Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Reid

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. 🙂

What is your name?
Reid

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
reidsomething

Reid on the moutain
Reid on the moutain

How did you come up with your username?
I am a sucker for a double entendre. And I like books. It’s a call to action. My co-worker, ThePaigeTurner, and I couldn’t resist making a name-theme cache.

What is your job title?
UX Videographer

Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?
Reid makes movies about geocaching. How cool is that?

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Over 98% of the videos you’ve seen come out of Geocaching HQ over the past 6 years were made with these hands! (with the help of some wildly clever co-workers). Basically, I get to tell stories, geocaching stories, for a living. So, next time you see a HQ video of someone climbing a mountain, crawling through a sewer, or pie-ing our co-founder Jeremy Irish in the face, you can picture me and my trusty Canon 5Dm3 camera doing our best to make it all look pretty.

Geocaching Video Production Team
Geocaching Video Production Team

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I like a cache with a story. My partner and I biked the Oregon coast a few summers back. We stopped for lunch one day at an ocean lookout where it turned out that a momma and baby whale were circling the cove. After much awe, I looked for a cache nearby so I could always remember that spot, that moment.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I’m always struck by meeting different kinds of geocachers. There isn’t really one common trait that all geocachers share apart from a spark of curiosity and adventure. I love meeting new people in our wacky, eclectic community.

Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)
Reid hosting the Geocaching International Film Festival (GIFF)

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
If the cache is placed well, you shouldn’t have to go off-rail/damage plant-life to find it.

Erin Geocaching flower

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Erin

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. 🙂

What is your name?
Erin

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
Oceansazul

Erin Geocaching flower
Erin geocaching in the spring time!

How did you come up with your username?
I’ve always had an affinity with the ocean and my zodiac sign, pisces. Besides “Erin” and “Ocean” were already taken. “Azul” means blue in Spanish (which I speak), so Oceansazul just fit.

What is your job title?
Guest Experience Coordinator

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
Geocaching is headquartered in Seattle, where we are lucky enough to meet visitors from all over the world. During HQ visits, people talk all things geocaching, discover rare and cool trackables, find the HQ geocache, take some photos, ask questions, learn more, and even get some cool geocaching merchandise. It’s fun for me too because I love to laugh and I like to make other people laugh – but many people tell me I have a dry sense of humor. If you come tell me a funny story I will give you candy!

Erin Geocaching hotdog
Erin is Geocaching HQ’s Guest Experience Coordinator. Need we say more?

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?  
I don’t have a ton of finds, but I have found geocaches in a lot of states and a few countries. I love the creativity and what people come up with. I like to cache whenever I travel, I like taking newbies on their first geocache adventure, and I also love to Night Cache. There’s a Night Cache in my hometown of Puyallup that’s really cool because it’s a Multi-Cache, and I took my dad caching there. He had a blast. I just like the whole experience.

Erin Geocaching Kyoto
Erin and friends in Kyoto, Japan

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?  
The endless creativity of brilliant people. Geocachers come up with the most amazing hides. One that comes to mind is the second cache I ever found. It was a huge fallen log on the side of the trail, about three feet in diameter. But something in the middle of it looked “off”. I pulled a piece of log on the side, and it pulled out of the log. The geocache was a disguised piece of PVC pipe with part of the log on the top as the cap. I thought, “This game is incredible!” and I was hooked. That was five years ago.

Erin Geocaching Snow
Erin and other Geocaching HQ employees hit the slopes for our annual snow day!

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned? Hmm… Take a step back and look again. And then, look again.

 

Nate geocaching-hiking-mountains

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Nate Irish

This is part of a series of blog posts shining a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. 🙂

What is your name?
Nate Irish

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
I have two: My lackey name is OpinioNate, and my player name is Nate the Great. In the old days most Lackeys had two usernames but I think now it’s more common to have one.

Nate geocaching-hiking-mountains
Nate the Great on a mountain high

How did you come up with your username?
Nate the Great was a nickname given to me by my grandfather when I was little. He used to make short little poems about me like, “Nate the Great is never late to eat the food that’s on his plate”. That is still mostly true, but I try to make the plate smaller and have more green things on it. Being a grown-up can be a drag sometimes. OpinioNate because I have a lot of opinions, obviously.

What is your job title?
Currently, I’m the Product Manager. I’ve had around five different titles in my twelve years at Geocaching HQ. In the past I have been a project manager, quality assurance tester, community manager, discussion forum moderator, merchandise distributor manager, and way back in the day I stuffed Trackables into little yellow envelopes and drove them to the post office. These days the postman comes to us. We’re in the big leagues now baby!

Go Sounders, Nate, and baby
We’re in the big leagues now, baby!

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I lead a team of six people whose mission is to identify product opportunities to support the game of geocaching. The product in this case is our website and mobile apps. When we do our job correctly, the output is new features that simultaneously serve the needs of our community, our company, and the game of geocaching itself. That’s a very tough thing to do, but we work hard to achieve that balance.

