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Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Year GeoAchievements and GeoBlunders

With the holiday season come and gone it is time to sit back for a moment and reflect on our geocaching experiences over the last year. How better to accomplish a well rounded perspective I asked our fellow geocachers at NCGO and Geocaching.com what they thought were their greatest achievements and blunders for the year. The results were rather interesting.

GeoAchievements

In respect to geocaching achievements the number one remark was the very fact that they discovered the game, sport, obsession of geocaching itself. For the people who started caching in 2008 this was the end all, beat all, best thing that happened for them. Amazing is it not how finding Tupperware in the woods can effect so many in such a positive way.

Next, were the personal goals achieved. We know the numbers are not the main focus of geocaching for most but the milestones we shoot for sure have their purpose. "I reached my goal of ### this year," was a popular quote. Also was the significance of the difficulty of the finds as well. Even with all the chest pounding the underlining theme beside the fact that a goal was achieved was the further showing of how much fun geocachers were having while geocaching with other friends and family. "I was out with so-and-so" or "my family and I spent the whole day caching here" was stated right with the numbers and achievements. The combination of personal best with the camaraderie of others makes geocaching so exciting.


GeoBlunders

Wellllllll, as blunders go I didn't get any that were all that terrible. I know personally having a good set of batteries in your GPS is a good idea, especially when tromping in the woods and hills of West Virginia is a REALLY good idea. Not to mention a good compass as backup, but I digress. The blunders have really focused over a couple of key elements of which I would like to share my observations. Like:

Poke BEFORE you reach. If you are not sure what is in the immediate surrounding area of a geocache before grabbing it.. Poke it with something, you never know what may be sleeping next or under it... Also, remember your basic geostuff before heading to the cache site. One of the most frequent statements was that the geocacher forgot a basic "thing" after leaving the car. Be it a writing utensil (my favorite - DOH!), flashlight, tweezers, compass, travel bug, swag swap item, etc. always remember your basics BEFORE you have to walk back, err, twice.

How about the suggestion of a good lariat loop for your cell phone, GPS or any other expensive droppable you may take with you? Realizing the need of a safety loop should be BEFORE and not after it has plunged to the bottom of a stream, pond, lake or cliff.

The rest of the blunders mostly fell under the category of common sense and personal safety. DO remember to tell someone where you are going geocaching, especially if you are going alone. DO NOT forget to set your parking break while on a steep hill. DO write down your finds so you don't forget the last eight you just found. DO NOT walk waist deep in a lush green patch of plants and not know they are actually poison ivy..... That sort of stuff...

So you see it has been a pretty good year for many of us. With our glorious achievements and glorious failures it's all part of this game, sport, obsession that we love so much. May 2009 be just as glorious or better than last year. Cheers!

If you have a GeoAchievement or GeoBlunder you would like to share. Please be sure and post it to this article.

Special thanks again to the forums at NCGO and Geocaching.com, also especially to the following geocachers:

StumpWater, Fraygirls, SanityEndsHere, Farb, nittanydave, sumajman, JamGuys, Snoogans, SgtSue, andGuest, Dinoprophet, m.austin, Buggheart, WatchDog2020, The Hipster, Harry Dolphin, mfamilee, KJcachers, EWSmith, TotemLake, Kit Fox, wavector, ImaMystic, Bergie Bunch, JohnnyVegas

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