geo-maintenanceJust when I was wondering what to write about in regards to geocaching, along came a very nice ‘Thank You’ note from ‘Rye & Ginger’ to inspire me. Cachers create names for their on-line accounts and also to sign log sheets with. Springtime gets people into action; starting seeds indoors, garage cleaning, tire changing,… Geocachers are keen to get out and collect ‘finds’ and maybe join some caching events! We also should remember to get into a maintenance routine with the caches we have hidden.

Maintenance. I was convinced to wait before I went out to check on the 6 or 7 caches ‘LetsHikeSouthBruce’ has along the Rail Trail through Mildmay. It was still cool out wih snow and muck in spots. ‘Rye & Ginger’ beat me to it! They posted a hand-full of “Finds’ the last weekend in March. R&G didn’t just write ‘TFTC,’ (thanks for the cache). They wrote about their Rail Trail time in more detail. They wrote that the caches are in good shape but one needs new paper soon,… They also commented that they liked that creative series. Those comments lead me to PM them through the geocaching.com website to say ‘Thanks!’ They just saved me some hiking and it’s always nice to get positive feedback.

Some cachers go with garbage bags and collect litter as they hike & cache, (or host a CITO event). When I check on my caches I make sure to bring fresh paper or note pads and fresh trinkets if the container is large enough! Please- McRestaurant toys are just fine but DON’T PUT FOOD ITEMS or BROKEN TOYS in a geocache!! One of the maintenance steps I perform is to toss out soggy papers, (log sheets, coupons, stickers), and junky toys. Kids are so excited to collect a trinket! Make sure it’s not been doodled on or half-chewed. Naturally, I make sure the caches is pretty well in place, hidden the way I indend it to be.

What else do cachers do in spring? We go to events! There was a ‘Pi Day’ event organized in Hanover, March 14, (3.14). There are events worldwide, daily! May 2 is the 15th anniversary of geocaching. June will have a WWFM… I recommend going to an event, even a simple ‘meet & greet’. The whole family can go. You’ll meet the ‘real’ people behind funny names like Still Lookin’ and Tribal Dancer! Maybe they’ll tell you exactly where that ‘really tricky’ cache is, or how to tackle a puzzle cache!

What else can you do in spring? There are handfuls of new caches being hidden now. You and your family could build and hide a cache too! You could pay and become a Premium Member for a year. You’d get notified of new caches before they’re posted on the website. This really ‘ups’ your chance of logging a ‘First to Find!’ There are some other advantages as well. Check out the website.

Lastly, it’s a good time to empty out your backpack, pockets or fanny pack that you use when you’re out caching. What should you be carrying? Tweezers, fresh batteries, trinkets to trade. Trail maps and a small first aid kit,…

You can get started with this hobby by checking out a hand-held GPS at any Bruce County Library, for free. Teeswater Branch will be hosting an “Introduction to Geocaching” at the Teeswater Branch Library Saturday May 23 from 1pm till,… about 2pm Call THEM to pre-register your team/family at 519 392 6801! This will be for beginners or those who would like to learn about this hobby.