Recently, I noted a discussion on social media about the best geocaching vehicle. I was going to grab some popcorn but was then surprised and pleased to see a number of people recommending a vehicle that is the basis of my current geobuggy.
I started geocaching with a Tacoma Prerunner because it was what I had at the time. It was replaced with a 4WD Ram 1500 which makes a better tow vehicle for our trailer trailer. I quickly realized that the extra width was a significant detriment on our local desert tracks. While enjoying our multi-month road trip to Alaska last summer, Turtlehkr and I talked about what the ideal geocaching vehicle would be for me. I wanted narrow, small, high clearance, room to sleep inside, 4WD, and reasonable gas mileage.
Turns out the search was resolved when our daughter and her husband announced they were trading in the ‘hand me down’ Subaru Forester that we’d gifted them when Turtlehkr bought her new Outback. I immediately offered to match the trade-in and when we got home from Alaska I had the basis for my geobuggy sitting in the driveway. The best part was that it had a known history but was old enough that I didn’t need to worry about desert pin-striping.
I quickly ordered parts and installed new struts, extended springs, larger and much more aggressive tires, and a front skid plate. A lifted jeep it’s not, but it’s cheaper, gets decent gas mileage, and the 11 inch plus ground clearance has proven to be enough for where I should want to go.
After using it for a few months, I added a rooftop cargo carrier since the spare tire is too large to fit in the tire well. It was taking up space that I needed to create a compact kitchen and part of the sleeping space. With the bed and kitchen in place there is still room for a couple friends on a geocaching day trip but the rig is really optimized for solo multi-day trips. There are lots of other vehicles that would have worked, and there are a few things I wish this had, but this combination is working out well for me.
Originally, the plan was that the Silver Subie would be used to attend the Northwet events this year, but when CV19 put a stop to that I started wondering about a shorter trip. A challenge cache in the Salt Lake City area (GC2375Q) had been tantalizing me for over a year. It had only be done 13 times in 10 years, but I was relatively close to qualifying. The Cachetur.no plan grew, morphed, and developed a life of its own. When it was all said and done, I cached in 56 new counties in seven southwest states, logging 305 caches as found including completing qualifications for several challenges along the way.
We (the Silver Subie and I) covered 5200 miles in 17 days. The kitchen box worked great. The bed was comfortable, and the mileage was a 50% improvement over the truck. I need to work on a wind screen for the kitchen, but over all, the Subie met the requirements admirably.
What is your geo-mobile of choice? Why is that? Tell us! Tag a photo with your geo-mobile and let @justfindingourway know your thoughts!
Turtlehkr and I were introduced to geocaching 5 years ago by our grandson. The hobby fits well with our other interests including road trips, hiking, canoeing, and woodworking. I’m especially smitten while Turtlehkr is much more sane about geocaching. I’ve discovered challenge caches challenge me and entice me to go well out of my way as do letterbox hybrids. My biggest geocaching joy is cache construction. I enjoy building smiles, one cache at a time.
I can be found occasionally on Instagram (justfindingourway) and even less often on our increasingly occasional blog (and the source of my geocaching name) Just Finding Our Way (justfinding.blogspot.com).
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