June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Showcasing some of your fellow cachers!

June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby Serrabou » Tue May 31, 2011 11:02 pm

Tell us about your caching name:

ZAT and KAT are our initials - our names are Zoe and Kat. I guess we didn't get as creative as we could have!

At Forest Face in WV
(that's Kat on the left and Zoe on the right)

How were you introduced to Geocaching and what was the first cache
you found?

We had a chance meeting with a geocacher in Maine who told us about a cache he had just done with his kids that involved finding a canoe and then paddling the canoe out to an uninhabited island, finding the cache, and then rehiding the canoe. That just sounded like a lot of fun! But it was probably about 2 years after that when my son gave me a GPSr for Christmas, and it just took off from there.

The first cache we found was a multi cache right down the road, The Kings Park, and Parking Lot (GC1G38V). We had to come back several times in the snow before we figured out the puzzle and found all the stages. After that, we were hooked!

Tell us about your receiver and any other “tools” (hardware and software) that help you cache:

We use an eTrex Venture as well as our smartphones when we cache. It's nice to be able to log caches on the website while standing at GZ. We might be looking to upgrade our receiver soon, and we'll be asking around for recommendations. For now, our eTrex is working just fine, but we're willing to try ANYTHING that will increase our smilies.

What essential items do you always carry in your cache bag?

Gloves! Kat refuses to reach into places she can't see (although Zoe is fearless). We recently received a telescoping lighted mirror that has proved useful for many caches.

Do you trade items in and out of caches?

We love to trade trackables, though not usually swag, unless it's something really cool or unique. That's mostly because we never seem to have our caching bag with us when we find caches large enough for trading items. Finding travel bugs and coins is one of our favorite aspects of caching. We love to help bugs find their way to their destinations and track our own bugs' progress.



What is your favorite thing about caching?

We actually have a couple.

The first is that caching takes us places we've never been, and probably never would go if it weren't for geocaching. Now when we plan trips out of state or in other countries, instead of looking at the tour books, we check out the caches in the areas we'll be visiting. Caching gives us a reason to go a little off the beaten path and discover new and interesting things. When we were in Italy last year, we snagged the caches in the typical tourist places, but we also found a gorgeous little park with caches scattered among some of the hidden ruins.

Our second favorite thing is the people we've met. Everyone we've met through caching has been extremely friendly and supportive (and we can use all the help we can get!) We really enjoy the creativity of geocachers, and especially love discovering caches owned by people we have met at events.

Do you cache by yourself or with another person? How often do you go caching?

We're a mother-daughter team, but we've tried to introduce the rest of our family to caching. They tolerate our new obsession, coming along on a cache here and there (as long as it's a 1 or 2 with hints). Our constant cache partner, however, is our Miniature Chihuahua, Potato. He is a fantastic companion on long hikes!

Recently, we've taken up the challenge of finding a cache on every calendar day of the year. We try to cache every day now since we missed quite a few last year. We hope to reach our goal next year after we grab February 29th!

At Mouth of the Island in VA

What is your favorite type of cache (traditional, multi, puzzle, virtual etc.)?

Our favorite cache type is definitely the puzzle cache. You really get more bang for your buck since you first have to solve the puzzle and then find the container. The best ones are multi-stage puzzle caches. We love to see the creative things people come up with. We try to do puzzle caches wherever we are, and we think the puzzles in the NoVA area are especially challenging!

Tell us about your favorite cache. If you've placed a cache, which one are you most proud of?

We'd been caching for 4 months and our travels took us to Italy where we did something we never thought we'd do - climb to the top of Mount Vesuvius. Who would have thought we'd find a cache at this famous spot. The log had been signed by cachers from around the world, and it was so interesting to read their comments! We also recruited our host to geocaching that day, one of our favorite things to do!

Our favorite cache that we've placed is probably our Matryoshka cache (GC2N5JV). We really had a good time working out the puzzle and getting creative with the container and location. We've gotten some nice pictures and feedback from other cachers in the area - one local cacher even took his own Matryoshka collection out to the GZ for a photo!


Tell us about a memorable caching experience that you have had.

