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Geocaching Alter Egos: TheVillains!

TheVillains

Some people pack a GPS device or smartphone, a pen and some gear to hit the geocaching trail. Mr. and Mrs. Mysterious who geocache under the team name TheVillains also pack mustaches, sunglasses, and comic books. Their geocaching alter ego is all about spreading the joy of evil geocaching. Their logs and cache pages are populated with quotes like this, “Horrible Hunting…. Muhahahahahahaha!!!!”

When asked by Geocaching.com “How evil is your evil geocaching?” Mr. and Mrs. Mysterious simply replied, “Very.”

TheVillains humble beginnings

TheVillains beginnings are humble enough. They started geocaching in February of this year. Mr. and Mrs. Mysterious write, “Well it all started with comic books. We wanted to leave a trademark item and we decided that comic books were awesome and so were the villains in them. So we decided to become villains ourselves with awesome disguises and take over the world of geocaching.”

Like all great comic book villains, the geocaching team has a simple, yet universal villain goal. They say, “Our goal is to dominate the world of geocaching by finding every single geocache in the world!!!! So one day your own geocache will be dominated by TheVillains!!!!! BEWARE!!!!! We also leave every geocache with our calling card and a villainous comic book (if it fits).”

They’ve definitely left a mustachioed mark on their geocaching community. They write, “We get a few emails from other geocachers after finding their ‘difficult’ geocaches, challenging us to find others. We also have quite a fan base, and get photos of people who have found our own geocaches… or not… posing as if they had a cool mustache like our own.”

TheVillains cache page log photos

With their alter egos TheVillains injected some… well… theatrical, villainous flare into the Southern California geocaching scene. They even square off against arch enemies.

Mr. and Mrs. Mysterious write, “We published our most well know geocache Mrs. Mysterious’s Mustaches (GC316RZ) where there is a series of false geocaches that when you find them, they have similar logos to our own, but the wrong mustache! We got a message from a fellow geocacher saying that she recently published a cache nearby and it was just found by our arch nemesis’s BBsquared and Spoons1 and that they are probably on their way to ours to be the FTF right now!”

It’s at this point where the evil geocaching duo sprang into action. They say, “So we put on our disguises and jumped in the car and drove over. Sure enough, there they were crawling under bushes and looking in trees trying to find our cache. We rolled down the window, they recognized us obviously, and we gave them a few foreboding hints leading them in the wrong direction and drove off with a Muhahahahahaha!!! It took them over an hour to find it.”

TheVillains, the next generation

BBsquared logged the cache and wrote, “We hopped like bunnies, searched in trees, TheVillains stopped by and laughed at me. We searched and looked and laughed, our clothes are pretty dirty but Spoons1 and I weren’t leaving until we logged a smiley. T4T [thanks for the] very devious and horrible $ – Muhahahahahahahahahahahahaha.” He finished by saying, “Happy – errrr I mean Horrible hunting.”

TheVillains are still in their first year of geocaching, they’re gaining notoriety and a following. The photo to the left was fresh crops of villains was recently uploaded on their Facebook page.

Even TheVillains mustaches are open to change. “We have been through a plethora of mustaches we recently grew these new handle bar ones, what do think? But we are always looking for new styles. But as far as costume changes go, we are sticking with the glasses and ‘stashes as our trademark logo shows.”

TheVillains at a night-cache

If you’re thinking about a career in evil geocaching, or creating an alter ego in your geocaching community, TheVillians have advice. “We can always use more henchmen…. But really, just be creative. No one likes finding lame geocaches, try to make everything you do interesting and create a theme, maybe one day you can be as cool as us….. not…..”

Then they signed their email with their trademark sign off, “Horrible Hunting,- TheVillains”

 

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Geocaching.com Presents – Extreme Multi-Caching

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By: Kelly Ranck

Rappelling after a Tree Climb

Consider yourself an adrenaline junkie? Crave physical and mental challenges that include long days of geocaching with “Gear, fear and fun?” If so, Extreme Multi-Caches are your speed. Watch the Geocaching.com Presents video “Extreme Multi-Caching” to experience extreme caching from the comfort (and safety) of your home.

If you’re new to geocaching, a Multi-Cache is a cache that involves two or more locations. An extreme Multi-Cache challenges geocachers to go to their physical limits. The caches are often best enjoyed with an experienced group of geocaching friends. Each location of a Multi-Cache leads to the next, often involving a puzzle of sorts, until you discover the final, physical container.

