as long as I could remember but the GPSr was a new addition.  I had been introduced to geocaching a number of months prior and I was slowly getting obsessed.  Even though I was going on a hike to come up with ideas, there was no reason why I couldn’t find a few geocaches along the way.

My wife was introduced to geocaching from a friend and when she told me about it she knew that it would be something I would really get into.  I love to play outside, I am a true explorer at heart, I enjoy challenges, and I like activities I can quantify.  Imagine if I could build an exercise routine around hiking and geocaching.

On that most enjoyable geocaching hike I did imagine it and as soon as I got back I went to work to figure out if I could possibly fit regular geocaching into my schedule.  After an evening worth of research I explained the concept of a geocaching exercise challenge to my wife.  The plan was to find 1000 geocaches in one year while hiking 2500kms and trying to lose as much weight as possible, hopefully up to 100lbs.  She always amazes me with the enthusiasm she greets my crazy ideas.  Three days later I started the Geocache Diet.

I have gone hiking almost every day for 11 months and in that time I have found nearly 900 geocaches while walking the equivalent distance to get from Canada to Mexico (taking the scenic route of course).  I have hiked through beautiful forests, past waterfalls, alpine lakes and beaches.  I have walked back-country roads, urban streets, bicycle paths, plus a fair bit of bushwhacking.

Many of the caches I have found had parking right next to them but instead of simply driving from location to location I would always link a few together on a circle walk through town.  My family likes caching and they joined me on as many outings as we could manage but a lot of the time I was alone.  I have found caches in all types of weather including pouring rain, wind storms, and in the snow.  I have not lost as much weight as I would have liked but I have been rewarded with the benefits of regular exercise.  This challenge has succeeded in getting me outside to work up a sweat daily where other attempts have failed.  The main reason that this challenge worked was that it was just too much fun.  Geocaching is such an enjoyable, inexpensive, accessible, and inclusive activity which everyone can do and that makes it a perfect complement to regular exercise.

Martin geocaching with his family

The hardest part of doing any exercise challenge is making the time commitment.  Before starting this challenge I looked at my schedule and wrote down everything I needed to do each week (like work, family time, and sleep).

I found that, even though I am a busy person, by cutting out activities like watching TV I had enough time to complete this challenge.  I did not cut out anything that I enjoyed doing more than hiking and geocaching and I definitely have not cut into family time.  My year is almost up but I still have so many trails to hike, so many caches to find, and so many places to discover.  I will just have to continue to include geocaching into a healthy lifestyle and to reach my ideal weight and fitness level.

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Groundspeak Weekly Newletter – December 28, 2010

Maps Beta

Maps are at the heart of geocaching, so we are completely revamping the mapping system in multiple phases over the next several months. Version one of the Maps Beta is now live and can provide hours of entertainment as well as a range of exciting features.

Features include:

• Unlimited geocaches displayed anywhere in the world

• Larger map with full screen view

• Speedy geocache display using an innovative tiling solution

• New map types including OpenStreetMap and OpenCycleMap

When you visit the Maps Beta page, read the popup to see what features are coming soon.

You can reach the Maps Beta page from the search results by clicking “Map it” and selecting “View the new Maps Beta.”

Track Your Geocaching Stats!

How far do you travel for most of your finds? Which size of geocache container do you find the most often? The new Geocaching Statistics feature can answer those questions. Geocaching Statistics lets you visualize your geocaching activity in different ways.

Premium Members can see a range of detailed statistics in charts and tables, including finds by day of the year and the average difficulty and terrain ratings of their found caches. All members can see basic information such as what month of the year they find the most caches and a chart of finds per month.

Thank you to the mygeocachingprofile.com website, which Groundspeak recently acquired so that we could add this great information to your Geocaching.com profile. Stay tuned – we will be incorporating more statistics in future releases!

Benefits of Adding Home Coordinates

Please enter your home coordinates so we can provide information on new geocaches and geocaching events near you.


“The Geocaching Year in Review” A Geocaching.com Lost & Found Video

2010 goes into the record books as a banner year for geocaching. The treasure hunting activity turned 10 years old. Geocaching is now  enjoyed by over five million people around the world and there are more than 1.2 million geocaches listed on Geocaching.com.

