5th Anniversary Pathtag contest winners announced!

We have the winners of our 4th ever Pathtag contest, which was billed as “Win some OCNA 5th Anniversary Pathtags part Deux”. All winners responded within about 12 hours of being notified via email on Thursday night, September 29th. As always, we used the website Random.org to choose the winner(s). We were inspired to do so by drawings in the past conducted by The Outdoor Blogger Network, which we used to be a member of. Unfortunately, that network no longer exists. You put in a Min. number on the True Random Number Generator (and our Google Docs entry forms start at 2), with a Max. of the number of the last entry on the form, and you simply hit “Generate”.

Our Grand Prize winner, of five of our Pathtags was Tad AKA tubatad, a Geocacher from Des Moines. Washington State, that is, not Iowa.The 2nd prize winner, of three Pathtags, was Paul AKA Kingbee, a Geocacher from Bloomfield, New Mexico. The 3rd prize winner, of two Pathtags was Jason, AKA Bon Echo, a Geocacher from Hamilton, Ontario. Congratulations to all three of them!! Thanks to all who entered the contest as well.

Win some OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary Pathtags!

frontAfter many delays, The OpenCaching North America 5th Anniversay Pathtag has finally been manufactured, and is on sale now! They can be purchased in lots of 20 for $20 from TheGeocoinStore.com under a “club fundraiser” program. You’ll note the page for our tag on their website references us receiving $5 for every 20 pack sold. However, that applies only to registered non-profit LLC’s, one of which we are not (although we have, and still are considering, that legal status), so that $5 is payable only in Pathtag cash. The OCNA team will of course use this Pathtag cash to buy more of our own tags, which we will generously distribute to promote the website.

We will give you an example of that generosity right now. How about we give away 10 of them? Not to one person though, lets spread them around a little bit. We will have three separate winners. The 1st prize winner will receive 5 of our Pathtags; the 2nd prize winner will receive 3 of our Pathtags; and the 3rd prize winner will receive a paltry 2 of our Pathtags. These tags feature the OCNA Mascot Hank The Hawk, and were designed by Nancy of Deadliest Cachers, who also is the designer of Hank himself. They also feature the “free” OCNA Pathtag back that anyone can use for their tags (approved by Pathtags.com October, 2105), which, you guessed it, was designed by Nancy. We are very happy they have finally been produced. If you don’t win any, you can always buy some. And remember, people love to trade for Pathtags, and “traders” who don’t even use our site, have bought packs of both this 5th Anniversary tag, and our 1st Edition tag from 2013.

To enter the Pathtag giveaway, fill out the form below with your name (as it says, “Geonick” is fine), and a valid email address. Entering as “Geonick” is indeed funny, but someone did it for one of our contests already, so it would be less funny this time. We will never use your email address, and the Google Document storing all the entries will be deleted after the contest. There are rules, of course, which appear below, in italicized text above the entry form.

Rules: To enter, provide your name and email address in the form below. One entry per person, and one entry per email address. There are no Geographical restrictions, contest is open to anyone in the world. The contest begins upon publication of this blog post on Friday, February 12th, 2016, and ends at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, February 21st, 2016. Three winners will be chosen at random from the entries received, shortly after the end time of the contest, using the services of the website random.org. Winners will be notified via email, notification being sent from the email address opencachingnorthamerica at gmail.com (be sure to check your spam folders!), and must respond within 48 hours, or the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be chosen. Once the prize is accepted, you must provide a valid mailing address, and the prize will be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service .

 Contest ended, entry form removed!

OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary Pathtags on sale now!


After several delays, most notably getting our free Pathtag back that anyone can use for their tags up and running (our blog post about that here), The OpenCaching North America 5th Anniversary Pathtags are finally on sale to the general public. You can see them as the most recent item for sale on the main page of Thegeocoinstore.com. Alternatively, here is our Pathtag listing on that site.

Like our OCNA 1st edition Pathtag, released late summer, 2013, our 5th Anniversary tags can be purchased in lots of 20 for $20 from TheGeocoinStore.com under a “club fundraiser” program. You’ll note the listing for our tag on their website references us receiving $5 for every 20 pack sold. However, that applies only to registered non-profit LLC’s, one of which we are not (although we have, and still are considering, that legal status), so that $5 is payable only in Pathtag cash. The OCNA team will of course use this Pathtag cash to buy more of our own tags, which we will generously distribute to promote the website. We owe several tags to lucky players from our August, 2015 sitewide contest, and of course we will be giving some away on this blog. Perhaps even multiple times.


Actual tag arrived after this post

The tag features The OCNA Mascot Hank the Hawk, and was created to commemorate our 5th Anniversary on August 18th, 2015. And yes, we did start the process long before then; we told you there were several delays. We certainly didn’t expect them to not be on sale until early 2016, but what can you do? Like Hank The Hawk himself, the tags were designed by Nancy of The Deadliest Cachers, a Geocacher from Derby, New York. Her cache page graphics are sort of legendary in Western New York. She has also designed several Pathtags for fellow Geocachers, as well as us. Feel free to contact her via her profile on Geocaching.com, as linked above, if you’re interested in her services.

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 OpenCaching.us, 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



The Space Coast Geocaching Store

The Space Coast Geocaching Store is located at 860 North Banana River Drive, in Merritt Island, Florida, and is owned by Dale and Barb Swinehart. It was the first brick and mortar Geocaching store in the United States. You can also buy many of their items online from their website at http://shop.spacecoastgeocachers.com/ (or alternatively, you can click on their banner above). There is a Facebook Fan Page, and you can sign up for their newsletter as well.

