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Thread: The history of geocaching

  1. #1

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    Default The history of geocaching

    In a Geocoins thread L8HNB has asked about the history of caching. Rather than hijack that thread I thought it better to start a new thread here.

    This page gives the basics: http://geocaching.gpsgames.org/history/

    But the question asked is wider than just about how it all began... I'm sure information about the first caches in the UK and Ireland, and how it all came into being and developed in its early days over here, would be of interest too...
    Last edited by Bill D (wwh); 16th October 2008 at 11:11 PM. Reason: To get things right, doh...!
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    Mmmm, I wondered about that, but it seemed too good an opportunity to miss! Thanks for starting a new thread, hope others will pick up the challenge.

    Enjoyed a brief scan through the link and especially the copies (?) of early emails on Kimbo's Geocache Page at the bottom. The game obviously didn't go too smoothly even then.

    So, what about the early UK scene? Some of you guys must remember who did what and where. IMO if a stab was made at listing a few points combined with the excellent "Earliest caches in the UK" bookmark listing that might provide the bare bones for further debate / discussion and hopefully build up a picture of the early days. I suppose pictures could be added to make the whole thing more interesting.

    Anyone else feel the same?

    H

    Link to Old Caches bookmark list by Walk Tall - https://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks...0-aeb4a41dda34
    Last edited by L8HNB; 16th October 2008 at 11:33 PM. Reason: link added to old caches

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    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    Mmmm, I wondered about that, but it seemed too good an opportunity to miss! Thanks for starting a new thread, hope others will pick up the challenge.
    No problem - I just felt it better to start a new thread.

    And sorry, I said in my OP that it was someone else who had asked that question... I've now edited my post to correct that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    Link to Old Caches bookmark (hope it works) - https://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/...0-aeb4a41dda34
    Um, no, it's not working - perhaps you'd like to try it again, or give the user name of the cacher who owns that list.

    Edit: Ok, found it now: Old active caches UK and Ireland
    Last edited by Bill D (wwh); 16th October 2008 at 11:33 PM.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
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    LOL - made a right cods of that, didn't I?

    Lack of me thinks......

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    We started on 1st September 2001, so I'll make a start on this topic.

    The original caches in each country are interesting: Scotland's First was the first in the UK and is still there / active, Europe's first is in Ireland and has been replaced, England's first was near Surbiton but archived and The First is Wales is still there.

    Micros were unknown in early caching (never mind nanos); real caches were ammo boxes in the woods, supplemented by virtuals, webcams and locationless (a forerunner of waymarking). You can still find virtuals and webcams and therefore get the icons for them; locationless were all archieved. A special cache type/icon was launched for Planet of the Apes marketing, with a small number of huge ammo boxes (13?) hidden around the world. Since these ammo boxes were huge they didn't last. Currently there are two left, one in Washington State, US, and one in the depths of the Brasilian jungle (I kid you not). https://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks...4-3a0f8600673d

    Travel Bugs were yet to be invented (never mind geocoins) and Gulliver Bear (from Tim and June) was the first traveller:
    http://www.geocaching-bears.co.uk/gulliver/gulliver.htm

    Tim and June also used to leave bears as signature items in the caches they visited and these became hotly contested find items. Some of these bears were auctioned on ebay in aid of the 2004 Tsunami.

    We were into the numbers in the early days. We were first to find 100 - it was a huge achievement at the time because of low cache density and long distances - along with Slytherin on the same date. We placed more virtuals than anyone else, a webcam cache and the first UK moving cache (one of only two, new ones were banned some time ago). We placed the first WiFi cache (802.11b) and I believe the first ever timed cache using SMS and server response (Race the clock).

    Caching felt very small and cosy in the early days and we agonised over whether it should be marketed and how to grow the numbers carefully. We debated cache density - what density was too high - again this seems ridiculous now given today's cache density.

    Then we became concerned about the implications of growth and cache density on permissions. GAGB was born.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    Tim and June also used to leave bears as signature items in the caches they visited and these became hotly contested find items. .

    They still do! They're up to mark 7 now!!!!

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    I enjoyed Dave Womble's post: I can't contribute to the 'history' part of this Topic because although our account was created in 2001 we only started Geocaching actively in 2004. Our first find was "The First in Wales" which is on The Blorenge, about 40 mins drive from our home.

    I followed the link to the Project Ape caches and had a read of the one still active near Sao Paolo... Wouldn't that be a great location for one of Simply Paul's "extreme caching" Events?

