What attracts a person to geocaching?
It seems to be a certain personality type. I'll go there and say that it seems to appeal to the geeky or nerdy crowd. Not all "geeks" or "nerds" are going to like geocaching, though. My one occasional partner is proof of this. He thinks it's one of the stupidest ideas on the planet but comes along because it's an excuse to spend time with me.
The idea of geocaching appealed to me on a level of solving a puzzle. I'm given a set of coordinates and have to get to the location and find the container. The greatest victories I've had have come from the finds that were more difficult and took some time to find. They often require thinking a little outside the box.
There's also the numbers factor. The competitor in me enjoys seeing the numbers go up. There was a great deal of satisfaction on claiming my 700th geocache recently. To get there, you do have to find a fair number of "easy" caches. These are the ones hidden in lightposts, guardrails, etc. I enjoy saying "I found 15 caches today" but I also enjoy saying "I found a level 5 difficulty today."
Finally, for me, it's the exercise. I ran track in high school, but that's out of the picture now due to knee and neck issues. More than the caches where I get in the car and drive from place to place, I enjoy the caches where I get to hike along trails. I can make a considerable number of finds on rail trails, which seem to be a popular place for hiding geocaches. There's also a lot to be said about going into local parks or land-management areas where a number of caches have been places.
Over the weekend I found 38 caches in Connecticut and Rhode Island. A bunch were in one park. It was a 4 mile hike, plus all of the bush-wacking and back-tracking I had to do. The cache farthest from the parking area was also at an elevation that overlooked a water supply and much of the surrounding area. It was a good workout, especially in 90°+ heat. I came away with scratches all over my legs (it's up to the individual to decide whether the hazard of thorns triumphs the heat or not), oversprayed with DEET, and quite tired. As I sat in the Rite-Aid parking lot while my friend who doesn't understand my attraction to this hobby at all cleaned up my legs with alcohol and Neosporin, I also felt a sense of triumph. I had set my goals for the weekend much higher, but this was still something to be proud of.