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?
I’m definitely a less-is-more cacher. Usually when I travel, I sort by Favorite and look for a cache that is high terrain and is medium or large in size. I love to see the best and most extreme of what geocaching has to offer. Gadget caches are pretty high on my list, as well as anything inside a cave.

Nate the Great Papa
Nate the Great Papa

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I love learning about some new local geocaching lingo or hiding style. For instance, in the Chicago area they used to have a lot of “Superman” caches. It’s when you tie a fishing line to a preform container and sling it over the branch of a tree. Then you reel in the line so the container is way overhead and secure the line against a tree knot or whatever. Everyone there knows what to look for when “Superman” is the hint.

Superman geocacher
Nate the Great – Superman geocacher

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
Let someone else stick their hand in there first.

Geocaching Laura Yoga

Geocaching HQ Employee Spotlight: Laura

This is the first of a series of blog posts that will shine a spotlight on the people of Geocaching HQ. We hope to show you the “geo-who” behind the “geo-what”. 🙂

What is your name?
Laura

Yeah, but what’s your Username?
cruisinhughesin

Geocaching Laura Van
“I like to cruise around in a DIY camper van my boyfriend and I created.”

How did you come up with your username?
It was actually a name given to me! I like to cruise around in a DIY camper van my boyfriend and I created—it’s a great way to explore new places. 🙂

What is your job title?
HR Manager

Holly & Laura Geocaching Photo Booth
Yes it’s true—our HR crew may definitely contain awesome.

What does your job title actually mean? In other words, how do you explain what you do to someone that has no idea what you do?
I lead our HR team at Geocaching HQ, which includes managing our recruiting efforts, benefits, and professional development, among many other things. Essentially, I spend my time ensuring that we provide everyone who works at Geocaching HQ with the things they need to be happy and effective. At a company like ours—where we literally play where we work—it’s a delight to be in this role!

Geocaching Laura Yoga
Sometimes finding a geocache is a real stretch!

Tell us about your geocaching style (exotic locations / quality over quantity)?Over time I’ve learned that I’m definitely a social geocacher! I like to be out with friends when we’re looking to earn smileys. If we’re having fun and looking for geocaches, it doesn’t matter how many we find most of the time.

What’s something that surprises you about geocaching – whether it’s the game itself, working at headquarters, or anything else?
I was surprised to find out that Signal the Frog is actually an epic dancer!

Bri & Laura Geocaching Original Stash
Always bring a pen!

What’s the best piece of geocaching advice or information you ever learned?
It’s basic but a tried-and-true piece of advice—always, always bring a pen.

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Geocaching.com Hamsters Go Big Time

Geocaching.com Hamsters

Rumor has it Geocaching.com internet servers are run by cute, hard-working, squeaky-voiced hamsters. Now you can have a Geocaching.com hamster of your own. Your hamster could either be a Trackable or commemorated on clothing. The hamsters just launched  their own products today. You know you’re kind of a big deal when you have your own merchandise line. But the humble hamsters weren’t always big time.

The hamsters toiled running Geocaching.com (Groundspeak) servers in obscurity for years. All that changed six months ago. Thousands of geocachers watched this first Geocaching.com hamster video as the site received a server upgrade in May. Instantly the hamsters were a hit.

Hamster Trackable Tag

Two lucky geocachers even adopted retired Geocaching.com hamsters used in the video. You can follow the adventures of one the hamsters in Germany on the blog, “Karlson the little hamster from Groundspeak.”

Now Shop Geocaching is introducing hamster themed merchandise. Customers outside the United States can ask their local Official Groundspeak Distributor for hamster merchandise. You can buy Trackable Groundspeak Hamster Tags.  You can also purchase hamster shirts.

Detail on Hamster Shirt

If you’re interested in watching the hamsters in their natural habitat, you can watch all three Geocaching.com hamster videos at the end of this blog post.

As far as what’s next for the Geocaching.com hamster, a lot of folks are asking. The answer may just rhyme with “bleacher tankth smoothie” (feature length movie) … or could that just be another rumor?

Hamster Shirt

 

 

 

GEOCACHING.COM HAMSTER VIDEOS

This is the first Geocaching.com Hamster video launched in May of this year. Geocachers discovered the history of the hamster rumor and learned more about the server upgrade.

 

Geocachers in Europe sent hamster food to Groundspeak Headquarters when the servers were slow during one week in the summer. We thought it was hilarious and wanted to thank them, including a cameo by Geocaching.com Co-Founder and CEO Jeremy Irish. This is the response video from Geocaching.com posted on German blogs. Ironically since the hamster food arrived the servers have been faster than ever. Hmmmm…  (Please do not send any more hamster food)

 

The video you see below is the “Down for Maintenance” hamster video which will appear when the site is briefly down for performance upgrades.