Here are the stories of Insp Gadget, nudecacher, BadAndy and AtoZ, some truly dedicated, arguably outrageous cachers who already may have exceeded your personal limitations.
So you think you’re passionate about geocaching? Would you say it is in your blood? Is it under your skin? As with most hobbies, caching may metamorphose from a fleeting curiosity into a lifestyle.
You get out of it what you put in to it.
Just how passionate are you? Do you have the geocaching.com logo tattooed on your shoulder? Would you climb a mountain or dive on a sunken aircraft to find a cache? Have you ever danced with a skunk or faced off a bison to log a smilie? Would you do it in the nude?
An interview with Insp Gadget
Sept1c—Your profile: “On Oct 21, 2003, I had a tattoo of the Geocaching icon placed on my shoulder. For me, this game has really made a huge impact on my life and I felt this was a way to remember that. It’s not for everyone, but I love it!”
Gadget–I’m not much into sports. I find Geocaching interesting since it’s different each and every time. I especially enjoy the risk that some difficult caches can bring. Geocaching has changed my life in several ways. It got me off my butt and out getting some exercise, introducing me to so many new places and many people.
Sept1c– Did the tattoo hurt?
Gadget–Nope. More annoying than anything. Felt kind of like rubbing sandpaper on your skin. (I cried a bit, but don’t tell anyone, ok?)
Sept1c– You are obviously passionate about geocaching. Since early 2001, you have hidden 377 caches.
Gadget–Your right. I have hidden 377 caches since early 2001 however there is an upcoming friendly challenge between the provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to see who can hide the most number of caches during the first weekend of February. My girlfriend and I have been preparing around 100 to hide during that period of time so I really hope to raise that number.
Sept1c– How do you keep track of all of them? Can you actually remember where they all are?
Gadget–Keeping track of them is quite easy actually. I receive the list every week from geocaching.com and of all the caches that I own and I can plot them in Mapsource.
Sept1c– How much time do you spend maintaining them?
Gadget–The first few caches that I did were in very poor containers and a lot of maintenance was needed on those. More recently however, I started to use better containers, which are quite weatherproof and very durable. I also wrapped each cache in a Ziploc bag and then wrap that in side of the few other bags to protect it from the elements. I do check some caches when I can but especially if someone has mentioned that there’s a problem I check on it as soon as possible. I would guess that I spend a few hours a month maintaining the caches.
…it appears some of your caches are not for sissies.Sept1c– You have quite a variety of difficulty and terrain and it appears some of your caches are not for sissies. Would you care to comment on some of your most difficult hides, including: Vertigo!
Gadget–Vertigo is a cache I hid in the city of Bathurst in northern New Brunswick. It’s basically a micro with a magnet attached that is hidden under a bridge. This bridge is approximately 200 feet above the water and the only way to reach the cache is to walk on an extremely narrow catwalk about halfway across and jump down onto a concrete pier and walk about 10 feet over to reach this cache. Only a few people have found it and others have told me they don’t want to take the chance of trying for it.
Sept1c– Wow, nine out of the ten voices in my head say, “don’t do it!” Do people think you’re just a bit off?
Gadget– You wouldn’t be the first person to tell me that I was a bit odd for wanting to reach some of the places that I have some caches hidden. My girlfriend literally has to hold me back in some instances. In one instance, 4 local cachers walked 4km across the ice in -36c weather to hide a few caches on Heron Island.
Sept1c– How do you answer those that think this is just too dangerous?
Gadget– Several people have told me that they don’t feel vertigo is safe enough and my answer to them is, by all means, don’t try. If someone is not comfortable enough in taking a risk and reaching this cache they should not do it. I would feel terrible if anyone ever got hurt trying to find one of my caches. And while I understand many people go caching with their children a lot of us do not. I prefer a cache that is very risky, difficult to reach or very physically demanding. I get a real rush out of something like that.
Gonna make you sweat 4 is probably the most difficult and dangerous cache that I’ve ever hidden. Only one person has found it and I do not expect many more to find it. This cache is on the face of the Sugarloaf Mountain in Campbellton. It is located about three quarters of the way up the mountain on a ledge approximately 1 foot wide. In order to get here you have to climb to a spot approximately 600 feet above the ground. You then have to walk about 10 feet on this 1-foot wide ledge with nothing between you and certain doom.
The cache is very symbolic in that it is located at the base of a small Red Cross that is painted on the face of the mountain, which symbolizes the death many years ago of a young girl who fell from the top of the mountain.
Gadget–I very much enjoy hiding all types of caches. Whether they are easy to get to or very difficult. I find the more special places take quite a bit longer to reach however so few people actually take time to try to find them that I limit the number of difficult caches that I hide.
My favorite part of geocaching is not trading items, but rather reading the logs and stories of people who have reached these areas. Very easy to access caches are extremely popular and therefore many more logs are entered, however the logs for the more difficult caches are much more interesting to read.
Sept1c– You have a good mix of containers and sizes. What are your favorite containers?
