Friday, October 12, 2007

Geocaching Update: Finding Tupperware in the Woods

This time, in addition to posting some maps, I thought I'd talk a little bit about what I like about geocaching -- and what I don't. One thing I like is the fact that although it's a social hobby (it couldn't exist without a massive network of people), I have yet to meet another geocacher (other than Christina).

There are different types of caches. The type I tend to prefer involve, to paraphrase a T-shirt, finding Tupperware in the woods. I like to walk around a park or other natural, isolated location and find a geocaching container (possibly, in fact, made of Tupperware) hidden in a tree stump or under some rocks.

The type I don't usually like is, well, something like looking for film canisters in parking lots. When I was in California, I found one that was an Altoids tin which had been magnetized and attached to a piece of equipment in an office park. Whee, an office park. One of the closer ones to where I work is near the parking lot of the Bowie Target. I found its general location today. Other than the fact that I wasn't going to climb around looking for it in my work shoes, it had this "cache attribute":



Stealth required. While it may thrill some people to get to sneak around avoiding non-geocachers (or "muggles" as they're called), the last thing I want to do is have to explain to some mall rent-a-cop that no, I'm not really a terrorist, despite the fact that I'm using electronics to hide suspicious containers.

Fortunately, with a $30/year geocaching.com membership, I can create custom queries. A typical one ignores caches that are "micro" in size...which gets rid of most ones in heavily trafficked urban/suburban environments.

A cache in the wilds of Columbia last weekend brought my Maryland county count up to six:


Also, the coin I left in Vienna continued its trek across the Czech Republic,

while the coin I left in the UK moved an exciting 8.9 miles to the north...
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