CacheCrazy.Com: The Best Of CacheCrazy.Com - Extreme Geocaching with Keoki_eme

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Best Of CacheCrazy.Com - Extreme Geocaching with Keoki_eme

Back when I first started geocaching I remember seeing a video on extreme caching and thought, "wow, those guys are nuts!" Little did I know that "those guys" were geocachers in my area of Pennsylvania. There was this one guy that was particularly interesting. Keoki-eme is his caching name but he is known by his very appreciative extreme caching friends as, George.

Why appreciative? He is one of the pioneers in the craft of setting "total challenge" of mind and body, 5/5 extreme geocaches in the North East. I remember when he was the FTF on one of my more challenging hides. He had a lot of great things to say about it in an email to me but in the end he said, "the finish (or final) was deflating compared to the location and placement of the first stage". I ran right out to change it. I was out there scouting for days and finally placed it more appropriately. I remember wishing he could see the new location. I sent him an email but weeks went by and nothing. Then one day, Keoki_eme in my inbox and a short and sweet "nice job, excellent placement", I was flying high. I respected him for that. He really followed through and I appreciated his direction. Today at 4/4, The Dog Day's Of Summer is my most challenging cache.

Keoki_eme is an extreme geocacher. I watch from a distance but have never had the nuts to do what they do. Be it caves, trees, structures, cliff climbs, crawl, rappel, squeeeeze through some of the tightest spaces that just writing this has me a little short on breath, they do it all. My many phobias keep me away, but I watch and I wonder. I recently reached out to George in a "out of nowhere" email that I'm sure took him off guard. I couldn't believe it when he accepted to do a guest post! The questions just poured out of me, there was so much I wanted to learn and learn I did. In Northeast PA, Extreme Geocaching and Keoki_eme are synonymous! Everyone around here knows that if you’re going on a Keoki cache, you’re in for a wild time and you may not return the same person or at all. George, thanks for being a part of CacheCrazy and helping us understand the ins and outs of Extreme Geocacheing. Here goes......

Q: Can you tell me how you got into geocaching and where, in your experience with the sport, did it turn extreme?
Got into geocaching when my friend Mark aka “team kasch” talked my wife and I into it. The first cache we went out on was  “ZOFODRAZIWEHT”.  After that, I was hooked.  Amy was for a time, then she began to hate it as I became obsessed.
It turned extreme after I was getting bored with the cache and dashes.  Kept thinking to myself, there has got to be something better out there.  Then I did linuxxpert’s “conquer your fears”.  We became friends and pretty much been doing extreme caches ever since.

Q: So once you realize you’re not the typical geocacher, how did that affect your relationship with the caching community?
Well, I see that a lot of people are into numbers, even though it is a junk cache.  That was me at the beginning, but, I think I grew out of it with extreme caching.  Also, the caching community never really embraced the non-extreme caches I put out, so, uh, maybe the relationship never really changed.

Q: Do folks think you’re nuts? 
In a word “YES”.  I have taken some people out when I have placed my caches and the “nuts”  opinion turns to “wow, this is fun.”
Q: You have so many outstanding hides, which one is your personal favorite and why?
hmmmmm.

  • Non-extreme is “walk into darkness”.  just a nice walk with some neat things to do
  • Off mainland is “ka puka”.  It’s a great non-extreme cache and it’s in Hawaii, what’s not to love?
  • Extreme is, well, hmmmm, uh….i think I love ‘em all.  they all share the “fun” factor, neat places to explore and beautiful areas to do it in. “Garden of Eden” is pretty special with one really awesome stage.


Q:  Some of your caches only see a ‘Found It’ occasionally due to several circumstances.  For example, your “25” cache hasn’t been found in almost three years and that one doesn’t even require special equipment.  Does that bother you? 
I have fun putting out quality caches.  I cannot help that people are so concerned with numbers that they would pass on a great walk with neat stuff to see.  also, there are cachers out there who refuse to do pmo caches.  heck, I was even accused by one of them of being anal and elite,  hence my geodescription.  I put A LOT of time and money into my caches. if someone feels that way, I don’t want them doing my caches.
btw, “25” has been archived.

Q:  Give us an example of what goes into setting up and listing a 5/5 geocache?
I like multi-caches.  Some people travel hours to get to my caches and I want to make sure there time is well spent.  Sometimes I go overboard, like “?”, but, positive feed back keeps me putting them out.
First thing is location. You need one particular stage that is the focal point of the cache.  I will spend several days/trips scouting out an area for a cache, looking for nutty stuff to do.  Once I have locations picked out, I will determine the proper routing of the trip.  Then I will whittle down the number of stages.  Then make the stages. Then find some “sucker” to go out with me to put the cache out.  I used to go by myself, but, then I thought if something bad should happen, no one will find me for days.  That could be a bad thing.

Q: What type of special equipment and training is needed to do some extreme geocaches?
I had no training.  learned as I went. so did most of the extreme group I cache around with.  As far as gear:  harness, kernmantle static rope, ascenders, descenders, helmet, flashlights and a set of nuts, just to name a few.  Once you start buying stuff, it adds up fast.  My backpack, on any typical adventure has over $1000 worth of stuff in and around it.  But, I carry around a lot of toys.
Q: Do you worry about people enthusiastically trying one of your 5/5 caches without the proper equipment or training and putting their lives in danger?
Nope.  “you can’t fix stupid”, says keoki.

