Our family first tried geocaching in September 2010 and we were immediately hooked. After a few finds, we couldn't wait to introduce others to geocaching. It was only a short matter of time before we were full-on Geocaching Evangelists, sharing our love of geocaching with friends, family, and a variety of different groups.
Early on, we agreed that we'd hide our first cache after we'd found 100 caches. Well, the 100 milestone came and went back in 2011 without us hiding our first cache. Definitely time to finally make it a priority.
But what to hide and where? There are very specific rules on the geocaching website about what can be hidden, how and where, but there are a wide variety of options within those parameters. Our favorite caches are medium-sized (large enough to contain treasures), located in scenic and kid-friendly places, require a bit of a hike (but nothing extreme), and are in places where you're not likely to look like some sort of criminal searching through bushes. So that's the type of cache we wanted to create.
Next was deciding on the location. When you hide a cache, you need to be able to maintain it regularly as needed. So we mapped a wide circle around our house and considered the areas where it would be easy to pop over for quick maintenance. Then we did some reconnaissance. We set out on a beautiful day, waiting for the perfect geocache location to reveal itself.
And then we found our perfect spot. We'd be able to tuck a large cache amongst the rocks and no one would ever notice it unless they were specifically looking for it.
We headed home to make our cache. You can buy geocaching containers and other supplies, but I wanted our first cache to be a DIY project. We started with a jar of delicious honey-roasted peanuts, transferred them to some Tupperware, and washed the container thoroughly.
It looked like this when we finished.
Trevor and I used a variety of inks to try to match the rocks and the shadows where the cache would be hiding.
I gave it a bunch of coats of Outdoor Mod Podge, letting it dry completely between each coat, then let it cure the recommended 72 hours. I sprayed it with clear lacquer, then filled it with a logbook and some treasures.
We headed back out to our chosen spot. Here's the container sitting on the rocks. I think we did a pretty good job getting the color right. It's especially well-matched to the rock in the lower right.
Backing up a few feet, you can't see it at all.
We headed home and filled out the form to activate our geocache. Then it was a matter of waiting for it to be approved. There are volunteers who check each and every cache before they're made public. I was a bit nervous that we might have done something wrong or that maybe it wouldn't be approved before my self-imposed due date of March 12.
Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long, as it was approved very soon after we submitted it. Hurray! Goal 40 accomplished! I've been waiting all year to say that and it feels GREAT.