thebruce0 (en)

Who are you?

       

My geocaching name is thebruce0, and I run a youtube channel and brand dedicated to excellent adventures in geocaching, called Cache The Line.  As geocachers we find geocache after geocache, and this hobby accompanies us through life – however often we find geocaches. And no matter how many or few we find, there’s always “just one more!” 

I tend to go geocaching alone (it’s great for vlogging), but I do have a few friends with whom I quite often head out for fun days of many finds, or the occasional travel vacation. But my home is in southwestern Ontario, about an hour west of Toronto.

I’ve also hidden a number of caches, including some challenge caches, but I’m not a very handy guy so I’m not as “creative” with containers. For me, it’s more about the location and the adventure, the journey to get to GZ and memories made along the way!

Where do you go caching?

Southern Ontario is a large area with a wide variety of terrains and communities and geocaching styles. Being so large, there are always new geocaches getting published as old ones get archived, so there’s never a shortage of geocaches to find. I stilll have a couple hundred to find within my city boundaries, but within an hour drive farther there are oodles of power trails, rivers and lakes, areas packed with challenge caches, geoart series, puzzles, a few people who are creative and make fun gadgets or containers… One day-trip on the road finding geocaches barely scratches the surface.  And there’s still eastern and northern Ontario to visit for fresh experiences, and MANY more geocaches hidden in gorgeous natural locations, forests, lakes, conservation areas… Ontario is amazing! (And that’s why I have a playlist of videos of travels around Ontario)

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

Which types of caches do you go for? Why?

I might classify myself as a ‘jack of all trades’ and master of none.  It would depend on my mood. I’m not a fanatic about puzzles, but I love a good mystery and well made puzzle that makes good logical sense. I love challenge caches which make you try aspects of geocaching you may not tried much if at all, and help you get very well rounded experience as the years go on.  There are days that powertrails – by road, bike, hike, or watercraft – are very desireable.  Sometimes a great field puzzle or gadget cache is perfect for a fun time (and generally great for quick videos!).  I do enjoy the FTF race, but I’m really only trying to keep an FTF-per-month streak, since we have a couple of ‘ftf hounds’ in my area that make it challenging to get to them first! My current monthly streak has been kept up since August 2015 (even managed to keep it alive at the beginning of the pandemic when no new geocaches were being published here!)

What is your equipment?

What is the minimal set of tools that you take with you in the field? What is essential? What is the most extreme/bizarre tool you own? Which apps do you use for caching?

My geomobile (my car I named Deja) comes packed with essentials – chest waders, telescopic ladder, boots, grabber tool, general geocaching maintenance equipment, swag, sleeping/overnight items for long trips… And she’s good for transporting other equipment for days of adventure! 

Deja is all dressed up for a hot summer day!

Perhaps the most bizarre tool I have is a come-along (a hand-operated winch with a ratchet).  I had no idea where it might be useful, but I found it amongst a bunch of tools I inherited, and I DID make use of it for one geocache! (so far) as documented in this video adventure.  It’s quite versatile!  My main backpack has some vlogging equipment, but also flashlights, batteries, UV light, laser pointer, maintenance-to-go items (handful of zip ties, log sheets, baggies), plus a bunch of general stuff. Pens. Always have writing utensils!

Cachly is my app of choice when I’m actively geocaching on my iPhone. I’ll use the official Geocaching app for messaging and some exclusive features like profile views, statistics, leaderboard, souvenirs, etc. And of course there are endless tools to help solve puzzles and mysteries!

Logging

My general practice is to keep field notes (drafts) in Cachly for a period of time, then upload them to the website to compose them as logs at my desktop PC when I have the time to do so. I try to log ASAP, but occasionally they could sit up to a week or so.  FTFs though, I try to post at least a Write Note or a Found It, so people (other FTF hunters) can know it’s been found.

I have opinions about what makes a “good log”. As a cache owner I see all types comes in, so I tend to write what I like to see the most, knowing what I like to include the most myself. So I (generally) include a short paragraph about the day, but include at least a sentence or two about that particular cache or experience. Even if it’s run of the mill and nothing special, and it may end up something like “Found quickly, good to go” – but other than powertrails where the cache owner may expect copy/paste logs that they never read, I avoid writing irrelevant logs as much as possible. They’re written for the cache owner, as well as other finders!

Let’s talk numbers!

I love statistics! As a fan of challenge caches, numbers are important… BUT, I don’t cache “for the numbers” so much that it takes priority over the fun of the journey or the hide. I love high find count days, but I don’t like when great caches get swallowed up in a bunch of mundane ones so that the experience of that great cache is lessened. Especially when it comes to logging the experience.  I try to rate the value of a day of caching by how much fun was had – some days it may be with 100+ finds, some days it may be 3.  Favourite points may help indicate how good a cache experience could be, but in my experience, you make your own fun!  Enjoy being out, especially if with friends. You may have a blast finding 50 geocaches with zero favourite points, and a cache with 100 points just may not be very memorable to you.

