When I first heard of geocaching I was puzzled about why I haven’t heard about it before. I used to play Ingress and found it rather dull because it meant frequenting the same uninteresting locations over and over, and one of the main reasons I quit was because I never liked walking on the same path too often. Once was a thrill, twice was alright, but three times was a nuisance, especially if it was on the same day.
The way I first heard about geocaching was through a Facebook group about barefooting. One of the members liked to geocache barefoot, as they said. I had no idea what geocaching was, so I looked it up and a few days later I got hooked. I have since found 41 geocache and every one of them was barefoot. Had there been more caches in my home area, I would’ve found them all, even if there were a thousand. As it is, the geocache closest to my home, which I haven’t found yet is about an hour’s ride by car.
One of the more interesting ones was an event cache that was organized by a group of cachers from Finland. Unfortunately, geocaching is not very popular in Croatia yet, so I was the only one from Croatia to actually attend. It was an interesting meeting, though a bit disappointing to the Finnish cachers because many of the caches in the town where they organized this event cache were missing.
Since I joined them barefoot, they naturally had questions about the lifestyle. I was more than happy to share, as they were very happy to share some of the geocaching tips and adventures. The thing that I was most thrilled about was that geocaching on this trip was of the same importance to them as their other reason (they didn’t say what it was) and the fact that they go on such trips often.
After the meeting, we went to find another cache in town that got restored just recently and I had not had the time to find it yet. When we arrived at the location I realized I’d never seen the place even though I’d passed nearby on several occasions. To that, all they had to say was,
As a barefoot geocacher I get to visit very unusual places, so when the location is somewhere public, I’m twice as conspicuous. Waiting for people to just go on about their business so I can search can sometimes be lengthy, particularly if they want to discuss why I’m barefoot. That’s why I often just leave in search of another cache and then return later, unless there aren’t any caches in the area.
At the time of writing, I am a proud owner of one cache. I actually inherited it from its previous owner who could no longer take care of it. I have two XS size caches always ready in my bag just in case of an emergency replacement being required. I’m thinking of buying some additional geocaching equipment and have a special rucksack just for geocaching. And yes, I’ll be barefoot when going to the stores to buy that equipment, and I’ll be barefoot when looking for caches.
I have heard from other geocachers on the group of barefooters I joined that there are some locations that are simply not accessible barefoot because one could easily cut their bare feet on rocks, or sea shells. I have walked on sharp rocks already, but if I ever find a cache that I can’t get to because I’m barefoot, I think I’ll just turn around and look for another cache. I never had shoes with me when I was geocaching, so I don’t think I’ll have them then.
Will I ever return to look for that cache?
Maybe, if it’s the last cache on Earth.