But it’s not all about the numbers. There were geocaching adventures shared by friends and precious memories created on the geo-trail with family. Watch “The Geocaching Year in Review” to see what made 2010 a memorable for geocachers around the world and what milestones were reached by Geocaching.com. Groundspeak CEO/President/Co-Founder Jeremy Irish guides you through 2010 and shares a little but about what’s ahead for geocaching in 2011.

2010: A year of personal bests

Explore more than 30 Geocaching.com Lost & Found videos in our gallery.  Share a video on “Basics of Hiding a Geocache,” watch a Travel Bug® move from cache to cache around the world and visit the highest and lowest geocaches in existence.


“Down the Rabbit Hole” GCXQ5C GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – December 28, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole (GCXQ5C)
Down the Rabbit Hole (GCXQ5C)

The treasures of New York City’s Central Park reveal themselves as geocachers search for this micro-cache.  More than 1250 geocachers have already logged a smiley on the cache, “Down the Rabbit Hole” (GCXQ5C).

The difficulty two, terrain two cache is located somewhere near a statue dedicated to the creative genius behind Alice in Wonderland.

The cache page warns, “USE STEALTH – muggles are everywhere! GPS signals are weak here but be patient the cache IS there and when in doubt read the clue!”

The cache was hidden back in 2006. The cache was originally placed by gracepap. Geocacher madm now maintains the cache and altered the cache hide from a ‘lamp post cache’ to a micro-cache.

Down the Rabbit Hole (GCXQ5C)

A hunt for this geocache offers adventurers a purposeful exploration of one of the crown jewels of New York City. One geocacher who logged this cache writes, “This is my first time in New York City ever! Central Park is an awesome sight to behold! I love this group of statues and the other monuments around the park. An easy find!”

Continue your exploration with some of the most engaging geocaches from around the world. Explore all the Geocaches of the Week on our blog or view the Bookmark List on Geocaching.com.


One Family, One Day, Geocaching in Six Countries

Geocachers Mark and Donna with their two children Steven and Beth

A family of four took the idea of the ‘road trip’ and turned a traditional drive into a fast-paced geocaching adventure. Delta68 is the husband and wife team of Mark and Donna. The couple was vacationing in Europe this September with their two teenage children Steven and Beth.

The family was all packed and set to return home to the United Kingdom when Mark made a realization. Their trip home from the Netherlands to England could yield caches in five, maybe even six, countries if they included Luxembourg. But the cache in Luxembourg was more than a hundred miles out of the way.

Mark admits that he had to do a little convincing. After some negotiating, the family launched on their treasure hunt at 7 a.m. They began logging caches in country after country. Their first cache in in the Netherlands was GC233ZX Echt-Susteren en zijn kernen (Roosteren). The family then navigated to caches in Germany and drove out of the way of their departure city in France. They turned south into Luxembourg and Belgium.

Family at their third cache in Luxembourg

They stopped for lunch in Belgium—now more than two hundred miles from Calais, France and their way back to England.

Mark says, “I checked TomTom to see how long it would take to get to Calais … 5 Hours!! I asked Steven and Beth how I was going to break it to Donna. ‘Mum! We’re five hours from Calias!’ shouted Steven. That’s solved that dilemma. :-)”

The family then drove 205 miles to log a cache in France. The long-haul set the stage to find geocaches in six countries. They just needed to return to their home in England.

Delta68 and their two children traveled back to England before the day ended. One final cache in the U.K. sealed the geocaching achievement. They family logged caches in six countries in less than 24 hours.

They set another record for a family best. Mark says, “We decided to continue straight home stopping off at GC27YDV Welcome to Warwick! just before midnight to set a new personal ‘maximum distance in a day.’

Geocaching in six countries in one day

Mark says the total distance traveled added up to 617 miles. He sums up the family’s geocaching feat as, “Certainly a memorable day.”

Read more about the family’s adventure and see all the caches that they discovered, on their blog, Delta68’s Geocaching Blog.