I bought my first GPS, a Garmin E-Map in early 2001…I checked the GC website and noticed that there were no caches in my province yet, so I decided to hide the very first one.Gadget–Currently my favorite containers are Lock N Locks. These are very durable and weatherproof plastic containers that can really take a beating and withstand the elements. I would really love to get my hands on some ammo cans however I been unable to locate them in my area. You also have to keep in mind that with the high number of caches that I’ve hidden buying all of these containers would cost an absolute fortune let alone the trinkets inside. I also like using empty 35mm film containers for my micros. I seal them inside Ziploc bags to make sure they are waterproof and usually they last quite a while.
Sept1c– How do you typically stock a lock-n-lock type cache? Does this cost you much?
Gadget–The girlfriend and I usually go to the dollar store and spend quite a bit of money buying little trinkets for the caches. I found one item that seems to be quite popular; the small wooden projects that can be built by almost anyone. They give you all the pieces of wood and just very simple directions on how to put it together. I’ve gotten quite a few compliments from people whose children have taken those from my caches and have really enjoyed putting them together. I try putting things in caches for the children, adults and the young at heart. I always make sure there’s a logbook and pencil in a separate Ziploc bag and I usually throw my calling card inside.
Sept1c– You must get a lot of email?
Gadget–Your right. Each day I get several log entries, but I love reading each and every one of them!
Sept1c– How did you discover geocaching?
Gadget–I bought my first GPS, a Garmin E-Map in early 2001. While I was trying to learn all about it, I stumbled across the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup and asked several questions about my new toy. At some point I was scanning the headers and saw one mentioning geocaching. I was hooked from that point on. I checked the GC website and noticed that there were no caches in my province yet, so I decided to hide the very first one.
A few weeks later, someone found it and I was so excited that I visited the cache right away to see what he or she had written in the logbook. A month or so later another cache appeared in the province. It was a virtual located about 3 hours away. I got in the car right then and there and went to find it. From that humble beginning, New Brunswick now has 1170 caches. A big part of bringing people together is the Maritime Geocaching website. (www.maritimegeocaching.com)
Sept1c– What do you do in real life?
Gadget–I work for the Government. I travel so very much that it’s perfect for Geocaching. Instead of staying in a hotel room at night, I can go out and find a few caches.
Some notes from nudecacher
Sept1c– What drives you to cache in the nude?
Nudecacher–My wife, Detective Elizabeth , and I have been members of the nudist community for a decade, including belonging to the national organizations, the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS). Both organizations work at protecting rights for nudists and have government affairs action committees. I was the originator of the Lark website for the LARC nudist club and have been it’s webmaster for almost a decade and so I was comfortable with being open about my nudity.
My activity, logs, and pictures are intended to be no different than any others in the geocaching community, such as dog lovers, scout troops, and families.I discovered geocaching.com from an article at slashdot.org and became interested when I discovered that a cache existed right by the trail that I was regularly taking to a local informal nude beach. The thought occurred to me that I could use geocaching to expand a positive awareness of nude recreation by being open about my nudity and have fun in the process. I have the same motivations to geocache as everyone else; being outdoors, getting exercise, participating in social activities; and in addition, participating in a new form of nude recreation.
My activity, logs, and pictures are intended to be no different than any others in the geocaching community, such as dog lovers, scout troops, and families. After the initial reaction almost two years ago, and after my changing to “strategically posed” pictures, the nudecacher persona seems to be well accepted and has gained much more support than I had imagined possible. I’ve posted a few times in the discussions, but generally other cachers have been good about correcting misconceptions about nudity in society so that I didn’t have to. I’ve received a lot of encouragement communication and almost none negative. There are a number of cachers who have had nude caching experiences, but nudecacher seems to be the best known.
Having to carefully pose pictures changed me from being a cacher who was a nudist to being an actor playing the nudecacher part though. My original pictures were all deleted by TPTB and I re-emerged as the nudecacher persona in the time frame of the Woodpecker cache incident.
Sept1c–Are you a “fair weather” cacher?
Nudecacher–I’m not exactly a “fair weather” cacher, but I don’t get out much when the weather isn’t as good. In spite of the nudecacher persona image, I have to work at making opportunities for nude caching that seem natural. My gallery includes pictures of me with my rain hat and even occasionally my coat and clothes in the edge of the picture on days that weren’t conducive to nuding.
Sept1c–What is your opinion of the ever-present-micro-hidden-in-a-high-traffic-area?
Nudecacher–I prefer real caches to micros. Virtuals are almost always a problem. The urban-micros problem is not much different for me than it is for other cachers. The urban setting is a challenge for nude caching. I have to be careful, but it is really amazing how many opportunities I have found to include urban caches. Good cache sites include an element of obscurity that I take advantage of. I’m especially proud of the caches that I’ve done that would seem impossible. DNFs are almost as good as finds; they show up on the cache page but not in my profile.
Sept1c–I notice you have yet to attend a geocaching event. Is this because you are shy?
