The Membership Relations Committee is happy to showcase some ArkGeo Geocachers through the "Geocacher Profile". The committee thought Brandon Labat aka Night_Hiker should be the next cacher to be in the spotlight.

What is your geocaching name?

How did you choose your handle?
Me and my friends have primarily cached at night. So I've hiked through the middle of the woods more times than I can count. So the name was just fitting. The account was originally our groups, which one friend had named "apart" but once I began to hide caches I wanted something more specific to myself. There's something and secretive about going so late. I'm a bit older now, 27 so I don't get as many chances haha.

How long have you been geocaching?
Let's see It was either late 2009 or early 2010.

How did you find your first Geocache, and which one was it?
Well me and my buddies were hanging out late one night and one friend had read about the game so we gave it a try. The cache was Greenbrier Softball Complex by BSA534. Let me tell you that realization that there were these hidden containers all around us was mind blowing. We were immediately hooked. My friends back then have all moved on from the sport but I've always maintained my love.

Who usually goes with you when you go caching?
Over the years I have taken an assortment of friends. only one has actually maintained an account, Midnight Stalker. Probably 15 to 20 people have tagged along haha.

How long will you work on puzzle caches before you give up?
I usually do not spend a lot of time on these if its a night trip. They are just difficult in the dark and can slow the momentum of the trip but if its just me during day light I'll give it much more time.

What town/areas have you most enjoyed caching in?
I've really enjoyed Heber Springs, Morrilton, and my local areas surrounding Clinton. Also the national forest up around the Buffalo River and Jasper.

Do you do paperless caching?
I'm very old school when it comes to caching. I usually pull up the map on the website and I'll plot a course listing caches on notebook paper. I'll upload these into my gps as I go. It's just fun to do and I like having the paper to keep me from getting confused.

What kind of geocaching rig do you use?
I used a Garmin Etrex 10. I like to keep it pretty simple and this thing is just great.

Why would you recommend anyone else to take up geocaching?
Usually when I am attempting to recruit some muggles I'll point out the secretiveness of the game and compare it to a year round scavenger hunt. "Hiking with a purpose or destination" usually gets stated haha.

Where are you originally from?
I moved from Louisiana when I was 2 and lived in Scotland, AR until the school closed in 2006. I've lived in Clinton, AR ever since 2008.

In what states have you geocached?
Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Missouri, and Oklahoma

What was your first event ever attended?
I believe it was an event held here in Clinton by Ar Hick. He wanted to highlight the area and the caches, a lot being mine, so I was very appreciative.

How many caches have you found?

Which type of cache container do you prefer over the rest?
I really like a good ole fashion ammo can or peanut butter jar. They are timeless classics.

What was the most famous cache that you have found?
Can't say I've found a really famous one but going down the list King Cotton in Lake Providence, Louisiana has 75 likes so I guess that one haha.

Do you use disposable batteries or rechargeable batteries?
Disposable but I've been wanting to go rechargeable for a while now.

Do you enjoy hiding or finding more as your part of the hobby?
I really enjoy hiding them. A lot of cacher are really appreciative of my creative hides and provide great logs for me to read.

Do you have a personal goal in mind when you make a hide?
I usually hope to "wow" the cachers and provide a find that they haven't seen before. Although I do sprinkle in some common hides, I try to keep a high percentage unique and creative.

What is your favorite type of cache hide?
I really love finding larger ones and custom ones. If I find a birdhouse geocache or something I'm super happy. I basically create caches I would love to find.

Out of all your hides, what are your personal favorites that you take pride in?
Two caches specifically stick out "Heads Up" 89 favorites and "Urban Cammo" 67. It's a miracle I've kept them going this long, as I've had to rebuild them many times. They get the most attention and I'm glad bc they took the longest to make.

What do you think the proper hide to find ratio should be to keep the sport fresh?

I don't really have a preference. I know I could not maintain hundreds of hides, but if someones up for the challenge I salute them! I do prefer that a cacher play a while before hiding a cache tho. The experience helps.

How did you end up getting into this wacky hobby?
I explained earlier but once again a buddy read about it and suggested we played. I've been a consistent junky ever since.

What's your favorite geocache?
I've actually never found my favorite geocache. Sugarloaf Chimney in Heber Springs, AR has stumped me and my crew many trips. I love the area, you can see all of Heber and just a lot of fond memories come from that location and hunting. I'll go back and claim it one day, hmm I may plan a trip soon now haha!

If money was no object, where would you like to go geocaching? Oh man so many choices. I'd love to get a cache on every continent. I really want to go to Yosemite tho, so that location specifically would be the one.

Do you like geocaching by yourself or in a group?
With a group. I've rarely went alone it's still fun but the social aspect and searching with your friends is what it's all about.

How many First to Finds do you have?
I'm not really sure on this one but I would bet like 7. I really wish the website tracked these. Maybe it does I haven't found the feature if so!

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?
No, I am not. During spurts where I'm really into the game I may go find a local one. If I see one while plotting a course I'll steer the trip that way but I don't get too caught up on them.

Do you have any other hobbies besides geocaching?
Yes, I do a lot of stuff. Obviously if you know my caches, woodworking. Also basketball, hiking, fishing, kayaking, photography, video games, mountain biking and recently metal detecting. I tend to spread myself too thin so I'll be into one hobby for a while before switching to something else.