I’m always very interested in the best cache camouflage that’s out there in the “wild”. Like in the animal kingdom, camo can make or break a cache. If it lacks camouflage it’s just too easy. Of course, too hard of a hide isn’t always fun either! In my opinion, there’s a big difference between camouflage and unique hides. Camouflage is designed to be that thing that you look at and look at and you’re not sure that the cache is there and then you get an “a-ha!” moment when you find it.
Unique hides are for location or whimsy. They’re usually evident that the cache HAS to be there.
Here are some examples from my favorite caches. I’m purposefully leaving the GC codes out (the codes provided by geocaching.com that give the name and coordinates of the caches) so there won’t be any spoilers.
This metal javalina is on the side of the road, nearly in somebody’s front yard. A park-and-grab style cache that gets serious props for it’s whimsy.
Now, this man is in the middle of nowhere. And NO, before you ask, it wasn’t built to hide the cache! The person who hid this cache actually says that he found it out hunting in the late 1970’s or early 1980’s — that’s long before the creation of geocaching. Of course, this stone man in Northern Arizona gets my whimsy vote since it was the ONLY place the cache could be hidden. Plus, the cache container was hidden in the man’s chest. He is a geocacher at heart!
Ah, a stick. Under a tree. With LOTS of rusty tin cans lying around. Now, the photos just don’t do it justice. Since this stick was under a palo verde tree. In a basin full of OTHER palo verde trees and the clue was something like: “Stick”.
You can see in the background all the palo verde trees as well as the multitudes of “sticks” on the ground. Not very helpful!
This pill bottle was painted grey and then clipped into a carved hole in the stick. The clip is a hose clamp. The whole thing is VERY clever. In fact, the Queen Mother actually moved the stick with the end of her walking pole before me, the ever brave Outdoor Princess, actually flipped the stick over. Of course, being in Arizona, there could have been any number of poisonous creepy crawlies in residence under the stick. There were evidence of biting spiders but no actual spiders in residence at the time.
And then of course, there are the caches that fall somewhere between whimsy and excellent camouflage.
Best of Both Worlds:
This is a favorite cache of mine in Tucson, Arizona. Not so much that it was hard to find, in that there were so many great PLACES to look! This is the type of place that you just need to visit. My first trip was Thanksgiving 2008 but I was back for Thanksgiving 2009 to enjoy the garden in the daylight. (The light was failing on my first visit.)
This could be excellent camo except that the bolt was a bit out of place in the welcome sign. It was a bit TOO easy to find since it was the only bolt of it’s kind. Full props for camouflage, it’s just the context of the hide could have been more exciting.
I’m sure that sign posts all over the geocaching Universe have micros like this one. But this was the first time I’d ever seen it and I was impressed. A little obvious for the next time I go looking for one like this (whimsy) but for the size and coloring (excellent camouflage!)
What are your favorite camo hides? What about the whimsy hides? Let me know what YOU think!