The OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary contest: everything you need to know

Contest starts in three days!

The Official entry forms for our August 2015 5th Anniversary Contest are now available! Powered by Google Forms, you can view it here. This form is printer friendly. Feel free to print one out to fill out by hand for reference as you go along in the contest. And we have also stated that we will accept legible, handwritten and scanned entry forms emailed to us at the conclusion of the contest. You can also submit your form to us now, and save it for later editing as you go along online! The process for doing so is admittedly not as simple as we would like, but we will outline it below.

Submitting and saving the form online for later editing:

Here are instructions for doing so:
Fill out the three mandatory fields at the top of the entry form (Player name, Your email address, and “Enter the total raw score you are claiming for the month”). You’ll have to just “make up” a raw score the first time. Scroll down to the bottom of the form and hit the Submit button. You should now see this page below on your web browser of choice:


Next, click on the “Edit your response” link, as shown above. After that, bookmark the page you are taken to! You should now be able to update your entry form from that bookmarked page as you go throughout the month. Be sure to hit Submit at the bottom every time you edit it.

Sponsors/Prizes Page released also.

We have completed the preliminary OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary contest Sponsors/Prizes page as well, found at Note from that page that our prizes are not finalized yet, and probably won’t be until sometime in August during the contest. That page is the place to look for finalized prize info. Check back often!

The only two links you’ll need:

We’ve had two blog posts releasing info and details about the contest, as well as releasing some via social media outlets, and via the “news” section on the main page of our website. Everything you need or need to know for the contest can now be found on two pages on our website:

Are you playing? Let us know, and let’s talk about it!

The way this contest is set up, we won’t really know exactly how many people are playing until it’s over. We do expect some people to follow the “not as easy as we would like” instructions to fill out their entry forms early, and keep their scores on the fly, but certainly not everyone. So we invite anyone who is playing to tell us about it at a thread we’ve created under the Geocaching sub forum in our forums. We admit that like many old fashioned forums on the internet that ours isn’t very active (they say Facebook is to blame), but hopefully this will be an active thread. Enter the contest, and please consider chiming in over there. Good luck, and we hope to hear from you!

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The OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary contest!

Coming in August! Win prizes!

Open Caching Logo V2BTo celebrate our 5th anniversary (Aug. 18th) and the month of International Geocaching Day (Aug. 15th), we will be running a contest for the entire month of August, which encourages people to find and hide caches on our site.  This contest is inspired by our first “Diversified Cacher Contest” in 2014, two similar “non-official” contests run in the past by one of our admins, NativTxn, as well as a local “alternative to the frog” contest run by Termite Hunter during May and June 2014 at the Greater Charlotte Geocaching Club website. We have prizes to give away! Want to play? Read on.


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OCNA Admin DudleyGrunt on the Caching in the NW Podcast

CNW_Libsyn_1400x1400We threatened to upload this Podcast over the long holiday weekend, but got a little busy, and didn’t really have a new post in our back pocket. So here we have Caching in the NW episode 101, titled “OpenCaching North America”, which was originally streamed live on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015, and featured our longest tenured admim DudleyGrunt. The Caching in the NW Podcast, the only Podcast dedicated to Geocaching in the Pacific Northwest, is streamed live on Thursdays at 9:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, hosted by The Bad Cop, along with Witz End and LANMonkey. You can hear the show at their website, watch the audio version on their YouTube channel, or find them on Facebook or Google+.

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Coming soon from OCNA!

coming-soon-yield-mdAs July is now upon us, we have a few announcements of future happenings at OpenCaching North America. One of them happening very, very soon. OCNA Admin DudleyGrunt will be the featured guest on Caching in the NorthWest Podcast, episode 101, which will be recorded, oh, about an hour after this post, at 9:00 PM Pacific Standard Time on July 2nd, 2015. We will post that here on our blog, either in the audio or video version, this weekend. We also have two big announcements regarding our website:

OCentric Contest:

We will be running a contest the entire month of August, 2015, that is concentrated on finding and hiding caches on our website. This is as opposed to other contests we have run in the past, which were geared towards using all the alternative Geocaching websites, as well as other GPS enabled games. This is because we will be celebrating our 5th anniversary in August 2015! Want details and updates? This blog is the first place to look.