While caching in Guam on a stopover from a trip to Japan, we were shocked to see the familiar name of a cacher we knew in New Hampshire written on the log a few names before us. And we really thought we were doing something cool and special, caching in Guam 8,000 miles from home!

Where (states/countries) have you cached?

We've cached up and down the east coast and in a few states on the west coast for a total of 21 states so far. We've even spent a weekend driving through West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky - just for caches! We've cached in Mexico, Canada, England, Israel, Italy, Guam, and Japan. We're also heading to France next month and definitely taking our GPSr!

If you could take a vacation anywhere to cache, where would you?

There are so many places we'd love to cache! It would be so cool to visit the very first geocache in Oregon. We've got a long way to go yet, but we'd also love to complete the Cache Across America Series since we logged our first one last month in West Virginia.

At Cache Across America - West Virginia

Have you set any goals for yourself this year related to caching?
Is there a certain cache that you can’t wait to do?

Our list of goals is quite long. While working on the 366 calendar day challenge, we are also trying to find caches with higher difficulty and terrain ratings. We'd also really like to break our record of 20 caches in one day.

We are looking forward to trying Subterranean Adventure (Thunder Underground) (GC2PD3Q). It looks equal parts scary and creative - our favorite combination! Kat will definitely wear her gloves for this one.
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby Smokiewolf » Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:29 am

Very nice to meet you!
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby TooWheelIn » Wed Jun 01, 2011 7:31 am

I've had the privilege of meeting ZATnKAT and one of the NoVAGO events, and of course I read their logs...but didn't know them well. This "Spotlight" shares much about a very enthusiastic pair of geocaching "partners"...thank you both for making it so. :applause:

.....and Serrabou -- once again, like clockwork :smt023

"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby reedkickball » Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:44 am

Cool spotlight. I've missed some events lately, and so I haven't gotten to meet people as much, so this is great especially on cachers that I've yet to meet at least once so far.
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby nighthawk700 » Wed Jun 01, 2011 12:37 pm

I ran into ZATnKAT two or three times. The first was at a FTF race (they won, plus they had a working flashlight, mine was just about dead). We also walked along the trail, talking a bit at the Spring event, I was very impressed with Potato; my previous, bigger dogs would have been giving me the "What are you, kidding me?" look. He just plodded right along.

And wow, they are very well traveled!! I still have yet to find a cache out of the United States.

Anyway, each time I met them, I could just see and feel their enthusiasm for Geocaching. They make great ambassadors for the sport/hobby!

Great write up, thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby twister69 » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:24 am

Glad to see ZATnKATnTATER in the Spotlight........ :applause: :applause: I am Tater's number 1 fan :www: since he reminds me so much of my little Tigger....... :dancing: ........Enjoyed the Spotlight..
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby flyingmoose » Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:10 am

First off, great Spotlight on two cachers I had the pleasure of meeting last year. You certainly have your work cut out for you when it comes to the puzzle caches and glad to know there are more who like to go after the higher terrain caches!

We are looking forward to trying Subterranean Adventure (Thunder Underground) (GC2PD3Q). It looks equal parts scary and creative - our favorite combination! Kat will definitely wear her gloves for this one.

As for this cache? Might be easier for 2 people to do it but I think some people have done it on their own. Gloves never hurt! :D
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby Buglady1 » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:21 pm

ZATnKAT, it's great to meet you here in a spotlight! I look forward to meeting you in person maybe in July.. >: )
I love that you cache as a team and go all over the place to do it. That give you more mileage when you have a committed buddy to adventure with.
Loved your spotlight!

Variety is the spice of life...

Buglady1 over and out
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby donbadabon » Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:13 pm

Another great spotlight of cachers in the NoVA area! And Potato is just too cute!
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Re: June 2011 Spotlight - ZATnKAT

Postby LostDogsArlington » Tue Jun 14, 2011 2:15 pm

Ole Yeller eTrex dem solid equipment.

The Lost Dogs obnoxiously want to know if Potato has ever been accidentally left in a cache container, and other wise give a HOOWWWWLLLL out to fellow caching canines.
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