Tuesday, 29 May 2012

The Mad Geocaching Pensioner - Why and How.

Many people ask me why and how did  I take up geocaching, "Come on,  your'e a pensioner you know, put your feet up and take up knitting" , well lets try and answer these questions, and what benefits it can give us all, whether young or old.

Early days, a 100 yards was an effort !!
My job as a Quality Manager in the Oil & Gas exploration industry took me to various places in Europe, America and Canada. Yes I know, your all thinking what a lovely life jetting around the world, well perhaps on the odd occasion when I did manage to get time to myself, but usually it just involved airports, hotels, factories and then even more airports, it certainly took it's toll on my health and I was more than pleased to retire from the rat-race in 2007.

Well this is when my problems started. Being home all the time I'm sure my fridge turned into a very clever machine because everytime I got within a few feet of it, the door would automatically opened and shout out "EAT ME", well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I began to balloon in size so much so that I was almost the same height lying down as stand up, I knew I had to do something after I went swimming in the sea and someone tried to harpoon me. (wink). Joking apart my doctor warned me my heart was in danger and I had to do something urgently.

I desperately needed exercise and my Niece had spotted geocaching but still hadn't tried it yet. I did all the reading about it on the website and registered straight away thinking I would be able to use my car TomTom satnav.

GC1R4QE - Church Micro St. Georges, King's Stanley.  I rushed out for my first find which was at my local parish church, (should have read all the rules of the cache hides) as I spent an hour falling all over the overgrowth in the rear churchyard, hitting my legs on old gravestones and scratching myself with the brambles. My TomTom kept wanting me to go back to the roads, because that's what it was designed for and not geocaching away from roads.

My faith in this sport was knocked back as I returned home rethink this geocaching whilst sticking several plasters on my arms and legs. (Let me say straight away I didn't know the rules not allowing hides inside church grounds or ancient monuments).

GCVWD4 - Motorway Mayhem M5 Junction 13 - I few days later I decided to try a cache and dash on a roadside not far from home and up near a motorway. Fortunately I didn't need the GPS which was just as well as I still only had my car TomTom. After a little search I discovered a film canister, found under a stone, my first ever find and the euphoric feeling was fantastic, I was hooked straight away and haven't looked back ever since. (May 2009)

Slimmer, Fitter and The Prized Hat
Within days I had purchased my first hand-held GPS, an Etrex Venture HC, and I was on my way. I made sure I had learnt all the rules of finding and placing a cache and I returned to the church to find that first attempt, this time without all the pain and trouble.

As those who have read my "Perils of a Geocaching Pensioner" blogs I have had several mishaps and injuries, but these have all been caused by myself and being unfit, yes I admit it. As for the benefits, I have had a wonderful retirement finding fantastic places that I have never seen before. I have made many new friends in the Caching world and, the most important thing of all, my weight has dropped a total of 6 1/2 stone, that's 91 lbs or as I like to say 45 bags of sugar. As for that clever fridge, it can open it's door all it likes, I'm not there but in the countryside lapping in all this wonderful world and wildlife that my previous jobs kept me from. If you haven't tried it you don't know what your missing.

Oh - and that Lady-Magpie's hat, given to me by my Sister stays, it has become my trademark and when meeting other cachers they all recognise me without having to ask.


  1. Oh, that is amazing. Good for you!

  2. Heather, I am shooting a link to this post over to my buddy aaron at 1meal1workout. I just did a podcast for him about losing weight and geocaching.


  3. You're an inspiration Heather...and I don't think I have ever seen you without your hat on. Carry on enjoying the lovely countryside and thrill of the chase and detective work!

    1. Look at the first photo in the blog, hadn't earn't the hat then.

  4. You wouldn't be our Heather without the hat!!!!!! Well done for losing that weith too xx

    1. Should be weight sorry lol

  5. Heather, email me. I've been trying to send you an email and it keeps coming back to me as undelivered.