CacheCrazy.Com: Looking back at ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - Big_Dog1970- A Stick Can Be Your Best Friend

Friday, May 15, 2015

Looking back at ~ The Best Guest Blogs Ever - Big_Dog1970- A Stick Can Be Your Best Friend

I’ve been caching for about two years now and I have found that no tool has been more accessible and useful along the trail then a simple wooden stick.
One thing about a stick is that you can find one anywhere trees are near.  Sticks can have dozens of uses in all kinds of situations.

I’m going to just dream up a caching run here just to give some examples of how much help a simple stick can be to you while out geocaching.  Let’s say a group of us are going to look for a cache that will require a fairly long hike in the woods. We head into the woods along with my furry four-legged son, Shadow. It’s one of those trails with a lot of rocks and exposed tree roots to stumble on, so after a while we start getting a little tired. Well, we’re not going to just give up now, so we each find a good strong walking stick to help us along.

A walking stick can help you keep your balance and take some of the strain off of your feet and ankles.  Now we can continue on to the cache.

As we approach ground zero we start thinking that this looks like it could be prime snake territory.
We then use our walking sticks to probe the trail in front of us, assuring the path is safe as we continue forward. We reach GZ and it’s at the base of a rocky hill side with lots of holes where the cash can be hidden.

Teddy Roosevelt would approve.
Now we don’t want to just reach into a dark hole in the rocks with our hands. You never know what nasty critters may be hiding in there, so we poke around in there with a stick. If the cache is in there you can usually tell by the sound it makes as you tap it. If there is some kind of critter it will either run away, bite at the stick, hiss, growl, etc. Bottom line is most wild animals will alert you of there presence somehow as long as you alert them of yours first. In most cases you can even use the stick to push or pull the container out of the hole.  A minute or two into the search we find the cache.  After some back patting and high-fiving we sign the log, trade our swag, take some pictures, and put the cache back.

We know there are a few caches in a park near by where people can picnic and let there dogs run and play, so we decide to go there to have lunch and then look for more caches. I forgot to bring any toys for Shadow to play with so I gave him a stick and he was as happy as a little kid in a toy store.

After lunch we resume the search. The next cache is a smaller container placed in a hard to reach location. We quickly spot the cache but none of us are able to get a hand on it. We use some imagination and construct a primitive grabbing tool out of a stick. We retrieve the cache, sign the log, and use the stick to put it back.

Shadow
Now you may be thinking “What about all of those urban micro caches out there?'  Why would you need a stick to find a magnetic hide-a-key on a guard rail or to lift up a light skirt?  Well here’s a true story I want to share with you about such urban micro caches.

Last year I went caching with some friends of mine in the Stroudsburg area. I could not believe how many micro caches were around there. I don’t recall how many light skirts I lifted that day but I do remember one particular cache we rolled up on. It was a quick cache and dash in a parking lot. Ground zero was just as we suspected a light pole.  I hopped out of the car, went straight to the light post and lifted up the skirt to realize one of my biggest fears just became a reality. A swarm of wasps flew out after me.  Luckily I somehow managed to get away and back into the car without getting stung. “Phew! That was close.” I decided that the wasps can keep that one and logged it as found but couldn’t sign log due to wasps. I also logged a maintenance note letting the CO and anyone else know about the problem.  Since that day when ever I approach that type of cache I’ll have a stick handy.  The first thing I do is bang on the skirt with the stick a couple of times and if there are bees in there they will quickly make there presence known. Since the stick allows me to be a couple feet away I can get a little bit of a head start if they come after me.

Next just to be sure it’s safe; I use the stick to lift the skirt up. If nothing flies out it’s a good sign there are probably no aggressive bees under there but that doesn’t always mean there isn’t a nest. I have seen small nests of yellow paper wasps where the wasps will cling to the nest as if they don’t want to abandon it.

With that in mind I will use a stick to feel around under the light skirt instead of using my hands. That way if there is such a nest I won’t find out the hard way by putting my hand on it and taking a hit.

Poke that bad boy with a stick!

Sticks are used in many different ways in geocaching and I have one more funny story for you.  Earlier this summer on one extremely hot day I went caching in my local area.  The one particular cache I went to find just so happens to be owned by one of the guys involved with CacheCrazy.com and is one of my favorite caches thus far.  It’s located in a public park that is always busy with people.  As I was entering the parking lot my GPS pointed out the general area right near by.  After circling the lot about five times I finally found a parking spot which just my luck happened to be the furthest spot away from the cache.  I locked up the car and made the trek across the parking lot to a grassy area bordered on one side by a tall chain link fence. I managed to close in to within about a six foot radius of GZ. There are a lot of trees, ivy, and high grass along the fence so I picked up a stick that was just laying there near the fence and used it to probe around. After spending about twenty minutes searching for this thing I needed to take a break. I tossed the stick back where I found it and went over to some large rocks near by to sit in the shade. While I rested I gave my good friend Dave (AKA Smithie23) a call to ask for a hint. Now Dave and I won’t just give it away, after all that just spoils the fun. He gave me a fairly cryptic clue to think about. When I figured out his clue I started laughing hysterically. Dave asked me what was so funny and I said “hold on I have to check this out”. With Dave still on the phone I walked over and picked up the same stick that I was using for 20 minutes to probe around looking for the cache and sure enough there it was. The stick was the cache. I took it back to the shady rock to sit down and sign the log. I could not believe I spent all of that time looking for the very thing I was holding in my hand the whole time. After taking some much deserved razzing from Dave I put the stick back where I found it and decided to just call it a day. I was beaten down by the heat, the razzing from Dave, but most of all I was beaten down by that extremely clever cache created by an evil genius.

