Thursday, January 20, 2011

In Defense of Park and Grabs

In the Geocaching world, we have Park and Grabs.  It's a geocache wherein you can pull your car up close, step out, grab the cache, sign the log and replace the cache in a matter of minutes.  Some people just don't like them.  I'm hearing a lot of grumbling (or is it whining?) about park and grabs.  Somehow they "diminish the game."  It's almost as if they shouldn't count because they are so easy, people imply.   I disagree.  They happen to be my favorite type of geocache!

I live 20 minutes away from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina... the land of geocaches.  People come here to do a "numbers run."  That is, they can find a lot of geocaches in a small area quickly and boost their geo stats.  For people living in the frozen White North or big cities, it's a great thing.  For those trying to reach a milestone, like 1000 finds, it's also a good thing.  A good number of the caches in  Myrtle Beach AKA the Grand Strand area are park and grabs.  There are also a lot of creative hides in the area.  There are hides in parks, the back of golf courses and on nature trails.  If you want to spend 20 minutes walking to a cache, you can. 

Not Under the Skirt  This Time!

Park and Grabs follow a predictable format, making them an easy cache to find.  They aren't meant to be difficult.  Most are magnetic keyholders hidden under lampskirts (lovingly called, "skirtlifters").  There are a series of these in North Carolina called Anti-Micros and the CO (cache owner) has used all tins (Altoids, Sucretes & holiday gift card tins) for the cache containers.  I've hidden a series of magnetic keyholders in my area called, "Caching Through the Holidays."  Pill bottles and 35 MM film containers are other popular Park and Grab cache containers.  Palm trees (I dread these) seem to be popular hiding spots for these caches, as are billboards, electric boxes and the rare Southern Belle telephone kiosk.  On a recent trip to Charleston, I found two P&G's that were different from any that I had previously found.  So, yes! , you can even have a creative Park and Grab that will leave the geocacher scratching her head.  

When I go caching, I like to plan my day with a number of "walking caches" balanced with some sweet park and grabs.  In 104* heat, there's only so much time I can spend walking through the woods, fighting mosquitoes, and frisking wax myrtles all while keeping an eye out for snakes.  When I emerge from the woods with sticks in my hair, leaves down the back of my pants, and legs scratched and bleeding... then, I'm ready for my glass of sweet tea and some easy finds.  If I couldn't find the cache in the woods.. well then, not only am I in a state of disrepair, but I'm really frustrated AND doubting my skills as a cacher. To you Park and Grab haters out there I say this....  let us have our P&G's.. you just don't know what kind of a day we are having.  In teaching, we say that you need to make sure the student "meets with success" on occasion, or they get frustrated with learning and give up.  So, my skirt lifters are my "meet with success" moment.   If it's near a McDonald's or Starbucks.. all the sweeter.

Another Creative Park and Grab

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I really enjoyed reading it. Never underestimate a park and grab either. There have been a few times where I've parked, but not grabbed. ;)