Friday, 31 October 2014

Interrogated by Washnight

We were contacted by Washnight recently and invited to answer 20 questions as part of his 'Washnight Interrogates' posts on his blog.

We were happy to respond and are sharing our answers here.  It's been really interesting reading the other responses and a good way to connect with the other blogs too.  We have randomly answered the questions between us.

OK here are the questions and answers:

GeoBlogger 20 Questions
1. When and how did you first get into geocaching?

Back in 2007 we had just bought an Etrex, we were interested in seeing how far our dog walks were initially, then around the same time a friend of mine who lives in Scotland mentioned in an email that she'd been out 'looking for treasure' she mentioned Geocaching so I replied asking what it was.  Well curiosity got the better of me and I Googled it then within a day or two we had been out and found our first cache.
Our First Find

2. Do you remember your first find?

Yes, very memorable.  Our closest to home at the time was a good 5 miles away, it was Aqueduct One (Bearley/Edstone) and we found it on 10th March 2007.  Looking at the printout (not paperless back then) we didn't realise it was a Multi or even have any idea what that meant.  After failing to even find the hint at the listed co-ords we decided to re-read the cache page and it dawned on us that we had to answer some questions. Cache was a quick find after that.  I remember we felt under pressure to find it as our children were quite excited about the idea of finding the cache.  I remember there were a few goodies in the cache and a TB.  I always feel a bit sorry now for the families that go out hoping to find 'treasure' when they first start caching and only find (or fail to find) a tiny nano on a signpost.  This was something that didn't exist back in those days.  Anyway.....
3. What device(s) do you use for locating caches?

I use an Oregon 300 and Mark uses an Oregon 550.  I did have an Oregon 650 for a short time but took it back to the shop as I really couldn't get on with it.  We also use iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S4 for playing Wherigos.
4. Where do you live and what is your local area like for geocaching? (density / quality / setting etc)

We live in West Warwickshire, not far from Stratford-upon-Avon.  There are quite a few caches on our doorstep now but we usually cache further afield at weekends, although we do have a 'close to home' caching day every now and again.

Match Stash
5. What has been your most memorable geocache to date, and why?

I have spent ages pondering this question.  After 7½ years and many crazy adventures it is impossible to pick one, a lot of caches are memorable more for the situation or the surroundings/journey etc rather than the individual cache itself.  

So we thought we would both try and come up with one each.  Mark has chosen G'ebbes, which he wrote about here and he says it was memorable for the journey he took to get there.

I have chosen Match Stash in Sweden, another very old cache from August 2000.  I wrote about it here it was most memorable for the crazy bike ride we took to get there.

If I had to choose a most memorable power trail it would be drsolly's Chiltern Hundred, we did this back in early 2009 when power trails were rare and by today's standards the Children Hundred caches are quite spread out - you have to walk 26 miles to find 109 cache. You can read our log here.  It is most memorable for me because we all did it as a family, including our son and daughter and our two Labradors.  I have lots of really fond memories from the early days, when we cached as a family. 
Chiltern Hundred Bonus

One thing we have found with caching is that it makes you do crazy things, often outside your comfort zone.
6. List 3 essential things you take on a geocaching adventure excluding GPS, pen and swaps.

1. Spare change, always handy for car parks or coffee shops. 
2. Tick remover!
3. Spare batteries.
7. Other than geocaches and their contents, What is the weirdest thing you have discovered whilst out caching?

I feel that we've seen it all since we started caching, the weirdest thing recently was when we were caching up in Scotland and we parked in a nature reserve car park in the middle of the afternoon and let's just say the courting couple in their car nearby didn't seem to notice or care that we were nearby.
8. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 is I am obsessed by numbers and 10 is I am all about the experience and the quality of each individual cache. Where do you put yourself?

I'd say a 5, we like a good walk with plenty of easy to find caches but I'm not a massive fan of power trails and prefer the caches to be a little further apart. 
End of the Holiday - Country #5 France

9. Describe one incident that best demonstrates the level of your geocaching obsession.

Hmm where shall I start.  This was the first one that sprung to mind, back in September 2010 we found caches in 6 countries in under 12 hours, we didn't know anyone else that had done this at the time and it wasn't something that we'd planned
10. Have you picked up any caching injuries along the way?

Nothing major thankfully, just blisters and a few nasty scratches to the head.
11. What annoys you most about other geocachers?

Not a lot really, I don't tend to let things bother me and just get on with enjoying this great hobby but if I have to say one thing then I really don't like it when I find out someone is cheating.

12. What is the dumbest thing you have done whilst out caching?

The thing that springs to mind is leaving my bum bag on the roof of the car after answering the call of nature, then driving off only to notice I hadn't got it with me about 4 or 5 miles down the road, we retraced the journey but it was never found. It was very expensive mistake as I had a mobile phone, about £50 in cash and some geocoins in it.

13. What do your non caching family and friends think of your hobby?

They just don't understand it.
14. What is your default excuse you give to muggles who ask what you are up to or if you need help?

 It depends on the situation but we often just tell people that we are geocaching or on a treasure hunt.
15. What is your current geocaching goal, if you have one?

Just to keep on having fun and enjoying this great hobby.
16. Do you have a nemesis cache that despite multiple attempts you have been unable to find?

No, in the early days we would drive miles and miles to return to a DNF but not any more, there are too many caches to find and they tend to go on the ignore list.
17. What 3 words or phrases best sum up what geocaching means to you.

Meeting new friends
18. What prompted you to start blogging about geocaching?

I always take lots of photos when out caching and initially it was somewhere to display the photos for others to see, then I started getting feedback on how much people were enjoying reading about our travels so that spurred me on to write more about our experiences.

19. Which of your own blog entries are you most proud of.

Erm... difficult question.  I got a few emails and some really nice feedback after posting this one about our epic road trip to Germany this year.
20. Which other geocaching blogs do you enjoy reading?

There are quite a few I click on to read, this one by the K9 Crew has some good ideas for walk but I subscribe to a few different ones.

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