Nudecacher–On the contrary, I have attended a number of geocaching events. None of them were at nude friendly locations, so I had to attend dressed. I call it ‘textile bondage’. I seemed to be well accepted. It wouldn’t bother me to be the only person in a large crowd that was nude, and it doesn’t take much of an invitation for me to shed my clothes. I’m not in caching for the numbers and I haven’t done online logs for all of my caching experience. Last October I took a 2000-mile trip finding 40 caches with 150 great nudecacher pictures to post. However, my computer crashed when I got back and I lost all the pictures, so I didn’t even do the online logs.
I’ve placed a few caches, including the beginning of my DNR series on Washington State Department of Natural Resource public lands. I’m using the caches to publicize this little known but great public resource. I hope to greatly expand the series, as there are few local ordinances against simple nudity for most state owned lands.
Watch out for BadAndy
BadAndy (in his own words) has always been the guy that tosses a firecracker into the campfire just to watch everyone scatter, or grease up the toilet seat with Vaseline. One night while chatting on IRC I saw the dominos pizza commercial featuring….Tadaaa…BadAndy, so I glommed onto the nick. My name isn’t even Andy, it’s George. BadAndy is more my style.
In his caching adventures, BadAndy has defied skunks and survived a close brush with bison.
But BadAndy has a passion for complex caches. He spent almost $100 and a lot of time on just one leg of a multi cache:
“I had always wanted to place an unforgettable cache, something that would really stand out. I also wanted to use as much technology as I could, so I hit ebay and started searching.
After a couple hours I bid on an assortment of electronic components and devices. All these had to be hacked together and modified for my purposes. When it was complete, I had a large junction box full of electronics, a battery, and a solar panel attached…itching for a spot to be placed. This is when things got complicated.
I ended up choosing a light pole at a local park. Convincing the parks dept to allow me to mount this device on one of their poles was no easy feat. After referencing a few FCC rules and regulations, they eventually agreed, and the cache was set.
I eventually had to move the box to my front porch as the extreme cold weather kept killing the battery (I got weary of climbing that damn pole to reset it). It’ll be back on the pole when it gets a bit warmer.
The logs speak for themselves. It has been very gratifying to read the logs, and hear about how much fun cachers have had on this multi. I spent more than I had planned on this waypoint, just over $80.00, and many hours of work and planning putting it all together.
I think I accomplished my goal, but it has put me into a difficult position…what’s next? I’m thinking something using video…or robotics.
AtoZ likes the old Japanese saying “The man that has not climbed Mt Fuji is once a fool the man that has climbed Mt Fuji twice is twice a fool.”—from his log describing An Abbreviated Abseil.
He hangs on ropes high above the ground and dives on sunken aircraft for geocaches. He covers the whole alphabet, and he makes it sound like just another day geocaching:
“Coloradocurtdude is a local area cacher in Denver Colorado that is known for his unique and fun caches. Last June I saw a cache pop up on the local cache pages for Colorado. One was Curt’s can’t touch this ; the cache was hidden in a small Cessna airplane sunk in about 15 feet of water for local SAR to practice rescue.
I had heard of this dive adventure but never thought much of it after having learned to dive in the clear waters of Okinawa, while living there for three years. I had also spent a year cave diving in Florida. Diving in Denver in zero visibility in 15 feet of water was not my cup of tea.
But now as a geocacher I had a new reason to make this dive. So I put it on my list of caches to do. But summer vacations and all prevented me from running out and doing this cache right away.
In late July I met Boogsar, an ex-Navy rescue swimmer, and we struck up a friendship.
Well he had seen the cache page and said he had even driven out to the site (he did not have scuba experience) thinking he might free dive to the cache.
I contacted a couple of other caching friends and we decide to do it that coming weekend. I dug out my dive gear and checked; I had enough air in my tank.
So come the 4th of August we woke to overcast skies and a good breeze out of the south. Switchdoc and Spammer, two caching friends I called, said they could be sherpa for the day to help us lug gear to the beach.
Arriving at the area, we unloaded the mountain of gear I had. After kitting up, Boogsar and I swam to a buoy marking the site of the downed airplane. Does this count as doing a cache without a GPSr?
Any way Boogsar made one free dive as I slowly sank into the depth letting air out of my BCD. Visibility was about 3 feet at best, I had been in caves and in open ocean in worse visibility so no big problem. After a minute I found the plane about 10 feet from the buoy’s anchor chain. Looking around one side of the plane I saw no way in so I swam around the front and found the passenger door missing and looking in side I sighted the cache container on the floor of the plane.
But a Denison of the deep was guarding it so I did battle with the six-inch crawdad until he fled into the murky depths. I then surfaced and offered Boogsar my spare regulator. I have a cavers rig with an extra long hose.
We then went back down and retrieved the cache container, an ammo can, and opened it and signed the log slate and then traded a few trinkets and up we came to distant peels of thunder. So it was beat feet (or fin) out of the water.
Well thanks to Coloradocurtdude for a fun adventure and all and to Boogsar a good diving buddy and switchdoc and Spammer for holding the beachhead for us while we made the dive. It was a good adventure.”