|A Geocaching event in Baytown, Texas|
Back about 3 years ago I wrote a primer on protecting your geocaching name from defamation. Along with your log comments you are giving a snapshot of who you are. Hopefully it isn't like this: "TFTC, signed GloriousMonkeyLips".
So, here you are. You've hid a tricky series of caches on a dirt road that a contortionist couldn't traverse and you're very proud of how sneaky it is. Low and behold, the very next day a newbie cacher named GloriousMonkeyLips finds all 12 and signs each of them TFTC or KCCO, or (fill in the blank). If you are like me, you immediately pull up their profile and they haven't posted any photos or other identifying info.
Note: If you are a hardcore purist, you may even go out and climb through your caches to verify they were actually found by GML. I don't recommend this by the way. Its just a game, right? Why be so militant about it? I rarely delete a log, unless it is a duplicate and then I write the cacher to let them know why I cut it.
If you are like me you wonder who they are and especially what they look like. Another example is a seasoned cacher with thousands of finds, who you've never heard of, writes very interesting logs that are funny and alive with imagination. Again, if you are like me, you look at their profile and find hundreds of photos... but none of the author. You can't even tell if they are a man, woman, or team. I am always a bit disappointed, because I want to see this person.
Back a long time ago, I found a cache by ParkerPlus. as a newbie I remember wondering who this guy was and now, many years later, he is one of my besties. He's in his 80's and the "Yoda" of the Houston area. I don't think there is a veteran cacher who doesn't know and love Neal Parker. Neal attends a lot of events and hides a lot of caches and has for years.
I attend a good many morning events and it is surprising how I see the same people over time and am still not sure who they are. I know, its called senility in people my age, but the truth is I meet a lot of people teaching geocaching classes and I simply can't remember who is who. Now I can tell you where a pill bottle was hidden 5 years back, but who is who can be challenging. "Oh! So you are GrosslyInflamedSpiderLegs!" I would say.
Maybe the answer is to wear a name tag at events, especially if you use a cryptic geo-handle, like 382764956thb938rt8743monkeylips-from_Toledo_Texas who incidentally is not related to GloriousMonkeyLips, come to find out.
If you read my other primer, I said you can play this game for a long time gliding under the radar and no one will actually pay you much attention, but the day you hide one is the day where folks will begin to notice you. Suddenly other cachers are asking each other who you are. Now, if you are like one Deer Park, Texas geocacher named "theSneakyOne", you may well want to remain anonymous to increase the mystery, but then again, this cacher never attended an event that I know of. They did have some unorthodox caches and most lived up to their moniker. Sadly, they dropped out of the game.
For years I would drive south and find MarinPower's caches, which I enjoyed, but there were no photos of this cacher available. Imagine my surprise when I was logging a cache with my smartphone and he pulled up. We had a good chat and it was a rewarding experience. Granted, you as a cacher might enjoy your anonymity, but if you don't care one way or the other, post a photo of yourself on your profile for those of us who own caches and want to get to know you.
Sooner or later you are going to want folks to recognize you, as geocaching can be quite a social activity, so grab a stick-on label, write your geocaching name on it and slap it above your pocket. Now go to an event and shake hands. You are now well on your way to being part of the vast geocaching network!