Friday, December 04, 2015

Geocachers, The New Outdoorsmen

Geocachers on the Lone Star Trail

When I was a kid living in Michigan, my dad always had a copy of Herter’s catalog.  Inside it was every kind of outdoor gear you can imagine.  If you fished, there was every kind of lure made and components to build your own.  I looked at as much as I looked at the Sears & Roebuck catalog.

By the way, as a young farm boy, the Sears catalog was of special interest due to the fact that it had grown women posing in under clothes, but it also had a huge Christmas section at the end of the year.  I can’t really recall which was more interesting, but I digress.

My dad was in my eyes a true hunter who was woods savvy.  I saw him shoot a flying crow with a .22 rifle one time and he was at home when in the woods.  He never got lost and would often trick my brothers and I by quizzing us about where we were or what we were looking at.  I’ve written about this before, so I will not weary you by repeating.

Suffice it to say, my whole family grew up doing outdoorsy things most people only see on TV or in movies.  We learned more by doing than by actual teaching.  My dad was an awesome man with a lot of book and real life experience, but he was definitely not a teacher in the conventional sense.  He taught by doing and we learned without realizing we were being taught.

Maybe this is the reason I am so passionate about explaining things and this brings me to the subject.  I, as many of my readers know, am a geocacher.  Not to take away from any other hobby especially fishing and hunting, but geocachers are the new outdoors people.  To prove my point, we spend more time in the woods and trails than the other groups combined.  I don’t have hard facts on that, but I’m pretty sure I’m dead on.

Geocachers on Cedar Bayou
The purpose of this argument is not to place one group over the other or to compete, but to make a point.  We have reached an evolution where kids pay more attention to electronic devices than they do the great outdoors.  No wonder so many are overweight and out of shape, right?  Well, guess what?  Geocachers use electronic devices to find hidden geocaches located in city parks, wooded areas, old cemeteries, and hiking trails.

I have a web page set up to explain how it works.  It might be a good idea to stop reading right now and see what this geocaching thingy is before you read further.  I am on the board of the Texas Geocaching Association and represent our area.  I teach free geocaching 101 classes at either the EddieV Gray Wetlands Center or the Baytown Nature Center twice a year.  Everyone is invited to attend and bring your kids. 

It might just save them and you.  You see, there are probably more seniors playing this game than young people and it’s a great way to walk off those holiday pounds.

There are a lot of things vying for our attention and much of it is bad. I can’t think of anything better in the secular world than this game to introduce people to the great big wonderful world out there. I also have a confession here and it’s embarrassing a bit. Geocachers almost to the person are nerdish. I know.  Like I said, it’s embarrassing. We tend to like to read, do math, study statistics, love learning new things – all the things most people hate.  But… there is a treasure hunt here and who doesn’t like to find treasure? 

I know I do and it drives me to go on this geocaching adventure like a person looking for gold.  The gold is nothing more than a piece of paper inside the container that I will sign the date and my geocaching name.  It’s crazy.  Then I will go online to and write a story about the adventure called “a log”. This records my visit and verifies I’ve been to the container. I often post a funny selfie too. 

Register a free account at and download a free App for your phone and you are ready to begin the adventure.  If you get a group together, I will be happy to conduct a free class in how to play the game.


Anonymous said...

CB: That was a fun article, but Dad never got lost??? That's hilarious. He took a shortcut to the dentist one time and arrived two hours late. I got my sense of direction from him. Sometimes I can't find my own house!

Anonymous said...

SW: I so want to go geocaching one day. Life is full and busy right now. Lots of family needs and grandchildren. Spend a day chasing a 5 year old and a 2 year old -- now that's exercise.

Bert, your writing brings up so many fun memories. How well I remember that Sears & Roebuck catalog.

When Anita and I asked Aunt Deed where babies come from, she explained that, like most things, they came from the Sears & Roebuck catalog. Anita and I checked it out and, sure enough, there were lots of babies in that catalog!! So, as best we could at preschool age, we filled out the Sear & Roebuck order blank for 2 babies and put it in the mailbox. We checked the mail for weeks, looking for our babies. So disappointing!

Anonymous said...

BAM: As a family and as individuals, we are still dealing with the loss of Dad. It remains a subject that fosters great emotion individually. Some miss the man as he was, others miss the man they wish they had known, others wish the relationship had been different.

Anonymous said...

Ed Wisenbaler: Great article. I think I'll go out and grab a few smileys today.

Anonymous said...

You make geocaching tempting Bert...Debi

Anonymous said...

KC: Bert it looks like fun but its not for me. This old man knees are worn out.--

It can only happen while shopping!

As the big man is my witness, every word of this is unquestionable and void of hyperbolic incredibility. With that taken into consid...