See you out on the trail and always remember to cache stealthy and carry a stick.

I hope you enjoyed my stories.

14 comments:

BLOODHOUNDED said...

Oh man, this is GREAT! I love your stories and you know right away, I'm your biggest fan. Anyone that calls me an "evil genius" is a friend of mine, ha! Very well done Big Dog, you're welcome here anytime.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

LOL-great story. You totally nailed everything that we've used a stick for as well. Darn, I wish I thought of this story first! Nicely done.

Harold said...

Thank you Bloodhounded. I'm glad you enjoyed my stories.
I look forward to searching for more of your "Diabolical Cache Hides" LOL.

Harold said...

I also want to thank my good friend Smithie23 for inviting me to this site and also for assisting me in posting my article on here.

Dave said...

Awesome story, especially the one at the end.

I've had my fair share of run-ins with wasps this year, and been stung several times. I have adopted HeadHardHats motto of "Poke it with a stick", and carry two treking poles in my van so I always have a stick on hand :)

Thanks for the good read. I

BigAl said...

Nicely done there Big Dog. I enjoyed the stories very much. I always carry a big stick when caching. I hand made mine and even made it trackable for those cachers I run into on the trails. It's also what I use to visit each cache to keep track of my miles. My walking stick has saved me from being bitten by a chipmunk and has helped me find many a cache. Keep those stories coming.

smithie23 said...

Awesome story, man! It's funny what we tend to take for granted in our daily life. This is a prime example. Keep 'em coming!

Jim Rinker said...

Great story Big Dog! I enjoyed the last part a lot when you related it to me in person and now I got another chance to laugh my butt off. Thanks for the humor to start my day. Hope to see you post here more in the future. :)

CrazyCris said...

Who new a story about a stick could be so entertaining! (and educational!) I've always got hiking poles in the trunk of my car... I'll have to think about using them for Geocaching as well as hiking now! ;o)

mellisa lopez said...

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Kate Mark said...


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Maria David said...

I am Maria David from Spain When I eventually found testimonies about this spell caster DR OJEKERE how he helped many people to get their lovers and broken homes back,I read on how help some get pregnant, Lottery, even heal any type of disease i contacted him through his email address greatestlovespelltemple@gmail.com because my boyfriend whom i really love with all my heart and also love me too, but suddenly change and turned his back on me and hated me with passion I was absolutely desperate to get my boyfriend back. Life without my boyfriend was a real mess for me and my parent I wanted a dramatic change and I thought magic could be the solution. After discussing the resolution with DR OJEKERE, he gave me hope that he will restore my relationship back because he already engaged me. I felt confident that he will actually make my boyfriend to return home and he did! It’s fantastic what this great spell caster have done for me, his help is priceless! I don't know what I would have done without DR OJEKERE. OJEKERE did his job so well he is organized and highly functional, i believe he is the best spell caster i can count on when it comes to all kinds of spell, I was floored that his spells worked, if you need help, contact he via email:Again his email address is greatestlovespelltemple@gmail.com I assure you things will turn around for you

Maria David said...

I am Maria David from Spain When I eventually found testimonies about this spell caster DR OJEKERE how he helped many people to get their lovers and broken homes back,I read on how help some get pregnant, Lottery, even heal any type of disease i contacted him through his email address greatestlovespelltemple@gmail.com because my boyfriend whom i really love with all my heart and also love me too, but suddenly change and turned his back on me and hated me with passion I was absolutely desperate to get my boyfriend back. Life without my boyfriend was a real mess for me and my parent I wanted a dramatic change and I thought magic could be the solution. After discussing the resolution with DR OJEKERE, he gave me hope that he will restore my relationship back because he already engaged me. I felt confident that he will actually make my boyfriend to return home and he did! It’s fantastic what this great spell caster have done for me, his help is priceless! I don't know what I would have done without DR OJEKERE. OJEKERE did his job so well he is organized and highly functional, i believe he is the best spell caster i can count on when it comes to all kinds of spell, I was floored that his spells worked, if you need help, contact he via email:Again his email address is greatestlovespelltemple@gmail.com I assure you things will turn around for you

Alice Chapman said...

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