The weekend of May 2nd, 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the creation of Geocaching. In celebration of this milestone, Maxpedition had the pleasure of interviewing Jon Stanley—a renowned member of the Geocaching.com community and staff. He is the Co-founder and Charter Vice-President of the Washington State Geocaching Association and has found over 14,000 caches! As an expert in the field and a longtime Maxpedition fan, Jon gave us the 411 on Geocaching and a look into his cache bag.
Can You Tell Us A Little About Yourself?
My name is Jon Stanley and I geocache under the alias “Moun10Bike.” I have a background in tech and currently work as System Analyst for Geocaching HQ.
How Did You Get Involved in Geocaching?
I received my first GPS as a gift back in 1995 and initially used it to help map mountain biking trails. My interest in it made me a regular reader of the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup, which was a primary source of online discussion about the technology in those days.
When Selective Availability was removed and Dave Ulmer mentioned the idea of hiding a container in the woods and sending someone to it with coordinates, the idea captivated me!
I waited until the snow had melted back some near my family’s cabin at Priest Lake, Idaho, and I headed up to a nearby peak with a nice view of the lake. There I placed my first cache on June 17, 2000. I named it the “Camels Prairie Stash” (GC25). It was the first cache in Idaho and one of the first 40 placed worldwide.
What are some of the features that make a Maxpedition Bag suitable for geocaching?
The ergonomics are great – I can jump between boulders and crouch under logs without having the pack swing all over on me – and the various compartments and customizability are key in letting me adapt the bag to the specifics of a given outing.
In Addition to Maxpedition gear, what else is inside your geocaching bag?
Everything up to (and maybe even including) the kitchen sink! I carry trading swag (usually my Lackey tags and geocoins), my personal stamp, a lanyard with pen and various small tools, a flashlight, a UV light, a multitool, hand sanitizer, wipes, trail cards (business cards that help to explain geocaching to those I run across who have not heard of it), and much more!
What makes a good geocache? Where was your favorite cache located?
For me, it’s all about location, location, location. My favorite caches aren’t the gimmick containers or the quick power trail hides, but those that take me to cool and interesting spots, whether they be a bit of overlooked history in the midst of a city or a spectacular mountain top.
It’s hard for me to pick a single favorite cache, but one that always comes to mind is GC8E22, “Hidden Basin Geocache.” It involved an absolutely stunning hike into the heart of the North Cascades.
Have you hidden any of your own geocache containers for others to find?
Absolutely! In addition to my first hide mentioned above, I have placed 113 other caches of various types. Most of them are located along hikes or bike rides that I have especially enjoyed.
Any tips for a new geocacher?
Take some time to explore the web site before diving in too fully - there are a lot of nuances involved in geocaching that will make the game more enjoyable if you take the time to learn about them. If you plan on going for a cache that is out in the wilderness, make sure you let someone know where you will be and pack along the 10 Essentials.
A big thank you to Tom, Eric, and Jon over at Groundspeak.com & Geocaching.com for making this interview possible. Visit Jon’s Geocaching profile here to check out his wide variety Geocaches, geocoins and more.
Sign up for a Geocaching profile at www.Geocaching.com to find caches in your area!