In February 2014, I attended my third ever geocaching event. It was a lively affair in a Dublin pub and was probably the first time I could truly appreciate the fantastic caching community we have in Ireland. At this event, someone made a throwaway remark, which always stuck with me for some reason. He commented that there were a number of women in attendance and not only that, but several of those were geocachers with their own accounts (in other words, they weren’t just accompanying the geocacher in their life to the event). I have since realised the significance of his comment. When I started geocaching, there weren’t many female geocachers in the community.
The Only Way is Up
I’ve only been geocaching since August 2013 – not a long time in the grand scheme of things – but I’ve seen a significant increase in the number of women playing the game. It makes me happy. Geocaching is one of those hobbies that doesn’t discriminate based on a player’s gender. There are only geocachers; not male and female geocachers. There are geocachers who are not too keen on climbing trees, and there are those who will climb 15 feet without blinking an eye. There are geocachers who will hike for hours for a single cache, and those who prefer to cache and dash. These are the ways that we separate geocachers: not by gender but on how they like to cache.
I am very fortunate to be surrounded by inspirational women in my life: in my family, in my circle of friends, at work and, of course, in geocaching.
Last year for International Women’s Day, I wrote a post entitled How to Geocache Like a Girl. It was the wonderful response I had to my request for photos of women doing amazing things in the name of geocaching that really made the article. This year, my request to showcase women in geocaching resulted in the fabulous photos you can see below.
This year, the theme for International Women’s Day is #PressforProgress. I feel that geocaching is a great example of gender inclusiveness already, but let’s all of us – men and women – use our much-loved hobby to empower women and girls; to encourage them to believe they are capable of great things.
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