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    We were first to find 100 - it was a huge achievement at the time because of low cache density and long distances - along with Slytherin on the same date.
    I've started to do a simple time line list based on the first caches (5 digit) from Walk Talls list and would like to include things like your first 100 UK finds etc - please let me know what cache it was at, if you can remember, and I'll include it.

    Hopefully, if I can get enough info to make it worthwhile I'll post it onto here for further additions. I'm really looking at 2001 and before to start with.

    If anyone else has a very early UK milestone, first 200, first UK owned geocoin released etc, please let me know and I'll try and build it in. Is there a list of mods/reviewers I could add?

    Thanks, H
    Last edited by L8HNB; 18th October 2008 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Thought of a bit more.....

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    Talking

    The original Reviewers were called Approvers and were also Forum Moderators

    Richard & Beth (Retired, Member user name as well) GAGB Founder Member

    Tim & June (Retired, Member user name as well) GAGB Founder Member

    Moss Trooper (Retired, Member user name as well) GAGB Founder Member

    Next we have Reviewers-Forum Moderators

    Reviewer Name--------Member User Name
    Eckington (Retired) aka dodgydaved

    lactodorum (Retired) aka The Hornet

    Deceangi aka Mancunian Pyrocacher

    Then we have Just Reviewers

    Reviewer Name--Member User Name
    Alba15 aka (Mrs) geoki

    Graculus aka (Mr) Blorenges

    Croaghan aka Dino-irl Ireland Reviewer



    And last but not least we have the UK Forum Moderator

    Moderator Name---Member User Name

    mandarin aka (Mrs) Blorenges

    That covers everyone

    Dave-Deci :cheers:
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
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    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

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    Our 100th was on 28th March 2002 at GC3F14, "Of all the trees that are in the wood... ".

    I think Scotland's First is unique amongst UK active caches in being the only one with a four digit waypoint "GCF0". Europe's First, GC43, is in Ireland.


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    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    snip.....
    If anyone else has a very early UK milestone, first 200, first UK owned geocoin released etc, please let me know and I'll try and build it in. ..... snip
    You may find some useful Geocaching Stats and Records here

  13. #13
    fraggle69 Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    They still do! They're up to mark 7 now!!!!
    What if you don't like bears? I mean what if something were to strangely happen to on of the bears..... ah perish the thought

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mancunian View Post
    The original Reviewers were called Approvers and were also Forum Moderators

    Richard & Beth (Retired, Member user name as well) GAGB Founder Member

    Tim & June (Retired, Member user name as well) GAGB Founder Member

    Moss Trooper (Retired, Member user name as well) GAGB Founder Member

    Next we have Reviewers-Forum Moderators

    Reviewer Name--------Member User Name
    Eckington (Retired) aka dodgydaved

    lactodorum (Retired) aka The Hornet

    Deceangi aka Mancunian Pyrocacher

    Then we have Just Reviewers

    Reviewer Name--Member User Name
    Alba15 aka (Mrs) geoki

    Graculus aka (Mr) Blorenges

    Croaghan aka Dino-irl Ireland Reviewer



    And last but not least we have the UK Forum Moderator

    Moderator Name---Member User Name
    mandarin aka (Mrs) Blorenges

    That covers everyone

    Dave-Deci :cheers:
    Thanks Dave :socool:

    Because I'm trying to list the info in calendar order your info raises a couple of questions:

    Were the first three, Richard and Beth, Tim and June & Moss Trooper official GC.com reps?D

    Do you know when they started/finished?

    Same applies to the others, do you have any dates?

    Later ones I can look back on the forum for if you don't.

    Cheers, H

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    Our 100th was on 28th March 2002 at GC3F14, "Of all the trees that are in the wood... ".

    I think Scotland's First is unique amongst UK active caches in being the only one with a four digit waypoint "GCF0". Europe's First, GC43, is in Ireland.
    Thanks for that, its in the list!

    I have 3 4 digit cache codes, GC43, GC4E & GCF0. GC4E was the 1st English one, still working on the first NI one. GC43 included for reference as I intend to include Eire and the Channel Isles eventually.

    Thats the only sad part of this, all those archived caches!

    H
    Last edited by L8HNB; 19th October 2008 at 12:46 PM. Reason: Tidying up!

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    Your current list of reviewers needs to be defined as the UK based reviewers as opposed to reviewers of UK caches. The reason for this distinction is that in the early days, US reviewers reviewed UK caches.

