Gary Brown Gary Brown



As I usually do, I’ll start with a question. “Who can attend the MBGA board of director’s meetings?” The answer is any member. All members over the age of sixteen are also eligible to vote at these meetings as well as run for a seat on the board. The maximum number of Directors is twelve and the minimum is five. We presently have nine board members.

The members of the board of directors are posted on the website (https://mb-geocaching.com/) as well as other valuable information.

Any active Manitoba Geocacher is considered a member of the MBGA.

A Premium Membership goes well beyond what you have access to with the free basic membership. The premium membership would cost you twenty nine dollars and ninety nine cents for a full year, about the cost of a couple going for a fast food meal.

As a premium member you gain access to all of Geocaching.com and the Geocaching App features including the following:

Premium Only Geocaches. Many geocaches are put out for the benefit of premium members only. There are many reasons for this such as a cache may regularly disappear. Many times this is because some new members do not understand some of the rules and may keep them or just leave them on the ground if it is difficult to replace.

Advanced Search. This allows you to sort and filter geocaches to find the one type you are looking for. (See below for types)

Lists. You can make a list of geocaches that you wish to find and then download it directly to your GPS or phone. This is much easier than loading your find device with one geocache at a time.

Instant Notifications. With this feature you can have notifications of new Geocaches sent directly to your computer, tablet or phone as soon as they are published allowing you to attempt to be the first to find (FTF).

Access to all types of geocaches. Basic (free) membership allows you to go for the easy finds only. For some this may be enough, but for those who find that they want more of a challenge Premium is the way to go. There are numerous types of geocaches and here are some of them:

  • Traditional. This is the original type of geocache and the most straightforward. These geocaches will be a container at the given coordinates. The size may vary, but at minimum, all of these geocaches will have a logbook. Larger containers may contain items for trade and trackables. The caches you find with the basic (free) membership are the easiest finds in this category.
  • Letterbox Hybrid. Letterboxing is another form of treasure hunting that uses clues instead of coordinates. In some cases, the letterbox owner has made their container both a letterbox and a geocache and posted its coordinates on Geocaching.com. These types of geocaches will contain a stamp that is meant to remain in the box and is used by letterboxers to record their visit.
  • Virtual Cache. A Virtual Cache is about discovering a location rather than a container. The requirements for logging a Virtual Cache vary—you may be required to answer a question about the location, take a picture, complete a task, etc... In any case, you must visit the coordinates before you can post your log. Although many locations are interesting, a Virtual Cache should be out of the ordinary enough to warrant logging a visit.
  • Mystery or Puzzle Caches. The "catch-all" of geocache types, this type may involve complicated puzzles that you will first need to solve to determine the correct coordinates. Mystery/Puzzle Caches often become the staging ground for new and unique geocaches that do not fit in another category. They may range from solving a simple chore at the coordinates to solving more difficult puzzles at home to obtain the coordinates. One of my favourites is solving an online jigsaw puzzle to obtain the correct coordinates.
  • Earthcache. An EarthCache is a special geological location people can visit to learn about a unique feature of the Earth. EarthCache pages include a set of educational notes along with coordinates. Visitors to EarthCaches can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage its resources and how scientists gather evidence. Typically, to log an EarthCache, you will have to provide answers to questions by observing the geological location.
  • Multi-cache. These geocaches involve two or more locations, with the final location being a physical container with a logbook inside. There are many variations, but typically once you’re at the first stage, you will receive a clue to the whereabouts of the second stage. The second stage will have a clue for the third, and so on.

There are many more types of Geocaches available as well as more features not covered here. Is a Premium Membership worth missing one trip to the fast food sector? I certainly think it is as well as being healthier.

If you see me on the trail be sure to wave or stop and talk. I look forward to it.

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