Jeremy Irish

Geocaching guru Jeremy Irish wouldn’t hide something at Wal-Mart

I’m not a born again Christian vegan activist hipster marathon runner who drives an El Camino. I hate El Caminos.

You founded and run Geocaching.com, the oldest and largest geocache listing site. How isn’t geocaching like other kinds of treasure hunting?

Geocaching doesn’t require a very large investment and the treasure itself has no real monetary value, so it is a very low risk and low reward activity for those looking for financial gain.

The rewards are in the journey and the eureka moment you have when you find a cache.

What doesn’t make for a successful geocache?

If you want your geocache to be unsuccessful, hide it poorly in a high trafficked area using a flimsy container and submit coordinates that are far off from the actual location.

There are over 5 million active Geocachers on your site alone, with 1.8 million caches listed in over 200 countries. What kind of people don’t geocache?

People who dislike adventure won’t geocache. If you despise the outdoors this game isn’t for you.

Luddites prefer a compass and generally don’t geocache, though some with good navigation skills still find them.

You’ve said before that you don’t like doing interviews. Why not?

I prefer local geocachers to talk about how they geocache. I like the different perspectives people give to the activity.

Any memorable caches you’ve personally been unable to find or reach?

There’s a famous geocache that is the last of the Project APE series in Brazil that I have yet to take the journey to visit.

Only a small group of people have visited it since it was hidden in 2001. Someday I hope to make the journey.

To finish with, a hypothetical. If you could hide one last geocache, what wouldn’t it be and where wouldn’t you put it?

I wouldn’t hide a tiny geocache in a Wal-Mart parking lot under a metal lamp pole skirt. That’s not my idea of a fun adventure for anyone.

To find out more about Geocaching, check out Geocaching.com

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What Others Are Saying

  1. Phillip Senn (pcsenn) November 6, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Geocaching isn’t just for hikers. Wifey enjoys going with me to urban P&G caches. Sometimes, when she feels good, she enjoys a stroll on an established trail. Bushwacking to get a cache is not her cup-o’-tea.

    Geocaching isn’t just easy placements. I have had the privilege of becoming a “Well Rounded Cacher”. Many of the caches have high difficulty/terrain ratingz for a reason.

    Geocaching isn’t for everybody. Those who never want to see interesting places, meet interesting people, or enjoy the beauty of God’s creation, would not enjoy geocaching.

  2. merry November 6, 2012 at 3:42 am

    I have just started Geocaching but I have introduced it to my Girl Scout troop. We are having fun and plan to hide a few. WE are loving it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Vicki November 6, 2012 at 4:11 am

    I agree. I have found many light pole caches at Walmart and they just don’t do it for me. Or caches on every other stop sign, or fire hydrant…

  4. Vicki November 6, 2012 at 4:15 am

    I agree. I have found many caches under light pole skirts at Walmart or wherever and they just don’t do it for me.Or on every other stop sign or fire hydrant…

  5. Pathfinder01 November 6, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Thank you for creating such an enjoyable way to enjoy your day with friends and or family. Oh and by the way , found one of those Walmart under the light pole skirt kind of cache.
    Found lots of intresting places sence Geocaching . Thanks again
    Pathfinder.
    Fairbanks Ak.

    • Jeremy November 6, 2012 at 11:07 am

      I’ve found one too! It’s just the last place I’d hide one.

  6. Tahosa and Sons November 6, 2012 at 9:24 am

    I have many a 5T & 5D caches that requires the use and knowledge of a compass and other navigational tools. And in my caching parlance caches in lamposts are not caches.

    So I wonder why he said “Luddites prefer a compass and generally don’t geocache, though some with good navigation skills still find them.”

  7. Bob November 12, 2012 at 3:16 am

    I Geocache because I like it but shopping is something I HAVE to do. When I HAVE to go shopping and a Geocache, in a lamp post skirt, happens to be in the lot… Yaay, just made my shopping trip a bit of fun. Of course I could be like some and “find many light pole caches at Walmart” and continue to do the same thing while NOT enjoying it. Enjoying your life/hobbies is a choice. Don’t do what you don’t like.

  8. Bigeddy November 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Jeremy might not place a Walmart cache but some other people will and they have been allowed to dominate the game. Most new caches are tiny containers (film canisters and smaller) in dense groups and “power trails” designed for the geocachers who want as many finds as possible, doesn’t matter what. It is common now for caching teams to claim hundreds or even a thousand finds in a weekend, whereas it used to take years to achieve these numbers. It’s a different game than we used to play. Sadly, the few quality hides left are difficult to identify among the mass of “fast-food caches” and often go unfound for many months. At this point the only way to satisfy players who seek quality versus those who crave quantity is to split them into separate games, but I doubt that Jeremy and associates are willing to do that.

  9. TheAlabamaRambler December 7, 2012 at 6:13 am

    The great thing about this game is that there’s something for everyone! From tough remote hikes to urban skirt-lifters, whatever your desire, capabilities and circumstances at any given moment there will be something for you. Yes, you may have to be selective and do some research to select the target caches that suit you, but if you invest a little effort you can select just what you like. The fact that there are caches out there that you won’t enjoy is irrelevant…if you don’t like them don’t hunt them!
    That’s just one of the great things that Jeremy and the rest of the folks at the Frog Palace practice – tolerance of things that they themselves might not enjoy. They publish Guidelines establishing limits on what caches can be listed on their site, and as long as your hide conforms to them then go for it. They might tell you what they think is fun, but they won’t tell you what fun is. That’s up to you.
    What a great approach!

    • Bigeddy December 7, 2012 at 4:00 pm

      TheAlabamaRambler rambled on: “Yes, you may have to be selective and do some research to select the target caches that suit you, but if you invest a little effort you can select just what you like. The fact that there are caches out there that you won’t enjoy is irrelevant…if you don’t like them don’t hunt them!”

      It is very relevant because low-quality, high-volume caches (aka power trails) now control the game, pushing everything else to the background by sheer numbers. Tolerance has become domination. They are in my face all the time by swamping new cache notifications, hopelessly cluttering maps, rendering the mobile app useless, filling up queries, saturating areas, and causing major PR problems. “Invest a little effort?” Groundspeak does not have any straightforward way of ignoring power trails, and I don’t have the time to try to filter them out. “If you don’t like them don’t hunt them?” Power trails are the elephant in the room, impossible to ignore. They really belong in a separate game.

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