    I have numerous early caches published by erik88l-r (GAGB's esteemed elections returning officer!), several published by the Founder of Groundspeak, Jeremy, a few by mtn-man, one by gpsfun and one by seth!. They also played a major part in the growth of early UK caching.

    There was another UK based reviewer in addition to this list from the early days (2002): Monz, who later became Runemaster.


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    Question Robin Lovelock?

    We've only been geocaching for 18 months, so hearing all the old timers talking about the old days (rather than moaning about these days ) has been both fun and fascinating!

    Just out of curiosity, who is/was Robin Lovelock and why does his name always come up in such 'be quiet or they'll hear you' tones?

    What did he do?

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    He gets a mention in that link that Bill put in his first post, about way down the page...


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    We found a couple of Robin's caches whilst they were active; they contained promotional material for his GPS mapping business and an invitation for free personal use of his software and to provide feedback (testing?).

    His activities were deemed to be commercial and against the rules of Geocaching.com.

    It was a painful episode in the early evolution of geocaching and hence the reaction about the mention of Robin.
    Last edited by The Wombles; 20th October 2008 at 05:48 PM. Reason: To enable brain to be in gear


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    A special cache type/icon was launched for Planet of the Apes marketing, with a small number of huge ammo boxes (13?) hidden around the world. Since these ammo boxes were huge they didn't last.
    By the by, GCTK7X "Meridian Snake: The Project A.P.E. project" was created as an homage to the original Planet of the Apes cache GC12AD "Mission 10b: Meridian Snake". It's just a regular cache with a regular icon, but it's an ENORMOUS ammo box. And it's been around for a while.

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    Some more info here

    http://cacheopedia.com/wiki/History_of_Geocaching

    as linked by Bill

    http://geocaching.gpsgames.org/history/

    and here

    http://www.guysnamedkim.com/geocache...e_history.html

    I find the controversy over the nameless one interesting now given that profileration of caches was one reason he created a rumpus.

    Incidentally if you search usernames you will find he has a live account at GC these days despite the lifetime ban.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    We found a couple of Robin's caches whilst they were active; they contained promotional material for his GPS mapping business and an invitation for free personal use of his software and to provide feedback (testing?).

    His activities were deemed to be commercial and against the rules of Geocaching.com.

    It was a painful episode in the early evolution of geocaching and hence the reaction about the mention of Robin.
    There are still many active Lovelock caches (supposedly: the only one I've looked for I couldn't find). Some are still listed on Geocaching.com but only as Archived caches. It all looks like a storm in a teacup now, but perhaps an early warning of the present tendency to overreact.

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    Default Foot & Mouth caching & history.

    Reading the previous posts the foot and mouth crisis of 2000 didn't hit geocachers in this country as there was no caches?
    Ho hum!

  24. #24
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    The Lovelock stuff had all just happened/was happening when I got my first GPS. I was looking for other things to do with it and I researched Geocaching, and came across the Lovelock stuff. My conclusion was it was done by a bunch of sad nutters taking it all far too seriously (how wrong I was ... er ... maybe ).

    It was another 18 months / 2 years or so before we finally went out hunting. Sad nutters? If you can't beat 'em ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Watford Wobble View Post
    Reading the previous posts the foot and mouth crisis of 2000 didn't hit geocachers in this country as there was no caches?
    There was a major outbreak of Foot and Mouth in the Spring and Summer of 2001 and this was the principle reason for the delay in our first geocache until September 2001 since the only cache anywhere near us - First in Wales - was out of bounds as a result.


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    Nobody has mentioned the 'Mod Ant' affair yet so I thought I'd bring it up. Two of our well meaning, but with hind-sight perhaps a little naive, cachers blundered into the Modern Antiquarian website/forum and unleashed geocaching onto an unsuspecting and unprepared group of real anoraks. It escalated at a speed you wouldn't believe and within hours, there were threats of actual bodily harm and an all-out turf war had started. Eventually, common sense prevailed and it all quietened down; thanks largely to the mediating efforts of one of more enlightened Mod Ants but it was fun while it lasted
    John
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    Just as a bit of history, I hosted the first London Geocachers' meet back in 2001 I think.

    Kennomatic and myself were the only ones to show up......

    (Wouldn't even dare to host one nowadays...........)

    LiS

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    Smile Wasn't I naughty then..

    Hi Peeps..

