Caching Up With … Groundspeak’s Bryan Roth

In this occasional series, It’s Not About The Numbers asks geocachers to find themselves, rather than a hidden container.

Today’s victim is Groundspeak co-founder Bryan Roth.



Age:  42

Location:  Seattle, Washington.  Originally from Long Island, New York.

GC handle: Bryan. As co-founders of Groundspeak, Jeremy [Irish] was Jeremy, Elias [Alvord] was Elias; so it was a natural choice for me to go with Bryan.

Occupation: Groundspeak vice-president and co-founder.

Hobbies: Well, my job is geocaching but I really enjoy it.  When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, watersports and snowboarding.  I also like to run.

GPSr: I almost always use my iPhone. It’s always with me and with the direct connection to Geocaching.com, I don’t have to plan.  For international travel, I usually load a Pocket Query into the Geocaching app so I can find caches without data charges.

Start date: Over 11 years. I was introduced to it by Jeremy and Elias and actually worked for Groundspeak (Grounded Inc originally) before I ever found a cache.

Find tally: 276

Best geo-memory: Meeting my wife Hydee and my adopted son Dylan at a Moun10Bike geocaching event (GC26D6 Washington Geocaching Potluck & Quilting Bee) in 2001.

Most often found caching … When I travel for Groundspeak.  When I am in Seattle, I am working on geocaching projects fulltime so, often when I go home, I do other stuff with my wife and kids.

With … My wife and kids, but also other Groundspeak lackeys.

Hiding v finding caches? Finding

Favourite cache type: I am a fan of traditional caches in scenic places but I really enjoy complex multi-stage adventures like GC2CGRG Operation Krokodil NC in Germany.

Best find: I haven’t found a tremendous amount of caches.  My totals are actually quite modest.  However, I have been very fortunate to find some great caches all over the world.  When we travel for Groundspeak, geocachers often take the time to show us some of their ‘favourites’ and so many of my limited finds could be considered (at least in my own mind) to be exceptional.

Furthest find from home: GC1JKA5 St Stephen’s Secret (Budapest, Hungary)

Hardest find: Probably GCG9HP Pirunlinna Geochallenge, Lempäälä. Let’s just say that this cache really tested my fear of small enclosed places …

Silliest geo-mistake: See my DNF logs – No 1 and then No 2 – for New Jersey cache GCH6FQ Hopkins-House Hide.

Animal encounters on the trail: Last year, I was taking a friend to find the Project APE cache near Seattle (GC1169 Mission 9: Tunnel of Light) and we saw a bear.  It was a bit scary because he was standing on the trail in between us and our vehicle.  We went the other way for a while and when we canme back, he was no longer there.  We made a lot of noise on the way down the trail and thankfully didn’t see him again.

Trackables – yes or no? I am a huge fan.  We’ve made a series of Roth Anniversary Coins for our five and 10-year anniversaries.  I used to be the one to review all design submissions for Groundspeak and I am continually amazed at the creativity of geocachers.

Best travel bug or geocoin found: I have a number of trackables that are really special to me.  I think the most special ones were given to me by cachers who are sadly no longer with us.

Lessons learnt: Business-wise, I’ve learned a lot about growing a company to support a global hobby. There are tremendous challenges, but we are fortunate to have the opportunity to help people get outside having fun. Leisure-wise, I’ve really enjoyed meeting new people and learning about other cultures around the world. I’ve learned that almost all geocachers, no matter where they live, are good people and willing to share their passion for geocaching with others in a really positive way.

Is it all about the numbers for you? Nope. My ‘numbers’ totals are relatively poor.  Considering where I’ve found caches and the variety of events I’ve had the pleasure of attending, and the fact that I met my wife and son through this game, I am very pleased with geocaching and honoured to be a part of the community.

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