IntlEarthCacheDay
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Get to know your EarthCache reviewers

This year’s International EarthCache Day is on October 9, and Geocaching HQ is excited to partner up again with the Geological Society of America to offer a souvenir for finding an EarthCache on that date.

EarthCaches provide an opportunity to learn a geological lesson and visit awe-inspiring geological locations. Visitors can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence. Typically, to log an EarthCache, you will have to provide answers to questions by observing the geological location.

Thankfully, there is a group of dedicated EarthCache Reviewers who help facilitate this program so that geocachers can enjoy EarthCaches all over the world. Instead of reading a lesson in a book, they see and learn about geological features with their own eyes.

Who are EarthCache Reviewers?

They are community volunteers with scientific backgrounds that work with EarthCache cache owners to develop the best submissions possible. Learn about their story and what they love so much about EarthCaches.


GeoawareCA, Sandra

Sandra has been an EarthCache Reviewer since 2009, making her the longest standing active EarthCache Reviewer. GeoawareCA has a degree in Environmental Science with a focus on physical geography.

Mélange at Lobster Head Cove in Gros Morne National Park (GC5B7G0)
Mélange at Lobster Head Cove in Gros Morne National Park (GC5B7G0)

What is your favorite EarthCache?

If I had to pick one as my favorite, I’d have to say Pu’u’ula’ula (Red Hill) Haleakala Volcano Summit (GC18Z99) in Hawaii for its stunning beauty.

Tell us one cool fact we may not know about the Earth.

Contrary to what you may have been taught in school, diamonds do not form from coal. In fact, most diamonds that have been dated are much older than plant life on earth (the source of coal).

Any cool stories to share?

We recently travelled to Iceland and found many incredible EarthCaches there. We climbed to the top of the Eldfell volcano which last erupted in 1973 and warmed our hands by the heat rising out of the fumaroles (GC2EVVH); we visited a couple of locations where you could walk between the continental plates for Europe and North America (GC1Z45X and GC2DK2E); we visited geysir from which the English word geyser is derived (GC1G4XZ); we saw caves carved into columnar basalt and walked along a black sand beach (GC514W0); we swam in geothermally heated pools (GC25643); and we saw many beautiful waterfalls including one we could walk behind (GC2B1TJ). Truly a dream vacation for anyone interested in geology.

  • Eldfell—GC2EVVH

GeoAwareNordic3, Mats

Mats is a naturally curious Swede that has been hooked on EarthCaches since the first one he found. His interest in science and especially earth science make him an awesome EarthCache Reviewer with the most logged EarthCaches in Sweden!

Mats at Midlina, GC2DK2E
Mats at Midlina, GC2DK2E

What is your favorite EarthCache?

MIDLINA — GC2DK2E, an amazing place to see and get the grasp of.

The Greatest Little Mine in the World—GC1W9TC, an old mine in Sweden where at least 8 of the chemical elements were discovered.

Der Alte Schwede—GC1M15Z, an early EC:s for us, a big stone from Sweden.

Dinosaurier-Spuren Barkhausen —GC18P1C, imagine, dinosaur track!

West Sulphur Mountain Oil Spring—GC1A5E2, a natural oil-river.

Tell us one cool fact we may not know about the Earth.

Earth has an equatorial bulge at 42km. This means when standing on the equator at sea level you are 21km higher than when standing on either pole. As a result of this, the summit of Chimborazo, a mountain in Ecuador, is the place where you are closest to space, still standing on Earth! This is also the point on earth farthest away from the Earth’s core.

Any cool stories to share?

My brother and I used to take EarthCache weekends once or twice a year when we drove around Sweden and logged as many EarthCaches as we could. 30+ EarthCaches is our record for a weekend.

  • Der Alte Schwede—GC1M15Z

GeoawareUSA4, Mike

Mike is an Alaskan with a degree in Chemical Engineering and strong interest in geology and earth science.He still vividly remembers walking backwards in time more than one billion years during his first hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon when he was 10 years old. In 2010, he joined the Community Volunteer team as the Reviewer for Alaska and now as an EarthCache Reviewer.

Mike
Mike in action

What is your favorite EarthCache?

Having completed nearly 300 EarthCaches, it is difficult to pin down a single favorite. However, some highlights include “Umpire Rock,” GC1G4W0, where an urban EarthCache teaches a glaciology lesson in New York City’s Central Park, “Cabo da Roca – DP/EC33,” GC1HGAY, and many other EarthCaches along Portugal’s west coast developed by danieloliveira, which brought the local landscape alive for me during a tour with the EarthCache developer himself, and “Ape Cave,” GCZ8ZQ, which took me about a mile through a lava tube on the flank of Mount St. Helens. Yellowstone National Park has several dozen EarthCaches of which I’ve completed 27 during 2 visits, which greatly enhanced my experience to one of the most amazing “living” geology locations in the world.