Q: where did you learn how to do all this stuff
As I said earlier, self taught.  the extreme thing about doing extreme stuff is that if you don’t do it right the first time, there probably isn’t going to be a second time.

Q: I have to ask this question, do you know of anyone who has been seriously injured doing an extreme geocache? Has anyone died?
no and no


Q: What recommendation do you have for cacher’s that want to do some extreme caching but don’t have contacts with others who are into it?
Go out with our group or any other group that does them.  I am ALWAYS willing to show people the ropes.  The only item you really need to get started is a decent harness.  if you like it after that, buy more stuff.


Q: For folks like me who are scared to death of heights, tight spaces, deep water, clowns, pink elephants, etc. what is your advice? Should I try to conquer my phobias or just watch from the sideline?
I am not particularly fond of heights either, but, once I get started, it’s a blast.  You just gotta do it once and chances are, you’ll be hooked like the rest of us.  I had a husband/wife team go out with me to place “the rock collection”.  I had the husband harnessed up ready to go for a rappel. He was on rope, looked over the edge, and said it wasn’t happening today.  His wife harnessed up and went right over, no problemo.  We got back to the top and male pride kicked in. He rappelled and loved it. Did several more rappels after that one.

Q: Speaking of watching, what are your thoughts on folks claiming the cache when they were merely a spectator of the stages and/or final?
GC rules state all you need to do is sign the log.  It used to bug me, big time, that some people are so pathetic as to be a “geoslug”.  I kinda don’t give a crap anymore.  They have to live with themselves, not I.

Q: What do you think about the direction of Geocaching.com and the new opencaching.com  gaining popularity?
it’s GC’s sandbox, if you don’t like it, get out.  If they ever get queasy with extreme stuff, I’m out.  I really don’t know much, if anything, about opencaching.com. 


Q: if there is one thing that you could change about the sport of geocaching as it is today, what would it be?
I would change proximity distances to half of what they are now, reinstate ALRs and somehow determine a point system for caches, making extremes and all dayers carry more weight than junky light post caches.  Clancy’s crew calls my rating system “pineapple points.” 


Q: Besides extreme caching, what else do you do for fun?
Starting to whitewater kayak.  love hiking.  love Hawaii. and looks like a group of us will be bouncing Fantastic Pit in Ellison’s Cave, GA, this November.  586’ straight down and back up a rope.  Yikes.

Additional comment
If anyone would like to do any of my, or any other, extreme caches, contact me.  I will be more than willing to go along to help them out.  Maybe you should come along. J
Me! Well, uh, I think I'm busy that day, or wait, uh, my life insurance isn't paid up, yeah that's the ticket!LOL!
We'll Keoki_eme in our CacheCrazy rating system adopted by Clancy's Crew, on a scale from 1 through 10, you get 10 Pineapples Points for a great interview! Thanks!
PS: Where would one inquire about a harness? I'm just say'n. 







So, now we got inside the head of a local Extreme Geocacher, let's look out beyond our boarders. Let's check out some Dutch Extreme Geocachers from the Netherlands and see what they're up to? Exdutgecat is a extreme Dutch geocaching team that are into all kinds of fun stuff!













(…in left-to-right order accordingly to pic, to avoid girlfights…) Dirty Cache, Kattukwaad, Fles, GEINponem, Brug, Messejochem, Styx (not in picture)
The crew “as it is” started in 2007 (with Styx joining in 2009) but a few years earlier we were already “hanging together” says Dirty Cache. These guys know how to have fun!

  
Check out some of their videos



It seems to me that no matter here or abroad, Extreme Geocaching is a popular activity among those who seek "a little extra" in their cache. It's unlikely that you'll see these guys looking up lamp skirts, they have much better things to do such as dangling from ledges, climbing cliffs and searching in some dark, wet cave for their treasure. It appears that the cache itself is secondary to the experience and the experience is one you won't soon forget.




And these freaking guys are just outright crazy, cachecrazy!
I have to also give a shout out to our very own homeboy, DctrSpott
who also fits squarely into the extreme geocacher category  

I think for now anyway, I'll keep my feet planted firmly on the ground and continue to watch and admire. Hey, it's still an adventure to me and you never know, one day you may see a picture of me, all harnessed up and hanging from a cliff conquering my fears! Now if I could just figure out that clown and pink elephant thing?
Have fun and cache crazy!

4 comments:

Dodger said...

Looks like a lot of fun and I'm anxious to get into the more extreme side of the game. Thanks for the interview, k_e.

Having said that...

No doubt some caches are more fun than others, but a "points" system where you are awarded for finding "better" hides? I'm not interested in being graded on my hobby. Groundspeak provides amples statistics where you can keep track of that stuff yourself.

My two cents.

Kyle Powell said...

I've done my share of Keoki Caches and let me tell you,.the places he has you climb up or crawl into is something that you will remember.I love his cache at concrete city and at the 7 tubs.To sum it up if you have the chance to experience a keoki cache,jump on it.

CrazyCris said...

Ok, now that sounds like some INSANE yet FUN action! I'm quite tempted! But I think I'll stay on the safe side of things for a while as I continue to learn the Geocaching ropes... :p

AForestFrolic said...

Awesome! That's all I gotta say about that.

Jamie :)

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