In the case of Jonathan Burns’ (lefalaf) and Thomas Solly’s (weatherguy726) Extreme Multi-Cache An Extreme Tour of Centralia!, much more than a sense of adventure is required. In this Geocaching.com Presents video ‘Extreme Mulit-Caching’, lefealaf and weatherguy726 are joined by four other geocachers- Dwight Kempf (Clancy’s Crew), Rob Campbell (Sandcast69), Eric Schott (GoHangASalami), and Jeff Kaye (The K-Team). The group wakes up at six am to head to the uniquely dangerous city of Centralia, Pennsylvania. Centralia is a ghost town where steam spews from cracked roadways. An underground coal mine fire has been burning under Centralia since 1962.

Extreme Multi-Cache Rappelling

As the geocachers ascend and rappel up and down trees, scale rocky cliffs, and crawl into deep caves, you will see how this energetic group attempt this five star difficulty/five star terrain twelve stage Extreme Multi-Cache. The cache takes most groups more than ten hours to complete.

The group shows how to experience Extreme Multi-Caches the safe way while challenging your basic human fears such as heights, tight spaces, and bugs (of sorts).

Because Extreme Multi-Caches require working in a team, they are also a great way to build community. The cache page reads, “Like all caches of this type, this cache is best designed to be shared with a group of friends.”

Extreme Multi-Cache Caving

Watch the video to learn more about what it takes to complete an Extreme Multi-Cache. For more Extreme Caching information, visit Extreme-Caching.com.

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Celebrating 10 Years in Germany

Mega-Event Cache Das Ulmer Fort GC20002

In an area next to Ulm University, a short drive away from Stuttgart, Germany, is a 130 year old abandoned fort occupied by a few sheep, some goats and a donkey named Paul.

Paul the Donkey

It was here on June 19th that local geocachers hosted Das Ulmer FORT – the Mega Event in Germany for 2010 (GC20002).

Six months ago the local geocaching community started preparations for the event. The fort had been neglected for 30 years, so an army of volunteers had to dig out the, err, deposits left by the local residents. The electricity had to be rewired, sharp protrusions had to be cut down and sanded, repairs had to be made, rooms had to be swept out, and trash had to be removed. This was necessary to make the location capable of holding over 300 campers who resided in the walls of the fort for the weekend.

Elias, Bryan and I, the three founders of Geocaching.com, had the privilege of attending the event this year.

The founders of Geocaching.com posing with geocaching attendees. Jeremy Irish (second from left), Bryan Roth (second from right) and Elias Alvord (far right)
Bryan Roth and Elias Alvord with the Queen of Fort Ulm

In the course of four hours we were able to mingle with the local geocachers, visit the various rooms and corridors in the Fort, meet the lovely Queen of Fort Ulm and celebrate a successful day with the organizers by eating a delicious Signal cake.

Signal was not harmed and
Signal was not harmed and was, in fact, also in attendance

It’s not often that we can visit geocachers in Europe, so we used this opportunity to listen to feedback about the web site. High on the list was having better ways to rate and search for geocaches by their ratings, which has been a common theme in the US. As geocaches increase in numbers it gets harder and harder to find the best ones.

Although geocachers in the world have far more similarities than differences, there were also some notable observations in how Germans play the game.

Signal waves to a fan

1. Many German geocachers enjoy finding terrain level 5 caches, or what are locally called “T5” caches. Many of these caches are located in trees, requiring special climbing gear. The event even had FORTgeschrittene, a T5 event for finding these extreme geocaches. In addition to a ropes course, you could dive into a freezing pool to find a cache. Fortunately you could enter a portable sauna to warm up afterward. Sadly I didn’t pack a bathing suit.

Bryan Roth (almost) diving into pool to retrieve a geocache.

2. According to the “Flashlight Pope” at the event, there are quite a few caches that require a black light. This is so you can see writing that takes you to the next location. As a gift he gave each of us a black light to use on our next geocaching adventure.

3. Multi-Caches are far more popular in Germany (and in Europe) than in the United States. Many more geocachers seem to be willing to spend days on one puzzle cache there. There may be a lot of multi-cache fans in the U.S. but the ratios of multis in Germany to U.S. caches are significantly higher.

Aside from the event we were able to locate unique geocaches in Germany, such as a cache in the center of Berlin with over 3,000 finds (GCTA4W), and a cache in the spire of the world’s tallest church (GCJ7E0), located in the city of Ulm.

If the locals plan on having a FORTsetzung (sequel) next year you don’t want to miss it. Thanks to everyone who planned one of the best geocaching events that we have ever attended. I hope to see you again next year!