The Advantages of Phone a Friend “PAF”


by: Larry Sullivan (localbiz)

How did you get involved in geocaching? Did a friend introduce you to it – taking you out and showing you the ropes? Or did you read about it online/offline and decided to try it? For me it was the later.

After reading about geocaching, I thought it sounded cool and decided to try it out. Well my first time going out was-memorable. I went to the website, found the closest cache online, put it in my GSPr and off I went. About an hour later, I returned with a DNF. Why? I was looking for an ammo box (because all caches were ammo boxes, or so I thought.) Back home, I decided to read the description and found out that it was a micro container.

Since that initial adventure, I have had more luck finding geocaches in my area but also have had a number of DNFs. Despite the early frustrations, I really liked geocaching and began to go out as much as I could. Soon I discovered that there was a local club of geocachers. Hooking up with this group has opened a whole new aspect of geocaching to me.

How do you get better at geocaching? Two ways: Experience, the more you do it, the better you get and who you know.

Going geocaching or discussing geocaching with experienced cachers is invaluable. One of the first things they provided me, when I joined the group, is the “PAF,” or phone a friend.

PAF is simply a list of phone numbers of local geocachers that are willing to lend a hand to any cacher out on the trial. At first I was a bit leery of calling up a stranger and asking for help geocaching, but now it is an indispensable asset.

Last month, I went looking for a cache that had not been found in months. I did not find it on my first visit. After reading all the logs and speaking with a cacher who found it, I discovered there were some issues with the coordinates. That cacher told me to go back out but call her when I got there. So I did just that. She pointed me in the correct direction and finally indicated where the cache should be.


After about 2 minutes of digging around, I found the cache- buried! I was stoked! Some work had been done in the area that buried the cache and the posted coordinates were off. I signed the log and put the cache back so others could find it (without digging.) I would never have been able to find that cache without her help. Since then there have been a number of caches that I called for help on- all resulted in smiley faces.

PAF, is something I recommend to all new cachers. Find a local geocaching group or connect with other geocachers

in your area via Having someone you can call to help out is great and makes geocaching alot more fun.

photo credit: didbygraham

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