There are advantages of going there in person, should you find yourself in, or nearby the Space Coast Region of Florida (note the store is about 60 miles from Walt Disney World). Namely they sell more items in the actual store than online, and they host a large sized traditional cache outside (available only during business hours, or by appointment otherwise).  As of the date of this blog post, GC15RQB, A Cool Cache has been found almost 2,000 times, and has over 500 favorite points on Geocaching.com. This is the OCNA blog though, and we might note that Dale and Barb joined our website less than a week after it was launched in 2010, and cross-listed the cache as A Cool Cache and Store – OU004A, the 74th cache listed on our site. We contacted the owners via their profile on our website, and Dale was nice enough to take the time to conduct an email interview with our blog.

OCNA Blog: When did you first open The Space Coast Geocaching store? Did you put up the website and sell online as soon as it opened?
Dale: We opened the store September of ’07 and yes we had the store and website at that time.

OCNA Blog: Nice website, by the way. Are you the webmaster too?
Dale: Yes, I am the webmaster as well. I pretty much have learned as I go and am by no means a pro at it.

Trackable License Plate

OCNA Blog: The store is is open M-F from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, but only open by appointment on weekends. Why is that? Do you get a lot of requests for weekend visits?
Dale: We are only by appointment on the weekends because we are usually attending or hosting events on the weekends.  If we had posted hours for the weekend we would not be able to keep them so it works out better to work by appointment. Most cachers understand and it is not a problem. We try to meet folks any time we can if we are in town and available. We do get several requests to meet on weekends but not enough to justify having the store open regular hours on the weekend. It is something that may happen in the future but not for now.

OCNA Blog: Clicking on “All products” on your site returns 361 items. That represents fewer items than you sell in the actual store? 
Dale: The number of items listed in our online store is probably only about half of what we actually have in the store itself. There are so many things we only have one or two of in the store that I do not list everything. Besides, listing everything in the online store would make us like everyone else and not special to those that visit.  This way when you pay us a visit you get the entire experience of our store. Our store is like no other, even Groundspeak lackey’s were impressed when they walked into our old store. Our new store is way more impressive and set up as a casual, warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Battery Carrier

OCNA Blog: What are some of the best selling items, either online or in the store? 
Dale: Coins are always popular but containers of all kinds sell very well too. Our inventory is so diverse that saying one or two items are best selling would be hard. Our battery carriers, new geo license plates, and plastic ammo cans are some of our more popular items. Vehicle travel bug decals are very popular as well.

4 Oz. Mega Nano Container

OCNA Blog: You are a Groundspeak authorized retailer. Any other licensed products by other companies you are a retailer for?  
Dale: Besides being a Groundspeak Authorized retailer, we are authorized resellers for CoinsAndPins, Oak Coins, Cache-Advance, Geocoinstore, FTF Geocacher Magazine, as well as others. We are also authorized distributors for Rand Mcnally GPS units, Garmin GPS units and Geomatejr GPS units. We have recently been authorized to sell The Real Deal hats and bags line as well.

OCNA Blog: Are there any items that are manufactured exclusively for you? Space Coast Brand, if you will. 
Dale: We have several unique containers that are made by a local cacher that you can only find here. We also have our new vehicle trackable that we are selling. It is a decal with our logo and larger numbers to make it easier to be spotted.

Plano Plastic Ammo Can

OCNA Blog: What events will you be vending at in the remainder of 2013? How many events do you tentatively plan to attend in 2014? 
Dale: We have verbally confirmed several events for 2014. We are heading to GA next week to attend the Going Caching event, then the following weekend we will be in Florida at the Florida Finders Fest 9 event. Two weeks later we head across the state to a smaller local event the Pasco Geo Fest. We are also hosting several events in November. Next year we are planning to attend Cacheapalooza, MOGA, GWXII, possibly the Texas Challenge, Berkshire GeoBash, Midwest Geobash, GCHR Picnic in VA, NCGO fall fling possibly, Going Caching, Florida Finders Fest, Pinellas Geo Event and I am sure others that are smaller more local events.

Thanks so much to Dale for taking the time to answer our questions.The Space Coast Geocaching store certainly has it all, especially if you go there in person. And it does just happen to be less than an hours drive from arguably the most popular vacation destination in the United States. As you can see, they also have a busy Geocaching event schedule too, where they sell their wares, or you can browse the website, and order online. Remember to contact them first if you’ll be visiting the store on a weekend!

OCNA Pathtag winners announced!

We’re a little slow in posting the winners of our Pathtag contest, especially since all three winners responded within 3 1/2 hours of the drawing on Friday night, Septermber 27th, but we’re busy, busy, busy at the Blog. We assure you, the fix was not in! Because the Grand Prize winner, of five of our Pathtags was Chaz AKA SFC Chaz (sfcchaz), from Glen Burnie, Maryland. He just happens to be the number 2 cache finder on our website. If we were Geocaching.com, it would be like Bobcam won! The number one cache finder on our site is an Admin, and was ineligible to win. He was required to buy some though.

The 2nd prize winner, of three Pathtags, was Rebecca AKA The Fossillady from Borrego Springs, California. The 3rd prize winner, of two Pathtags was Jenn AKA TheBergstromClan from Aurora, Colorado. Congratulations to all three of them!! Don’t worry, we will give away more of our Pathtags in the future, at random. Thanks to all who entered the contest as well.