Whether it’s about the numbers or not, only you can control how good your geocaching day is!

Events

I love events more now than I used to, mainly because I love to meet people especially who enjoy the content I make online – videos, puzzles, events I may host, etc. Community is the cornerstone of this hobby! So I really think there is value in helping people have a good time, sharing stories, answering questions. If I travel for a major event like a Mega, or a Geowoodstock, my priority now will be spending time there for the people. If I have geocaching targets in the area, I’ll try to schedule those around the event so that fun doesn’t conflict with engaging the community.

Geowoodstock in Cincinnati was a fantastic Giga event, and a number of we vloggers ran a booth with contests and prizes so attendees could meet and greet, and it was just an awesome experience.

I have hosted larger events in recent years, like themed GIFF events; as well some simple meet and greets in parking lots and such.

GCNW Booth at Geowoodstock 2018 in Cincinatti

Trackables

I’m not a fanatic about travelbugs, but occasionally I will pick one up and help move it along. I feel that carrying someone’s TB carries an added responsibility – especially if its owner has asked that photos be shared with them. Quite often I forget about them until I dedicate myself to finding a place to drop it off. I have occasionally put a lot of effort into taking photos with some though, and I think that really makes the owners happy.

I have launched a handful of TBs, and one I dropped in my favourite 5/5 cache in the middle of a desert, which I made a tribute to my cat at the time – who wanted to get home. It was a “golden ingot” which took 6 months to be picked up, then it traveled overseas and all over north America, and eventually made it near home where I retrieved it. 

What’s the greatest thing about geocaching?

For me the greatest thing is the adventure, the journey, the discovery.  Healthy activity for the body and the mind is an enormous benefit.  It’s social, it’s independent.  It’s an any-time, anywhere hobby that engages every part of a person!  It’s simply the best hobby ever.

Being an Owner 

I’ve hidden a good amount of geocaches, but nothing extensive. I recently hid a challenge as a tribute to Mingo’s 20th (which became 21st) birthday.  I created an Earthcache in Iceland after a vacation I had there.  I adopted an old, large geocache in a great location, and placed another large geocache with a fun and simple dress-up theme.  I’ve created a powertrail of geocaches along a trail that are all tree climbs of a variety of difficulty and terrain ratings (and still aiming to place more).  The common factor in all my geocaches tends to be the overall experience, not the container.  I love reading people’s logs – it helps me know if it was enjoyed or not, and whether I think something needs to be fixed or improved. And many really bring a smile to the face.  I love a “Great Story”!

Three wishes to Groundspeak

Oh man, I think every question and concern under the sun has been asked of Geocaching HQ by now!  I can’t think of an idea someone hasn’t already asked, and either been attempted, or declined with some good reason. I can say I used to be more critical of some decisions GC HQ has made in the past, but as time has gone on and I’ve seen more of how the community asks or even demands things, the more I’ve come to sympathize with the difficult decisions HQ has to make on almost a daily basis.  HQ loves the hobby, and they want it to be successful. Success may be different from person to person, so it can’t be easy trying to make as many people happy as possible in order to keep the website and business running… Those hamsters never get a break!

What are your recommendations for newbies?

Find ways to meet the community! Look for events, meet people, find caching buddies who have experience, who knows where great experiences can be found.  Remember that the hobby is very community-driven, even if you only ever go out and find caches yourself. Your logs are public, and may be enjoyed by both the geocache owner and other people who try to find that same geocache.

Make your own fun, enjoy the experiences, think of other people first, respect property (including the geocache itself which is owner by another person), and understand the guidelines.

Check out geocaching on social media – whether photos or videos or forums and chats. And of course subscribe to geocaching video channels like on Youtube, such as Cache The Line! 😉  Videos can really showcase the wide variety of experiences and fun you can have – even if most of the caches you find aren’t very memorable at all.

Live for the gems!

Celebrating after climbing Scotland’s Ben Nevis for the highest geocaches in the UK

Cache/Owner recommendations

There are some cache owners who are known worldwide or very popular in some countries. If you look for geocaches with the highest favourite points, or where there are concentrations of highly-favourited geocaches, chances are you will have found an area with a popular cache owner who creates excellent containers or adventures. Since owners and their caches are very regional, I would simply suggest looking first for high favourite points in an area you may be visiting.  Then go from there!  Great experiences can be anywhere around the world, and quite often found randomly during your travels. Try not to miss any when you go on a vacation!

Adventure Labs

I have opinions about Adventure Labs that could make a lengthy answer. So, I will simply say this – Adventures and Adventure Labs can be fantastic and another excellent side game to geocaching. I personally like when they have a bonus geocache that I can find after completing the necessary steps from an Adventure. I greatly enjoy Adventures that provide a very creative experience, rather than simple tour-style keyword stages – and I have created one that is a story-driven mystery, followed by a multi-stage Mystery geocache that continues the story on to the final geocache container.

In that case, I made what I like to find. And that’s always the best advice a geocacher can receive when they decide they want to create something for other people to enjoy:

Make what you like to find!

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