5th Anniversary Pathtags sneak peak:

OCNA, originally known as only, was publicly launched on August 18th, 2010. Well happy upcoming 5th birthday to us! We will have 5th Anniversary Pathtags made up, as well as a free Pathtag back anyone can use for their personal tag. Here is an exclusive sneak peak at both, subject to change, although we don’t think very much. A few minor tweaks, at most :-)

white hank



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4.5lb Walleye Geocache revisited


Not revisited in the physical sense!! It’s been a little over 2 years (June 8th was the anniversary) since Chris Wereley, AKA Stormgren-X, along with a non-Geocacher partner, took an 8 day canoe trip to find this remote cache, 4.5lb Walleye, in the wilderness of Northern Ontario. At the time in 2013, it was the world’s oldest thefindunfound cache, having sat untouched in the wilderness for 12 years and 7 days; it has not been found since, nor has anyone announced their attention to be the next do so on the cache page. We thought this was such an amazing story that we did not one, not two, but three blog posts on the subject (two of them were while the whole Geocaching world was watching his progress on a SPOT tracking device, the third being an interview with him). We do have a couple of updates to this story. First of all, you may notice from the very last sentence in the interview blog post that Stormgren-X placed a cache at the abandoned settlement of Ghost River, about 30 miles upstream from the 4.5lb Walleye cache. After about a year of not seeing it published, we wondered “OK, where is it”? We at OCNA thought maybe one of the Ontario reviewers rejected it under their “vacation cache” rules, so we emailed Chris and offered to publish it on our site. Nope, he just had a little accident, and lost all the Waypoints in his GPS!

The lost 29 page journal of Stormgren-X:

Ghost River, site of an unlisted cache
Ghost River, site of an unlisted cache

More accurately, the existent, but nearly impossible to find, 29 page journal of Stormgren-X. Also in our interview blog post, we mentioned Chris gave us permission to host this journal, a .pdf that contains over a dozen pictures and over a dozen videos from the trip, on our site. He originally posted it on the the Wikisend file sharing website, which only hosts your (large) content for a few weeks. Apparently our SEO skills need a little work here at OCNA, because this thing is nowhere to be found on a Google search for any of the keywords relating to this canoe route, or the 4.5lb Walleye cache itself. In our defense, it is a .pdf, and not a “webpage” in the classic sense. We’ll keep working on that, but in the meantime, here is the nearly secret URL to Stormgren-X’s journal:  Warning: We did say its a 29 page .pdf; may take a while to load, depending on your internet connection. :-)

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Guest Post: Tools of the trade: What every Geocacher needs

Every master tradesman has a toolbox full of the things he needs to ply his trade. A carpenter has hammers and nails, a mechanic has screwdrivers and wrenches, and an electrician has wire snips and needle-nose pliers. Geocachers are no different; they also need to fill their toolbox with the right tools in order to complete their treasure-hunting missions. Having just the right gadget for the job at hand, can make all the difference and add to the excitement.

Ask a bunch of geocachers what they carry in their packs or kits, and you will likely get a bunch of different answers. Most geocachers will agree that there are a number of items that every hunter must have, but there are also some that are influenced by the local weather and terrain, some that are dictated by the hunter’s level of experience, and some that are simply personal preference. Every geocacher needs a GPS device of some sort, a compass, a pen or pencil to add your entry to the logbook, some geoswag to leave or swap with items in the cache, a flashlight, drinking water, and a first aid kit – just in case!

So you’ve got your basics, what else can you add to your toolbox to make your hunting easier and more fun? Maybe you would like to bring along a camera to document your search or to photograph your findings so you can post pictures on your Facebook page. Perhaps some binoculars for checking out the wildlife or scenery as you close in on your coordinates. If the geocache you are hunting is hidden in a rocky area or up a steep climb, you might want to take a walking stick along. To more experienced hikers, that may seem silly, but one good save from a fall will make it all worth it

geocaching-metaldetectorMore and more geocachers are using metal detectors while on the hunt. There are several ways that adding a metal detector to your geocaching toolbox will enhance the adventure. Geocache containers are to be hidden within 20 feet of their given coordinates, making the area to be searched fairly large. Many of these containers are made of metal, or at least contain some metal parts, so a metal detector can make finding the container quicker and easier, especially if it is partially or completely covered by dirt, or hidden in the brush. For the avid hunter, a metal detector also makes it possible to geocache year-round. In colder climates, where there is snowfall in the winter, a metal detector comes in handy locating treasure covered by snow, and die-hard hunters don’t have to take a break for the season. If you geocache as a family, allowing the kids to use a detector while you hunt for a well-hidden cache may provide them (and you) a much needed distraction from the patience required, while still allowing them to feel involved in the game. Be sure to bring a whistle for the kids (a good safety item for everyone, really), and of course, you’ll have to throw some snacks in there, too.

Many geocachers also bring some replacement parts in their packs as well. You never know when a logbook may have gotten wet and needs to be changed out for future geocachers, or if a container has been damaged in some way. It’s a caching courtesy to take care of the treasure so others can continue to experience the thrill of finding the prize.

The items in your geocaching toolbox are likely to grow and change as you go about your hunting. Take what works for you and have a great time on your adventures!

gene_1fGene Knight is the Director of Sales at Kellyco Metal Detectors and an avid treasure hunter.

Contact him:

Phone: U.S. Toll-Free: 1-888-535-5926
Others: 407-699-8700
Extension: 106


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