Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The best cache hide so far

Here was the GZ (ground zone- given co-ordintates). Spot the cache!
Here is BabyDippy holding the cache
On the end of the stick is a metal cannister, it has been screwed on via the lid. The cache was then placed in a hole in the lod to look like a branch. Took a while to find this one!

Wecko the Gecko

We found this gecko cache the other day! He was hiding very carefully, I spotted just his eyes glowing in the light...not a good moment for my heart! Once I'd retrieved him both DippyKids had fun playing with him.

Monday, 26 July 2010

Caching on my bike

Once upon a time this was my bike...

Nowadays, I ride my mountain bike a few times a year. My race bike is gathering dust in the garage and my mountain bike has a large child seat attached to the back!

A new short series of caches was published this morning so I thought I'd try and get a FTF (first to find). I then had this mad notion of taking my bike round the caches. Once BabyDippy and TinyDippy were in bed, I packed the car with my bike, bid farewell to DaddyDippy and set off.
I unloaded the bike and rode, it felt good and then I realised I was riding downhill with a tail wind! Once upon a time I had competed for Great Britain in the sport of Triathlon; heck, they even made me Team Captain at a few World Championships...and here I was, this evening, puffing and panting after half a mile (going down hill and with a tail wind)!

Anyway, I found the first and second caches easily. I then began the uphill struggle on an overgrown byway...a little walk was needed! Thankfully I hit some downhill and I whizzed off. There was one section where I had to walk the bike as the path turned into a 'footpath'. I was grateful for this.
The final two caches were easy finds, I needed easy finds as by now, I was exhausted!
It'll be several days before I'll tihnk about riding my bike again.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Caching in The New Forest

This weekend, we took a camping tip down into The New Forest.
On Saturday we took in a 'Hallowe'en Series'. Each cache was themed around Hallowe'en so we found cats, rats, spiders, coffins and pumpkins. This was a really fun series...apart from the rats!

We took in our first Earth Cache too. These are caches which teach you something about the local environment, there isn't a cache container to be found, but often you have to post a picture of yourself or GPS at the location.

Our second day involved a 'sidetracked' cache at Brockenhurst station, followed by a set of 5 caches within the New Forest. We had a great walk through Dinosaur Lands here and found some great sized caches. One of the caches we found was called 'Bouncy Tree' and here is why....!
We dropped off 5 Travel bugs and picked up 5 new ones to move on. We also spotted a Travel Bug car (similar to our own) and met another family out caching. All in all, a great weekend.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Cache Types

There are many different types of caches.
The most common cache is the 'traditional'- a basic cache ranging from a nano size to 'large'.  The co-ordinates given will take you straight to the cache. We've found 318 of these so far. They are, by far, the most popular types of cache.
Multi-caches are a series of off set caches. The given co-ordinates will give you a clue to further clues or the actual cache. We have just 4 of these found.
Mystery caches involve a puzzle (numbers, words, poems, rhymes etc) which needs to be solved to find the cache. We have solved 9 puzzles so far.
Today I found our first 'letterbox' cache. Letterboxing dates back to 1854, it was first started in Dartmoor. See more here.
We've also found a 'virtual cache' which doesn't have a cache container. Some virtual caches require you to email the cache owner with an answer specific to the co-ordinates given.
There are a few other types of caches, but we are yet to do those.

How do I get into Geocaching?

Go to and register a user name for free. Use the search engine to type in a location. Decide which cache you want to do. Fire up your phone or GPS unit and go hunt! Once you've found the cache, swap some swag if you want to, sign the log book and move on or head home. Once home, log your visit on the geocaching website.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

How we found our missing cat

Back in October 2009, our cat Marmalade went missing. We searched high and low for him, we then realised he was not coming home. 6 months later we discovered geocaching. There are many caches within 5 miles of our house so we were trying to complete a few local ones. One day we parked up, walked a mile up towards the cache, eventually found the cache, signed the log, left a dinosaur and then began the walk back down the hill. Suddenly we heard a 'meow meow meow' from the bushes...and out leapt Marmalade. We stared at him in disbelief; meanwhile he was getting his tummy rubbed by BabyDippy. It was our cat!

Now we had a problem. We were 5 miles from home and a mile from our car. DaddyDipodocus walked ahead with the buggy whilst BabyDippy and I walked with Marmalade. He chased sticks, got carried and chased us all the way back to the car. We put him in the car and drove him home. The next day we took him to the Vet (also his breeder) who checked him over, gave him a clean bill of health and a pat for being remarkable! Since then, Marmalade has come and gone for several days at a time. As much as he loves being home, he has developed a 'wild' side.
If it weren't for Geocaching, we'd never have found him.

Travel Bugs

Travel Bugs are little objects/toys that travel between caches. They are picked up by cachers when they are found and then placed in another cache. Many Travel Bugs have specific missions, others just want to visit caches. Each TB has a tag with a code on it. When you find the TB, you register the find and then move it on as soon as you can. We have now released 5 Travel Bugs with varying missions:

Panda wants to visit lots of high places. We'll run a 'who can post the highest altitude' list.
Baby Parasaurolophus is on his way to Sydney, Australia to visit a friend. Our friends have also released a Travel Bug that aims to get to one of our caches.
Marmalade just wants to visit cats. This TB is dedicated to our cat Marmalade. We found him 6 months after he went missing...all thanks to geocaching.
Vendee Gem wants to get to the Vendee region of France. We have a house there so it would be good to pick this one back up one day.
Baby Dolphin just wants to travel the world's caches.
Our car is also a TB. If anyone sees it, they can log the TB number on the geocaching website. It has been spotted twice so far!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

You know when you're addicted...part 2

...when you book your summer holiday to some far off destination. You get home, fire up and type the country into the search!

Yep, there are a few caches nearby! Caching will be an excellent way to explore the local area.

Shells, eggs and bouncy balls

Today we did a great little 'Harry Potter' themed series. Each cache was a tiny nano encased into another object. We found shells, rubber eggs and a bouncy ball...all containing a log book!

This week has been quite good for caching. So far I have found 21 caches, but also several DNFs. The DNFs came from not wanting to disturb a sleeping boy.  Whilst I had driven to within 10 meters of the cache, I was not going to unload the sleeping one from the car and into the buggy, hoik him over stiles and through bushes. The boy likes his sleep!

You know you're addicted when...

8.30pm- an email arrives informing you of a brand new cache within 10 miles of your home
8.35pm- you scribble down the co-ordinates, find the T-Rex, a pen and your mobile phone
8.40pm- you bid farewell to DaddyDiplodocus and head out the door....just like that!

Yep, it has happened!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

I'm caching in the rain, yes caching in the rain!

It looks like autumn has arrived. The summer weather was well and truly over today. I headed out with TinyDippy this morning to a town near by. The pretence of  'a trip to Tescos' actually means 'a spot of caching, followed by a super quick trip round the supermarket I've parked near'. I parked up next to Tescos, unloaded the buggy, strapped in TinyDippy and set off. I'd found a nice series of 9 caches which looked buggy friendly. We had a great walk until the rain really started coming down. We hurried through the final 4 caches and then headed in Tescos to dry off! We missed one cache today in the series as it was located in a vey busy spot, there were far too many people about to retrieve the cache from the rafters of a building!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Forgive me Great Caching One, it has been a week since my last cache!

It has been over a week since we last went caching and the withdrawal symptoms are showing. We grabbed a quick cache today so I now feel a little happier! Tomorrow I have planned a morning of caching.
Geocaching gets very addictive. I seem to be forever looking up caches and series to find. I fire up an installed application on my mobile phone where ever we are so we can see what is close by, I browse caching forums and I preach the wonders of Geocaching to the great muggles! So far, I have managed to influence 5 friends to get out and about...there is also nothing like selling your own series as a good place to start!

Cache and Dash

Cache and Dash caches are those caches that you can drive up to, leap out the car, grab the cache, sign the log, replace the cache and drive off!
Today, we arrived early for BabyDippy's appointment so I fired up the phone and found a local cache. We drove to it, BabyDippy dived out the car, found the cache (magnetised to a seat), I signed the log, she replaced it, we drove off. I didn't even get out the car!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Our best far!

This weekend we took in a spot of camping plus rather a lot of caching.
Our first day consisted of a series of 29 caches over 5.3miles. The caches were all fairly easy to find so we found all 29. BabyDippy had a lot of fun with this series as the caches were all located fairly close to one another. She got a good lesson in road safety after spotting a dead hare and badger!

We had dinner in a pub near the campsite and it was here that we decided that 29 was not a good round number! As luck would have it, that there was a cache 400 meters from where we were eating. I headed off to find it whilst DaddyDiplodocus took the kids back to the tent. 30 caches in one day!

After packing up the tent, we headed over to another series of about 4.5miles. As we parked up we spotted a car with a Geocaching sticker on it. We parked near it and hoped the cacher would spot the Travel Bug we have attached to our car. We set off on the series, this route involved many stiles and gates of which we had to get the pushchair over. We found all 24 caches on the route, plus an extra 3 and gained the added bonus of a puncture on the buggy. We also bumped into the cacher whose car we had parked near. It turns out he has over 2000 caches logged so is quite a pro...he logged our Travel Bug car as well!

So, overall, we found 57 caches in 2 days and hit a new milestone of 300! Here are Tiny and Baby Diplodocus with their 300th cache!

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Caching with TinyDippy and BOB

TinyDippy is now 9 months old. He accompanies me whilst out caching in the day. When he was smaller, he used to sleep in his buggy. Now he stays awake and shouts at whatever he can see. He was very fortunate recently when a very kind friend of ours in the US sent over her BOB stroller for us to use. This buggy is the king of all buggys; a stranger recently commented "wow, that is one serious pushchair". BOB as we call (him) it, has huge 16inch wheels, suspension that rivals my car, a huge seat, storage space for a week's worth of caching and a huge sun hood. TinyDippy seems very happy in it. His first try out was when we went caching by the sea. BabyDippy got to ride her new bike and he got to sit in his new buggy. We had a good day caching.
Now that TinyDippy is walking, he gets to help search for caches. This is just an excuse to give him a little run around after being in the pushchair for 15mins at a time. Between us we found the cache in the photo- it was magnetised to the underside of the gate.

The first ammo can!

I'd often read of ammo cans being used as cache containers, but was yet to find one. There is a series of puzzle caches nearby which all involve solving some numerical clues. Once you have found all 6 caches, you email the cache setter who then emails you back the co-ordinates of the final cache. Between DaddyDippy and myself, we solved the number puzzles and I set off with TinyDippy to find the caches. After finding all 6 (and feeling very relieved that our maths was good), I emailed the cache setter. After picking BabyDippy up from school we drove to the final cache location.
We ended up in a forest full of bluebells. The GPS would not settle due to the tree cover so we searched high and low. Eventually we found the cache- an ammo can! It hadn't been found in over 6 months but was in excellent condition. We left several toy dinosaurs and BabyDippy took a certificate and a calculator.

Our first international cache

We took a week's holiday in France, so what was one supposed to do except find a few local caches! There was only one close by, so BabyDippy and myself headed off to a crisp factory...yes, where they make beaucoup des chips! We stopped on the road leading to the main gates, fired up T-rex and set about finding the cache. Under a huge boulder was a large cache container. We signed the log (in French) and returned to our campsite.
I have to admit, after booking our summer holiday I searched the geocaching website for details of local caches! There are one or two!

Setting our own caches

By June, we were very hooked on Geocaching. We felt we'd done a variety of caches and were ready to set our own. We started with one single cache which we placed at the top of a very big hill!
A week later we set a series of 9 caches in the countryside around our village. The day after the series was published, we had our first visitors who left positive feedback on the series.
We then added 2 more caches that linked the cache at the top of the hill to the series of 9. Some of the caches have been found over 30 times already.