Brendan McInnes - General Dogs Body and Lost Lacky for TrackMe NZ
In the summer of 2013, I was chatting to a colleague in the emergency services about what to do on my summer break. He mentioned Geocaching. I googled it. Geocaching, it turns out, is a free world-wide GPS device-based game. Developed in 2000 in Seattle, USA, the game has over nine million active Geocaching accounts and over three million geocaches to find.
A geocache is a container that is hidden, has a logbook, is registered on the Geocaching.com website and meets the regulations and conditions of the game. Anyone with an active Geocaching.com account and a GPS device, these days that’s anyone with a phone (there’s an app), can head off on a mini treasure hunt and find one. It creates a wonderful sense of adventure.
After a few years, geocaching here and there, and meeting fellow Geocachers from all over the world, I started a YouTube channel, as well as other social media sites, and changed my unique username to Mr Cuddly Brick. My wife worked alongside TrackMe’s Chief Thinking Guy, Tony, and he asked me to help him with this and that. TrackMe NZ was a fledgling business and Tony had great aspirations for the business to help people.
My wife asked Tony how she could see where I was if I was in the middle of nowhere with no cellphone coverage. She was worried that she wouldn’t know where I was and that I wouldn’t be able to reach out for help if I needed it.
She hadn't known about the number of times that I had got pretty stuck, either up a tree, a cliff face or lost on a track. Unfortunately, this had happened more often than I like to admit.
Tony upgraded my devices and I thrashed them. I reviewed them as well as promoted them. I currently use a Montana 750i connected with TrackMe Pro+. I also have this connected with a GARMIN Instinct 2 watch.
I am grateful for Tony’s friendship, counsel, and time. We have a blast together racing on our mountain bikes, and out and about.
One time, we were out on the boat in the Queen Charlotte Sounds and were trying our hand at hooking some dinner. We managed to land a couple of fish, but nothing to keep. He said, “Let's hit some Geocaches.” There are heaps on the islands around the Sounds. We came to one island and looked at the GPS. The island was small, and Tony nosed up to the shore and I leapt off. I scrambled up the bank, Tony yelling at me to go this way and that. I fell a few times. The last time was an interesting fall, and I was glad Tony wasn't videoing it.
Sometimes you gotta call it quits. So, the next part was trying to get back onto the boat... I had a good couple of goes at it. The wind was cutting up and Tony was fighting the short sharp chop as well as my not so dainty frame clambering onto the bow... the boat wasn't small either. We got there in the end. I was a bit battered and bruised. Even though I didn't get that geocache, it was definitely an adventure.
If you see the TrackMe Adventure car parked on the side of the road somewhere unexpected, you can probably expect I'll be nearby, hunting for a random container. Why don’t you load up the Geocaching app on your phone and give it a go yourself? You won’t be disappointed.