The Membership Relations Committee is happy to showcase some ArkGeo Geocachers through the "Geocacher Profile". The committee thought Chris Wilks aka Cnwilks should be the next cacher to be in the spotlight.
What is your geocaching name?
How did you choose your handle?
First two initials and last name. Creative, I know.
How long have you been geocaching?
Since October 2014, but I had actually set up an account in 2011 when I had first heard about the hobby, so it took me a while to get around to hunting for my first one.I wish that I had started earlier when I was hiking more frequently, but this gives me a good excuse to go hit those trails again.
How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it?
I live in west Little Rock, and I took off on foot looking for GC1XDBJ, which is hidden on the sign for a shopping center on W. Markham. I then looked in vain for GC4E577, and also came up dry. So I walked to Waffle House, and after dinner, I moseyed up to the sprawling campus of Immanuel Baptist Church where I finally got on the board with "Light on a hill" GC30G0 I started to get frustrated with that one as well, and then I learned that lamp post skirts can be lifted. The rest, as they say, is history.
Who usually goes with you when you go caching?
I usually fly solo, but KSDS97 and bUTCH46 have invited me along a couple of times, and my friend ARKEkey from SWAG took me and Summitlady along on a maintenance run on her island caches on Lake Hamilton. I've also been on a couple of RV vacations with my family, and they have helped me hunt on numerous occasions, most notably helping me log all 43 caches on a NASCAR Related GeoArt puzzle that runs the length of Speedway Blvd at Talladega Super Speedway. That trip was memorable, because multiple muggles would pop up and point out where to look.
How long will you work on puzzle caches before you give up?
I'd much rather solve puzzles than go after a bunch of skirt lifters and power trails. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the dream that we all share to be able to solve Flowten's and Woodwalker's puzzles unassisted, but I feel no less pride in emailing them for a nudge. Every now and then, one of them will toss out a softball that I can solve on my own, but I know that Chuck and Pat are more interested in challenging us than stumping us, and help is an email away. The same is true for my puzzle caches...help is an email away.
What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
I enjoy caching on the road, and try to get one every time that I travel out of state. But I'm something of a homebody, and it amazes me how many local caches that I have yet to go after. Please keep them coming in the Little Rock area, and I'll do the same. I particularly recommend going after Doublenickel8's dead presidents series in Hillcrest...he's a very crafty hider, and finishing his series is a lot like caching bootcamp.
Do you do paperless caching?
Yes...I used hard copies in the early days, but those days are long over.
What kind of geocaching rig do you use?
iPhone 5s, and a Garmin Oregon 600 (they were marked down to about $129 at Academy Sports, but I haven't used it as much as my phone, which I have at all times….Summitlady bought the same one, and we give each other a hard time for not using it enough)
Why would you recommend anyone else to take up geocaching?
For starters, it's an inexpensive hobby that will appeal to people who like to hunt for treasure and solve puzzles. Premium membership costs $30 a year, and if you're interested in hiding caches, creativity and craftsmanship are a lot more important than money. Most importantly, it's a great way to make some new friends through clubs like CAGE and SWAG.
Where are you originally from?
Born and raised in Little Rock. Proud graduate of McClellan High in '92 and Arkansas State in 96'
In what states have you geocached?
Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nevada
What was your first event ever attended?
November 2014 at Whole Hog in NLR. My door prize was waterproof log sheets, and I still have most of them.
How many caches have you found?
Which type of cache container do you prefer over the rest?
It’s fun to find large ones full of swag and TBs, but as an urban cacher, mostly I find micros.
What was the most famous cache that you have found?
GC4E07-The man in black, a virtual cache at the Dale Earnhardt statue outside of Daytona International Speedway.
Do you use disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries?
Disposable when I have a choice..I try to be green as much as I can, but rechargeable batteries develop memories.
Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby?
That’s a tough question. I guess I’ll say finding them, but when someone finds one of mine, I always enjoy reading the log, and getting confirmation that it wasn’t muggled. For the same reason, I love when new logs get posted for my TBs. I currently have two in the UK, and a few that have racked up a lot of miles in the US.
Do you have a personal goal in mind when you make a hide?
Not really...my first few were based around places where I had some personal history, or that had a great story. I also like looking for street names that tie in with a movie or TV show that I like, and I try to keep them close enough that I can maintain them. I made a couple of baseball related puzzle caches, and based on the early response, decided to make a whole series. I also have an idea for a series of caches based on The Walking Dead...it’s not my favorite show, but there are enough streets in central AR that share their name with characters from the show. I’d like to get a little more creative with containers in the future, and find a way to hide more containers big enough to trade TBs.
What is your favorite type of cache hide?
As much as I love puzzles, finding the container is usually a bit anticlimactic. The first time I found a fake electrical cover was pretty exciting. I love the caches that are hidden in plain sight, and there’s nothing like finding one with a really unusual container...the most recent one that made me smile was “More cowbell” GC6HTCH by Crittercache. She doesn’t have a ton of them out there, but I enjoy her creativity. And even though I still haven’t found it yet, GC5KH2F “Easiest cache ever” made me chuckle on the first hunt. I have no truck with finding film cans and contact lens cases, but it’s always fun to find something a bit more unusual.I love the meet and greets, and try not to miss them. I also enjoy hunting for caches in cemeteries, because I believe that the dead people enjoy the company.
Out of all your hides, what are your personal favorites that you take pride in?
My baseball series of puzzle caches. I just wish that more people would go get them.
What do you think the proper hide to find ratio should be to keep the sport fresh?
As many as you can maintain. I have about 25 active, which seems like a small number, until you start getting DNFs on them and have to go check them out. I get a little frustrated at my local map, because of all the neglected caches hidden by inactive COs.
How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby?
I had heard about it a long time ago, and always suspected that it would be an activity that I would enjoy. Once I finally got out there and looked, I was hooked. One of the first things that I liked was having an excuse to pull into places that I had been driving by for years.
What's your favorite geocache?
GC5AE5K-”Matt’s Homerun”. I chickened out at least a couple of times before claiming my prize. I’ll also give an honorable mention to GC4GEA1”Old Ironside” in Memphis. I don’t remember being scared of heights as a kid, but even a short climb is a different story now. But I inked the log on both.
If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching?
Rome, Paris, London, Tokyo, Australia, Dubai...those are the places where I’d go if money was no object (for starters), not necessarily driven by caching.
Do you like geocaching by yourself or in a group?
I haven’t been caching with others very much, but it’s always nice to go hunting with people who are more patient finders.
How many First to Finds do you have?
About 6-8...none recently
Are you a First to Find person who is always set on go and if so, how many miles out do you have your settings on to get notifications?
I used to be, and had a friendly rivalry with CacheiusClay for a while. I drove 10-15 miles a couple of times to get one.
Do you have any other hobbies besides geocaching?
Filmmaking, writing, and cooking. I haven’t played them in a while, but I have a couple of drumsets stacked up in my garage, and one of these days I wouldn’t mind playing in a bar band again.