Gary Brown


As I am writing this we are being warned about the extreme cold weather. We are still Geocaching, just a bit different as in: we park closer to the hide and dress slightly warmer but still only twenty layers of clothing. Seriously though, remember that you will chill your fingers getting the log out and signing it. A set of hand warmers will come in real handy during a polar vortex.

Fear not, spring will come and with it much more comfortable weather. In the meantime remember that you may want to only search for the winter friendly caches. Attending events is a great thing to do during this period of no outdoor sun tanning weather. A couple degrees warmer and there are events involving snowshoes or skis that can be a lot of fun. There are places in the city where you can take the kids sliding or skating and every one of them have caches close by.

Geocaching is well known as a hobby and can be combined with other hobbies. There are several Geocachers that combine their love of carpentry or carving with their caching. Have you found a homemade birdhouse that contains a geocache? How about that wooden signpost with a hollow spot for the cache? Many Geocaches worldwide are home made from wood.

With the use of various carpentry tools including saws, routers, lathes, and drills a piece of wood can become a modified item that you see anywhere but now holds a log sheet. Smaller hand tools are able to carve or again, modify something normal into a mysterious hiding place. Many hiding spots are also a natural defect in the wood. 

Quite a few Geocachers at one time were just walkers. Some stopped walking because they were getting bored with the same old path and finding new ones was not that easy after a while. Once Geocaching was discovered the dust came off the Fitbit and a new pair of walking shoes came home from the store. With the many caches in their local areas there was new enthusiasm as far as walking goes. The expression “just one more” became common with my wife and I and suddenly we were walking more than we ever did.

Running and jogging can take on a new focus with Geocaching. Picking a destination or two can set your mileage as well as a couple of rest stops.

Bicycling became more common once we cleared out the closet finds. Springtime aches and pains from biking soon morphed into “that didn’t seem to be all that far''. Eventually we stopped getting all the caches in a particular area and would get one here and another there with a fair distance between them. That left finds that we could use to return to the area with. Then we discovered scooters. Not the one foot on the ground type, but electric. Now we were going even further.

Geocaching is a great way to get to new locations for those of you that enjoy birdwatching. My wife and I have spotted so many different birds while out and about. Some that we have never seen before.

Printers, 3D printers that is, are now changing the type of hides that you see out there. It is possible now to print that cache container that you once bought. You are truly no longer limited by anything but your imagination. The old style bison tube is easily replaced with a printed version. Several designs are out there to find and log. Keep an eye on the Zoo event this fall. Rumour has it that there may be a printed cache or two there.

A winter hobby, going for a geocache on snowshoes or skis, is a great way to combine exercise with fun. A snowmobile can be a lot of fun to use to find that hide a way off the path. I remember stepping off the sled once a number of years ago and sinking to my waist in snow. Watch for that. 

Whatever your free time activity is there may be a way to connect it to Geocaching. One of the mystery caches required you to knit a pattern which gave you the coordinates. I did see a knitted cache online. It was just a cover for a sturdier container. 

Whatever your hobby, it may be useful in making or finding a geocache. I hope to see you somewhere on the trail.

Gary Brown is the President of the Manitoba Geocaching Association (MBGA) and can be reached at [email protected].

@ 2024 Pegasus Publications Inc.