Whether you're a seasoned geocacher with thousands of finds under your belt or a newbie to geocaching, I think there's something for everyone in the recently published "101 Devil Caches."
Co-written by EJ Martin and Kurt Milligan, these guys know what they are talking about. Lifelong friends and avid geocachers, they currently run the Madcacher Geocaching Blog and Navicache.com in an effort to share their geocaching experiences with others.
Since they are fans of geocaches that are a little more difficult than a basic park and grab, they came up with the idea of this book to showcase caches that require thinking outside the box and using your wits to figure them out.
The book is so much more than a cache primer - it begins with an excellent and detailed description of the game, how it began, the different types of geocaching hides, rules of geocaching, how it impacts our lands and society and finally, the future of geocaching.
Chapter 3 goes into a thorough lesson on GPS technology and how it works. They then explain GPS units in general and tell you about some of the different capabilities they have and how to use them in conjunction with geocaching or other applications in your daily life.
Chapters 5 & 6 will tell you everything you want to know about joining in the fun. They list step by step instructions on how to find or hide a cache as well as the different types of basic containers that are usually used.
The real nuts and bolts of the book though are the 101 devil caches that follow in chapter 7. Each page gives a detailed description of a cache, how to make it, and an excellent drawing of what the cache should look like. If you're looking for some fun and creative caches to make, then you will find this section really useful. But what I really liked about this section is that it would truly help the newbies to see examples of some of the devilish hides that are out there.
Many of the caches in the book were ones I've seen over the course of my 3 1/2 years of caching. But I have to admit there were a few I've not seen before and the book does a great job of getting you excited to try your hand at making some of these different caches.
Pros: If you're new to geocaching or thinking about giving it a try, I highly recommend this book to you. It's a wonderful primer on the how's and why's of geocaching. And if you're an experienced geocacher, I think you'd enjoy the book as well. I found out some things about the early days of geocaching and about GPS units in general that I didn't know before. And as I already mentioned, I'm itching to try my hand at some of the fun and creative caches they describe. The authors plan to use the proceeds of their book to re-invest in their madcacher.com and navicache.com sites.
Cons: They have one small, 2 page spread called Geocachers in Profile that I felt could have been expanded. They only talked about 3 geocachers, and while this was interesting, and exciting since I was pleasantly surprised to see one mentioned that I know personally, I think they could have done an entire chapter on this. For me, I would have liked to also see some interviews with cachers who have contributed something to the game, or maybe a few cachers who have over 50,000 finds, or even a few who have cached since the inception of the sport. But that's totally my opinion and the focus of the book is on the devil caches themselves and not the geocachers.
Overall, this book was a good read, very thorough, written with humor and great attention to detail. Very affordable at $ 14.95 per copy, you can go to the madcacher.com site and order a copy for yourself or to give as a gift. While you're on their site, take some time to look around - read their blog, look for geocaching clubs in your area and do a little shopping.
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I'd like to thank the guys over at madcacher.com for the review opportunity. I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.