By Andrew Baldwin If you’ve ever gone down a geocaching rabbit hole on YouTube, you likely came across Joshua Johnson, better known as The Geocaching Vlogger.
His charisma and enthusiasm towards geocaching can be contagious on film. He’s quirky, funny, relatable, and expressive. While most of us are excited internally when we find a cool cache, Joshua’s extroverted enthusiasm expresses what we all feel but don’t always show.
Joshua began caching 10 years ago when some friends mentioned the game to him in passing. He purchased a Garmin eTrex GPS device and tested it out on a geocache across the street and thought to himself, “I drive by here everyday and never knew this existed! It was like a whole new world was opened up to me, and I have been hooked ever since.”
A few years later, Joshua purchased his first Flip camera, recorded a geocaching adventure, posted it online, and never looked back. From 2011–2018 he has not missed a week of uploading at least one entertaining video of unique and awe-inspiring geocaches. Since there are so many cool hides in the archives of his YouTube channel, we wanted to ask him what makes a quality geocache and what words of inspiration he has for future cache hiders to make caches worthy enough for the big-screen — among a few other questions.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a small town in southern Minnesota. (Fairmont)
What were your hobbies and interests back then?
I have always been a performer. I took to the stage from a very young age. I was involved in a lot of theater. It wouldn’t have been strange if you saw me in my youth impersonating Elvis Presley or Jerry Lee Lewis.
Did you ever think creating video content was going to be a part of your life?
Not really. I was very involved in video production when I was in high school. We had free reign of the local TV studio. It was almost eight years ago that I decided to get a Flip camera to film my kids growing up that I decided to start shooting video. The day I got it I tested it out by filming a geocaching adventure and putting it up on YouTube. Who knew that many years later I have never missed a week putting out a geocaching video.
Do you have a career outside of Vlogging?
Yes, I work for a non-profit that involves me speaking to young people in schools about the importance of kindness, courage, and respect. The cool thing is that it gives me a chance to travel which means new geocaches all the time!
Do you ever find it difficult to find content?
Not really. The great thing about geocaching is it often takes you to new amazing places, amazing creative caches, or allows you to meet fascinating people. Those are the three main ingredients for a great video and geocaching adventure!
In your opinion, what makes a geocache stand out to you?
Again, a creative geocache, an awesome unique location, and being with great people. If all three of those are present, it makes it stand out as an amazing experience.
Top 5 favorite caches and why (in no particular order)
“The Doctor is In!” – GC6YDR6
In my opinion this might be the best geocache in America. It is a Dr. Who Tardis smart cache that is truly an amazing interactive experience.
“Sliding Rock Earthcache” – GC17869
I love geocaches that are an amazing experience. The cache involved the full of sliding down a long natural rock waterslide! So much fun!
“The Hannover Germany Geotour” – GT31
You can’t pick just one cache. EVERY…. SINGLE… CACHE… is awesome. The whole city of Hanover Germany is filled awesome caches. A geocachers dream for sure! Over 11,000 Favorite points, need I say more?
“Mission 9: Tunnel of Light” – GC1169
This would be on many people’s list. There is nothing like attending the Going Ape Mega Event walking through a two-mile tunnel to find an ammo can with hundreds of your best friends to get a famous ammo can! GC1169
“My Fair Lady” – GC78W0M
I have never laughed or been more surprised than at this ingenious geocache! There is even a Lab Cache on site!
What does a quality geocache look like to you?
Something that you know has taken hours of time and thought to create. A geocache that has all the elements of art, tech, and craftsmanship is what really makes a geocache great.
If an aspiring cache hider is reading this, what advice would you give them? Especially if they wanted to make it onto your show?
Think to yourself, what kind of geocache or series of geocaches would make someone buy a plane ticket to find it? That kind of dedication to the excellence makes me excited!
You’re so expressive in your videos, what keeps you motivated, and how do you maintain that energy?
I have passion for geocaching! The passion comes from the love of the activity. But it also comes from the countless stories I have heard from other geocachers that have watched my videos. When I have the opportunity to connect with viewers they have shared stories like how my videos have inspired them to get off the couch and start geocaching. I have had parents tell me that watch my videos with their kids before they go to bed and it motivates their whole family to go caching. I hear from others that say that the videos often are the bright spot in a difficult day. Stories like those motivate me to be positive and energetic when it comes to geocaching videos.
Have you ever broken-down in laughter while recording?
Yes, I once tried to explain the Jasmer Challenge on video and I just couldn’t get the right words out. When watching back the “bloopers” I laugh quite a bit at myself.
What were some of your favorite episodes to record and why?
The episodes that involve my kids and co-workers are my favorite. My co-workers are a very animated bunch and often make for entertaining videos. I love filming people finding their first caches. There is nothing like seeing that “Eureka!” moment for the first time. That never gets old.
If you were a geocache type, what type would you be and why?
Wherigo, because you never know where I’ll go next!
New to The Geocaching Vlogger? Watch the playlist below to see him in action: