GeoCache: First Find

antsI have a theory about building confidence. I call it small victories. The idea is you attempt several small tasks and the success encourages you to attempt increasingly more difficult challenges. This methodical process of increasing risk and increasing reward amasses unshakable determination and it’s my approach to our new family hobby — geocaching. Start small, but think big!

After pleading for three straight days, I finally convinced the family to attempt our first search. It’s unclear whether I convinced them or they caved to quiet my enthusiasm. Regardless, we charted our course, packed our tools and most importantly, we found the cache! We discovered a pop top aspirin bottle painted black. The owner hid the cache under a rock near a subterranean landscape light.Found OMG!!We opened it, signed the log sheet and left a star-shaped medallion for future seekers. I also picked up a little trash. Both of these sentiments (leaving treasure and collecting trash) are geocache community values.

Log OMGWe used two GPS devices, but only the teacher’s (Garmin Dakota 10) has the right accuracy to search for small items. Mine (Garmin Nuvi 1300) will direct us to the vicinity and stop tracking if you pass the spot.

If you’re unfamiliar with geocaching, here’s some background. The website provides a general cache size and vague location. The cache owner offers encrypted search hints if you’re interested. Everything beyond that is up to you. How you find the site, how you search and what you do once you find or don’t find it.

When we arrived home, I logged our find on the website. The tiny smilie face and #1 next to our name looked wimpy compared to the cacher before me who has 20,000 finds, 200 trackables and 2 completed challenges. We’re not intimidated because you must start somewhere. And why not begin with a small victory?