Tell us one cool fact we may not know about the Earth.

As a result of melting glaciers retreating from areas long-covered by ice, many parts of Alaska are “rebounding,” which means they are increasing in elevation.

Any cool stories to share?

My brother and two nephews accompanied me on my first visit to Yellowstone National Park in 2013. After visiting “No Finger Painting Allowed,” GC1ZTH2, and watching the many mud pots burp and gurgle while we inhaled sulfur-laden fumes, my youngest nephew exclaimed “this place is disgustingly awesome!”  Having a youngster think anything in a natural setting is “awesome,” is, well, “awesome!”

  • Portuguese EarthCache Field Trip with Danieloliveira (right) and BTRodrigues (left) and Natasha.

There are currently 24,271 active EarthCaches in the world. Have you ever found an EarthCache? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!

Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 - photo courtesy of ~M&M~
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Hilma Hooker (GC2W056) — Geocache of the Week

Traditional
GC2W056
by Hud4
Difficulty:
2
Terrain:
5
Location:
Bonaire
N 12° 05.974 W 068° 17.213
Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 - photo courtesy of ~M&M~
Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 – photo courtesy of ~M&M~

Ahoy, geocachers! When most geocachers think of T5 geocaches, they usually think of climbing to the top of a steep mountain. But some intrepid geocachers know that diving down, deep down, like, 29 meters (100 feet) down, is what T5s are really all about.

Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 - photo courtesy of Lichtchef
Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 – photo courtesy of Lichtchef

The Hilma Hooker is a shipwreck in the Caribbean Netherlands, and is well known as a popular wreck diving site. The ship was built during the 1950’s in the Netherlands and eventually ended up as a vessel used by a Colombian shipping company.

Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 photo courtesy of De Prinnies
Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056 photo courtesy of De Prinnies

In the summer of 1984, after several months of surveillance for suspicious activities, the ship was detained in Bonaire. It was neglected for an extended period of time and took on a considerable amount of water. On September 7th, the ship was towed to anchorage, and then at 9:08 am, September 12th, the Hilma Hooker sank in just two minutes. That’s right—all 71.78 meters (235.5 feet) of this ship sank in less time than it takes to cook an egg.

Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056
Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056

The coordinates will take you to the shipwreck buoys; however, the actual geocache is 29 meters (100 feet) underwater at the shipwreck itself. The log is in the sand under the yardarm of the ship’s main mast. Here are some logs from those who’ve made the dive:

“Very nice location to visit! The wreck is easy to dive around also for less experienced divers. Just watch out the depth and current. The wreck is guarded by a couple of big tarpons (fish) and has a funny history. TFTC!” –Exploring bear

“A few days ago I have only my Open Water Diver certification get. And now even followed my first underwater cache. When we discovered the ship I was impressed. After we had found the Madonna we could create the Logproof photos. I’m still fascinated by this cache.” –moestaverne77

“As I was by myself I did a guided dive on this great wreck. Thanks a lot for all the information provided – the ship really has an interesting history and appears to have (been) sunk in a perfect location… Visibility was pretty good and there were no other divers apart from us. Using nitrox we could spent enough time to explore the wreck and of course to ‘stoop down and with the finger write on the ground’ my cachername ‘kinderarzt’… Although, by now it has probably turned into dust and ashes. Great idea – worth a blue ribbon just as blue as the surrounding water. TFTC” –kinderarzt

“Thanks for placing a cache at this famous dive spot. In this way we could log our first “terrain 5” cache without having to do major climbing .” –Woffi

  • Geocache Hilma Hooker GC2W056

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog.

If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form!

Hilma Hooker (GC2W056) — Geocache of the Week
Hilma Hooker (GC2W056) — Geocache of the Week
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Arctic Circle Trail (K –> S) — Geocache of the Week

Multi-Cache
GC3QR3J
by TriNitro
Difficulty:
5
Terrain:
5
Location:
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
N 66° 55.220′ W 051° 21.626

Arctic Multi-Cache Greenland

On a recent trip, I got the opportunity to fly over the Arctic Ocean. As the plane flew 36,000 feet above Greenland, I looked deeply into the ice, trying to spot a polar bear mid-traverse across an ice field. Ever since then I have been dreaming of a Greenland adventure and what amazing scenery and community I might discover there.

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With a population of just over 57,000 people, Greenland is a vast landscape that has yet to be developed and is slowly increasing in annual visitors (about 40,000 in 2016). For that very reason, I have dreamed of going to Greenland to explore such a uniquely raw place and experience pristine nature. What could make a trip to Greenland even better? Perhaps finding a Multi-Cache along the Arctic Circle Trail!

unnamed (2)

As the most famous hiking trail in Greenland, the Arctic Circle Trail is a 160 km (almost 100 mile) backcountry trail between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut. Open until mid-September for hiking, the faint trail leads you through low arctic vegetation and into rocky mountains. Along the way, there are daintily placed huts for you to overnight in or take shelter from the unpredictable arctic weather and also find geocaches along the way. If you do not have 7 or 8 days to make this trek in the summer, or if you are a brave soul, you can embark on the journey via dog sled, snowmobile, or cross country skis. Although completing the trek in the winter sounds magical, you may have some trouble finding the final geocache due to lots of snow.