    I was instrumental in gettin Lovelock kicked off the site.. Mainly because he saturated such a small area with caches that had is software CD's in it. I later found out he had been kicked out of many a forum for pushing his software. Any forum that mentioned maps, geography, geology, he was on it.

    The mod ants!! Happy days.. I placed a cache on purpose to bait them.. and it worked.. Read this thread

    https://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/in...opic=40929&hl=

    Fell for it hook line an sinker h34r:

    Happy days
    Moss The Boss... Sorta

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moss Trooper View Post
    Hi Peeps..

    I was instrumental in gettin Lovelock kicked off the site.. Mainly because he saturated such a small area with caches that had is software CD's in it. I later found out he had been kicked out of many a forum for pushing his software. Any forum that mentioned maps, geography, geology, he was on it.

    The mod ants!! Happy days.. I placed a cache on purpose to bait them.. and it worked.. Read this thread

    https://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/in...opic=40929&hl=

    Fell for it hook line an sinker h34r:

    Happy days
    I think they must have trawled through the cache listings and picked out any that looked remotely like a monument. I seem to remember a cache in south Wales that was placed on a large round-a-bout at the end of a cul-de-sac. The r-a-b was surrounded by a huge circle of concrete blocks. The cache page described it as a 'Stone Circle' and that really got them going!!! None of them had bothered to check it out before blowing their collective tops.
    John
    Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharisee View Post
    I think they must have trawled through the cache listings and picked out any that looked remotely like a monument. I seem to remember a cache in south Wales that was placed on a large round-a-bout at the end of a cul-de-sac. The r-a-b was surrounded by a huge circle of concrete blocks. The cache page described it as a 'Stone Circle' and that really got them going!!! None of them had bothered to check it out before blowing their collective tops.
    The cache (now archived) is here.
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    What was the first major landowner issue resolved by the GAGB ?
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

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    The first Major Landowner issue resolved by GAGB was this one:

    https://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/in...opic=40586&hl=

    The New Forest Forestry Commission removed all the caches placed on their land because they were placed without permission, at a time which coincided with the first GAGB elections.

    This created a very difficult initial relationship with the NF FC and it took some time (about a year) and build a relationship and work through the details of a complex agreement which covered a number of their concerns.

    As a side effect of this difficult negotiation, we also established a positive relationship with the Forestry Commission HQ and a positive national resolution to the ever-sticky issue of public liability insurance with the FC, that has formed the basis of many other FC area agreements since.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Maple Leaf View Post
    You may find some useful Geocaching Stats and Records here
    Had a look at the stats, and the oldest....as in the earliest registered....not the "oldest",.....err...you know what I mean active cacher is "alang", but I know that "harold1066" is, err....older!! He registered in 2000.

    Profile for harold1066 https://www.geocaching.com/profile/?...5-6bd440a324f2

    Oh, and his id number is 323, mine is 21987!
    Last edited by studlyone; 9th November 2008 at 01:46 PM. Reason: Approved link

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    Yes, I'd found harold1066 buy he hadn't visited the site for a while when I looked last.

    Any UK'er earlier than 323?

    My list has stalled a bit due to outside pressures but I hope to be back to the search again soon.

    H

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    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    Yes, I'd found harold1066 buy he hadn't visited the site for a while when I looked last.

    Any UK'er earlier than 323?

    My list has stalled a bit due to outside pressures but I hope to be back to the search again soon.

    H
    Right, I've had a root about with the id numbers, and found the following:-

    "Chrisobyrne" joined 6/10/2000, last visited 3/6/2008 from Ireland.
    Link to profile:-
    https://www.geocaching.com/profile/Default.aspx?id=291

    The one member that stood out amongst all is "daveulmer", joined 7/10/2000, last visted 26/5/2008...is this the main man?? Is it him who placed the first stash ever??
    Link to profile:-
    https://www.geocaching.com/profile/Default.aspx?id=297

    Most of the first 300 odd id numbers are members wo are "not validated", and haven't visited the site for years.

    All interesting stuff......well it was for me!!

    Maybe I will trawl the numbers from 323 upwards when I get bored and nowt to do!!!




    Edited to add that I didn't realise the flippin font size changes when you copy and paste stuff!!
    Last edited by GAZ; 12th November 2008 at 06:55 PM.

  36. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Wombles View Post
    We found a couple of Robin's caches whilst they were active; they contained promotional material for his GPS mapping business and an invitation for free personal use of his software and to provide feedback (testing?).

