Have you ever had one of those days when you wanted to get out and spend some time caching but a trip to the boonies to find a cache or two along a backwoods trail just wasn’t in the cards? Sometimes even a trip to a local oasis where you can have dirt and leaves beneath your boots instead of asphalt and concrete isn’t doable either. Maybe you’ve only got a few minutes to spare on your lunch break or a few minutes after dropping the kids off at ball practice but you still have that cachin’ jones going on and need a fix…what to do?
Maybe a little urban geocaching is in order to satisfy that jones without a major time investment. Honestly, there are probably many more urban caches out there than there are caches out in the woods. Their locations can be as simple and obvious as beneath a light post skirt (aka ‘the skirt lifter’) in the middle of a parking lot to a log sheet pasted to the inside the cover of a book in a local library (with the permission of the library staff, of course).
While urban caches can range from terribly mundane to incredibly creative, there is an element that often adds a much greater challenge…the presence of people…non-cachers to be specific. Try to retrieve and replace the cheesiest ‘skirt lifter’ in a busy parking lot without drawing attention. Try peering into a bush in front of the windows of a popular restaurant to find a camo-covered match container without being seen. Or maybe try looking for a magnetic key holder tucked up in the guard rail at a busy intersection. Its not always as easy as it seems. What do you do? You have a choice…you can be stealthy and try to go unnoticed or throw caution to the wind, just be obvious and hope to educate non-cachers or even get them interested in the game in the process. Is one choice better than the other? Lets just say it probably depends on the situation.
Recently we’ve been wanting to get out and find a few of those backwoods caches but life has led us toward urban caches instead. Here are highlights from a few:
Might as well show off a skirt lifter first. This one was at the edge of the parking lot of a fast-food joint. Fortunately I was able to grab this one after the lunch rush and it helped that I was able to position my car between the light pole and the restaurant itself. These things are everywhere. The containers can vary but the concept is the same.
Nano caches are pretty prevalent in urban areas. The idea of a nano…make it small…real small…hence the name. These little buggers are often about the size of a first grade pencil eraser and are usually magnetized so they can be stuck on the back of or under some metallic object. This one was on the back of a sign at the entrance to a busy park. It happened to be black but they can be painted to closely match nearly any surface.
Urban caches don’t have to be bland or tiny. There are some incredibly creative cachers out there creating some really neat and unique cache containers. It took us 3 or 4 trips to find this one. We’d been looking for half an hour or so when Jenna began tugging on a stick in an odd location and says “Hey, whats this?”
Here’s another that sticks out like a sore thumb yet blends in perfectly with its surroundings. Not too unusual to see a PVC pipe stick-up behind a building, right?
Cache containers don’t necessarily have to be box-like or cylinder shaped. A Slim-Jim can be tucked away in just about any deep crevice and are a bear to find!
Some look like ordinary objects we see most every day and don’t think twice about.
So there you have it…a little taste of urban caching. Now Get Out!…and go find a few yourself.