February 2011
Returning to the Interview Series, I was able to get in contact with mtbats, a geocaching family from central Montana. The organizers of the Central Montana Poker Scramble, they explain what exactly a Poker Run is, how they became involved in geocaching, and gives us some of their favorite locations to geocache in Montana.
"How did you become involved with geocaching and when?" 
My sister, Hockeymomz, got us started by showing us one on Promitory Point at Crystal Lake  (GCH1WR - Crystal Lake). We had an old gps that we hadn't used for years and decided to try our luck.  We had already driven about 50 miles to the closest cache at that point only to find out it was broken.  Luckily we had an atlas with latitude and longitude coords with us.  Between it and the cache wording, we actually found it without a GPS!  Wahoo!

"Could I have you explain your geocaching name?"
BATS is actually the first initials of our names.  That caching name was already taken so we added the MT since we live in Montana.

"What is it about geocaching that makes it exciting to you and keeps you involved?"
We love how caching takes you to places you would never know existed if you weren't looking for a cache. 

"Are there any things that you'd like to see improved, or simply changed, in geocaching?"
I think that they need to lower the cache proximity rule, especially in cities. 

"What type of GPSr, or navigational device, are you currently using to geocache?"

"Do you have a favorite type of geocache that you like to find? Are there any that you dislike?"
We love the ones that are more rurally located so as to avoid Muggles.  We also like the bigger sized caches because they're easier and you never know what sort of trade goods you will find.  The only ones we dislike are the ones that are miles and miles and miles away and have no clue to help you if you can't find it.
"You've hosted all of the Montana Poker Scramble Event caches, can you explain what exactly a Poker Run is?"
Our Poker Run is pretty simple. We hide decks of cards. Then we give each "team" a set of coordinates to one of the decks. Each deck then has the coordinates for the next deck of cards and so forth. One of the decks will be hidden in a new cache that people can log as a find. We give away a nice poker set for the best hand and everyone gets a door prize that can be anything from a cool t-shirt to a bag of swag. We also have a hot dog "bar" with all the fixings. Everyone really seems to enjoy it and we've had some cachers who have come to all five events so far.

"Can you relate any geocache hunts that really stand out or were unusual?"
We loved the one that takes you to a hidden lake somewhere up by Great Falls and also GC2G3VM "So Easy Even A Caveman Can Find It #2" in Billings.  There was also one in Billings that was hidden inside of a spider.

"What are some of your favorite tips or tricks?"
Never assume that someone you're with has looked in a certain spot.  The four of us went back to the same caching spot three times.  Finally the owner had to tell us where it was.  There were only two big rocks in this area and all of us only looked under one of them.  When we found it, we all stood there saying "I thought you looked under this one." It was a super super easy cache too.

"Are there any areas in Montana that you enjoy geocaching the most?"
"If you were to recommend a "must-do" Montana geocache to someone who had never been geocaching under the Big Sky, which one would it be, and why?"
GCG98Z - LOST LAKE OVERLOOK - Until you walk right up on it, it just looks like a farmer's flat field.
"Do you have any other parting words of wisdom, advice, or general thoughts that you'd like to share?"
Always, always, always carry an extra set of batteries.

Well, mtbats, I'd like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, and I certainly hope that you've inspired some other Montana Geocachers to give the Montana Poker Scramble a try! If you're interested in getting in touch with mtbats, or would just like to check out their geocaching.com profile, click on the link in the sidebar. Thanks again!!
What in the world is a Poker Scramble?!?
Each person/team will be given a random set of coordinates belonging to 1 of 7 card caches plus the final meeting location. At the signal everyone will scramble. You must collect one card from each cache. (Each cache has the coordinates to the next cache inside it.) Once you have collected 7 cards you will then proceed to the final destination. Prizes will be given for the best hand (each person/team will use their best 5 cards) and the first team to return.