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Although we are featuring one Multi-Cache on the Geocache of the Week, geocache owner TriNitro was kind enough to place another one going in the opposite direction. So no matter which way you begin your journey, you can find a fun final stage. Check out Arctic Circle Trail (S –> K) if you choose to hike from West to East.

TriNitro hauled 12 days worth of supplies and the caches on his back into the backcountry with him:

In front of us, there were about 160 km of walking, 15 km of canoeing, and twelve days of unforgettable impressions in a widely remote landscape. Again, the weather was incredible and we had so much fun along the trail. And: silence! In my opinion this is one of the most impressive and precious things to experience.

  • Just a few of the gorgeous images from this amazing Multi-Cache

TriNitro was also nice enough to host a geocaching event in Greenland for the very small, but welcoming Greenlandic geocaching community:

Before leaving for our trip to Greenland, I submitted an event in Sisimiut to meet some of the local geocachers. So we found ourselves standing in drenching rain at the old church of Sisimiut waiting for other cachers. As we left directly after the event was published, we did not know how many geocachers might join us, if any at all. Finally, the only local Sisimiut geocacher joined our very private event. Due to the weather conditions he decided to put us in his truck and gave us a sightseeing tour of Sisimiut. Not enough, he invited us to his home where we met his lovely family and joined some tasty meal after we found a geocache in his garden. All the people we met during our trip have been very polite and open minded and we were absolutely overwhelmed by this hospitality.

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After reading about this geocache and viewing all the breathtaking photos, I am inspired to book a flight to Kangerlussuaq right now! It would truly be a badge of honor to have that guidebook in your home library and that find on your profile.

Thanks to TriNitro for sharing geocaching with the Greenlandic community and for sharing Greenland with all of us geocachers around the world!

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Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Mailersuite_05162016_GO_Day_vCOMP_D_Blog 800x450

7 Ways to #GetOutdoors for a Souvenir

On Saturday, June 11, 2016, anyone can earn the Get Outdoors Day souvenir! To do so, find any geocache or attend any geocaching event.

With over 2.5 million geocaches hidden around the world, you’ll have to make some choices. And choices are hard! To help, here are 7 ways to combine geocaching with another outdoor activity!

1. Visit a park

…by the way, if you’re in the U.S., check out the Find Your Park GeoTour!

  • Visit a Park!

2. Go for a hike

  • Hike!

3. Go for an urban walk

4. Walk your dog… or cat

5. Ride a bike

6. Kayak or canoe

7. Go for a swim

  • Go for a Swim to #GetOutdoors

 

 

TreeCachingChris
9 Comments

Reach New Geocaching Heights!

Given that my college alma mater’s mascot is a bird (albeit a mythical onethe Jayhawk), perhaps it’s no surprise that some of my favorite geocaches are ones that get me in the air. I love climbing caches!

FloridaGeocache
Climbing for a cache in Florida

Some climbing caches are more accessible than others. Those that require ropes, harnesses and other gear can be fantastic, but may be beyond the reach of non-technical climbers. However, geocaches in trees are often suitable for a wide variety of ages and abilities. So what makes for a great tree climbing geocache experience?

  • The right tree: It should be sturdy enough for an adult to climb. If the limbs are too thin, it can be hazardous for the geocacher and the tree. (Never damage a tree or other wildlife while attempting to find a geocache.)
  • The right equipment: Even if you don’t need ropes or harnesses, you must wear the correct footwear and other apparel. Flip-flops are a no-no!
  • The right day: Don’t attempt to climb in wet, icy or otherwise dangerous conditions. And be sure to bring a friend. Not just to keep an eye on you, but to take great pictures!
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Climbing in Iowa

Tree climbing geocaches are a blast. For me, it’s a combination of adrenaline rush and natural beauty that’s hard to beat. Just last week, I was signing a log and thought, “What a spectacular view!” followed quickly by, “Okay, now how exactly am I gonna get down from here?” On that note, I can’t stress enough the importance of safety in your pursuit. If at any point you feel you’re taking an unnecessary risk, just stop and return to terra firma.

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Ascending in Nebraska

I could talk all day about my personal favorite tree climbing experiences, but just a few that come to mind are “Bird House” (Fort Myers, FL) and Free Bird (Parkville, MO). Sadly, my tree climbing experience doesn’t yet extend beyond North America. But I hope to change that someday.

Have you ever climbed high for a smiley?