headed to gwx (geowoodstock 10) with my girlfriend. i had a couple people ask what the hell i was talking about. it’s a geocaching “mega event.”
geocaching.com describes geocaching as “a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using gps-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.” as i said before though, it’s better described as “hanging out with nerds and running around in the woods, chasing after tupperware filled with mildew-ridden mcdonalds toys.”
so, what’s the draw? what’s my take on the “game?” (as an aside: game seems inaccurate to me, as “winning” isn’t possible or, alternately, you make your own rules, so everyone can “win”)
– the hike: i’ve found trail systems i’d never have hiked, if it weren’t for geocaching. 100′s of miles and 10′s of thousands of vertical feet hiked. ’nuff said.
– the cleverness: about one in a hundred caches either wracks my brain or has me grinning for hours. sometimes, it’s because it was a clever hide, sometimes it’s because it was a clever container, and sometimes it’s because it was a clever puzzle cache.
– the hunt: i’m a numbers whore. i’ll pull off to the side of the road to grab a magnetic key holder stuck to the back of a guardrail. no redeeming qualities, but it’s “another cache found.”
– nerd social: nothing like meeting someone on the trail who’s as obsessive about caching. everyone has their own “rules” or find a “game within the game.” learning about others’ obsession is fun.
– the race: when a new cache is published, i get an sms message, an email, and a pop-up on my desktop. if close enough, often within minutes i’m headed to the location of the new cache, trying to be the “ftf” (first to find). around here, it’s frequently an “ftf party” with 6 or 8 cachers showing up and looking.
anyway.. it’s a ridiculous waste of time, like anything worth doing.