    His activities were deemed to be commercial and against the rules of Geocaching.com.

    It was a painful episode in the early evolution of geocaching and hence the reaction about the mention of Robin.
    When I started caching, it was after being led GPSr in hand to my first cache by an existing cacher. Friends in the US had tried to get me to go caching years before, however I had not tried it.

    However, in typical form, when I join something, I tend to make the effort to find out what's behind it all and within weeks of logging my first GC.com cache, had already found and registered on GAGB, Navicache and Terracaching and had also found out about Robin Lovelock. Suffice to say that in 2007 the earlier storm about him seemed bizarre to me.

    I've enjoyed finding his caches, which are still active on Navicache. I have been rewarded with my "oldest FTF" https://www.navicache.com/cgi-bin/db...pl?CacheID=224 over 6 years old when we found it (now that's going to be a hard record for me to improve on ) and enjoyed a coffee chatting with him after finding the cache in his front garden.

    Suffice to say, I've not found anything remotely commercial about his caches any more and IMO the permanence of his ban and caches on GSP now says more about them than him. If you want to find a nice big cache in a nice setting, you won't go wrong with a Lovelock cache.

    I don't know if there is any history pertaining to caching in the UK that embraces the emergence of the alternate sites, however earliest UK hides listed on these other sites might be of interest.

    What does strike me though is that there's not really a need to talk about Lovelock caches or cache types in the past tense - they are all still there. Locationless, virtual, webcam, moving caches - all can still be published, just not on GC.com.

    So, I'd suggest the history of caching does need to include different perspectives, otherwise you risk ending up with a story that begins something akin to "When world war 2 started with the bombing of Pearl Harbor".... altogether too one-dimensional.

  37. #37

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    The Lovelock incident happen long before I started caching, and it wasn't until I'd been caching for a while that I caught wind of it. I never really saw Robin's actions as a bad thing for the game, but as it was GSP's site I accepted that they had the right to object to what Robin was doing.
    At the time some cachers complained that Robin's actions were detrimental to the game (and GSP said the same), but as time has progressed it has become clear that GSP's rigid application of the "no commercial cache" guideline has only yielded one winner, and in part has contributed to GSP dominance in the geocaching world. Which brings us back to......it's GSP's site and they can run it as they see fit.
    Last edited by jacobite; 13th November 2008 at 09:02 PM.
    I'm just going outside, and may be some time!

    www.jacobitecaching.co.uk

  38. #38

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Nr Pershore, Worcs
    Posts
    93

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    Gaz thanks for the info in your earlier post, Ill include it in my timeline. How do you find member numbers? I dont even know what my own is Seems like Im doing a similar thing with caches, just trawling thro methodically as GSP refused my request for a one off pocket query of archived caches that had GC with 3 digits or less....

    Sandvika It would be good to include info from the other two eventually, I will need to find out more I must admit to complete ignorance of them at the moment.

    So, back to the cache crunching, or at least I will when their site has a reasonable response time :

    One thing I have noticed when looking for info from early forum posts, the "angst" that is so topical at the moment was around in those good old days - made me chuckle more than once h34r:

    Henry

  39. #39

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    S. E. Wales
    Posts
    1,223

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    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    ...Seems like Im doing a similar thing with caches, just trawling thro methodically as GSP refused my request for a one off pocket query of archived caches that had GC with 3 digits or less....
    Henry
    I haven't gone back over all the previously posted links in this thread but have you got this one? -

    The First 100 Geocaches in the World.

    Many now archived but it's an interesting browse.

  40. #40

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Bedfordshire, UK
    Posts
    118

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    Quote Originally Posted by L8HNB View Post
    Seems like I’m doing a similar thing with caches, just trawling thro methodically as GSP refused my request for a one off pocket query of archived caches that had GC with 3 digits or less....
    Just checked my GSAK 'Archived' database and I only come up with 25 that have three digits after the GC. Contact me via email if you want more info.
    john[at]whatfunnyhat.com

    Edited to add that that would be just UK caches, not worldwide
    John
    Age and treachery will always triumph over youth and ability.

  41. #41

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Shropshire
    Posts
    322

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pharisee View Post
    Just checked my GSAK 'Archived' database and I only come up with 25 that have three digits after the GC. Contact me via email if you want more info.
    john[at]whatfunnyhat.com

    Edited to add that that would be just UK caches, not worldwide
    Ive got 35 UK caches with three digits after the GC ditto on the email
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

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