Sixteen years ago, on September 2, 2000, Jeremy Irish launched Geocaching.com to the stash-hunting community with the 75 known caches in the world. In the beginning, cache listings were still added by hand, but a database helped to standardize the listings. The ability to search for caches around zip codes made it easier for new players to find listings for nearby caches. Every cache was a Traditional cache, with thoughts of Webcams, Wherigos, CITOs and Earthcaches way off in the future.
Today, there are 2,926,343 geocaches in the world of every shape, size and style imaginable. There are 13 different geocache types, with another 5 grandfathered types still in existence. Have you ever wondered when and where all those different cache types came to be? Well, thanks to information from Chris Ronan and the Geocaching HQ Lackeys, we have some answers for you!
NOTE from Geocaching HQ: We're fairly confident in the data. We can tell for certain the order of cache listings. However, in the early days it was easier to change cache types after publication.
First Multi: GC1E Tour of Stone Mountain - hidden 6/11/2000 in Georgia - this cache is still active
First Virtual: GC53 Rift Valley - hidden 6/15/2000 in Kenya - this cache is still active but only has 11 finds in the past 16 years. NOTE: The user carved his initials in a tree years prior and listed it as a virtual cache in September of 2000, backdating to June 2000. It's possible that GC60 Virtual Dublin (hidden 9/25/2000 in Ireland) may be the true first Virtual. Curiously, it was archived in 2003, but has 25 finds since that time!
First Mystery: GC70 Octopus Garden - hidden 9/30/2000 in North Carolina - this cache is still active
First Letterbox Hybrid: GC190 Open Space 6 - hidden 1/15/2001 in New Mexico - this cache is still active. NOTE: There is a bit of doubt about this one. GC2D Geocache (hidden 6/8/2000 in Illinois) is the oldest Letterbox Hybrid (LBH) in the database, but it was never found. It’s possible it was changed to a LBH after the fact.
First Locationless: GC1C90 Please Donate Blood Cache - hidden 9/12/2001 with coordinates in New York
First Webcam: GC21DF Houston Webcam Cache #1 - hidden 10/11/2001 in Texas – this cache is now archived
First EarthCache: GCHFT2 Earthcache I - a simple geology tour of Wasp Head - hidden 1/10/2004 in Australia - this cache is still active. NOTE: Other EarthCaches have earlier GC numbers, but they were retroactively changed to EarthCaches.
First Wherigo: GC18FP7 Where I went, Hugo - hidden 1/9/2008 in London, UK – still active
First Event: GC389 Austin Geocachers Happy Hour on 3/24/2001 in Texas
First CITO: GCE2F1 Earth Day Cleanup at Raccoon Creek Park on 4/26/2003 in Pennsylvania
First Mega: GCRRC6 GeoWoodstock 4 on 5/27/2006 in Texas
First Giga: GC4K089 Project MUNICH2014 - Mia san Giga! on 8/16/2014 in Germany
Other database features:
Difficulty and Terrain (D/T) ratings were there from the start. Sizes followed about a year later. We don’t have an exact date, but sometime after 5/7/2001. Attributes were added on 1/17/2005.
So, how many of these FIRSTs have you found?!? I hear the sound of new caches being added to Bucket Lists everywhere. They would certainly take you on a cool tour around the world.
THANKS to all the Lackeys at Geocaching.com for managing the database that keeps us all out there having fun and exploring the world. Happy 16th Birthday! Here's to many more years of adventure.
* All photos are from cache logs on geocaching.com