I have been meaning to publish this interview for some time. Local cacher ElectroQTed has made a few presentations for Adventure Guide in Waterloo and was kind enough to get me an introduction with Mike Furey the current owner of the store. Mike and I sat down and had a little chat about geocaching.
How did you first hear about Geocaching
I first heard about Geocaching from a customer who was in turn introduced to this sport by a friend.
You are celebrating 25 years in business this year. How did Adventure Guide get it’s start
Adventure Guide got its start over a pizza. Two lifelong outdoor enthusiasts had been involved as employees at a similar business in Kitchener that had recently closed and decided to open their own place. I knew both of these people and started working there by about the fifth year.
In the 25 years that your store has been in business you have seen seen all kinds of technological advances in adventure gear but none more so than in GPS technology. Was there a moment that you thought GPS would take off?
Actually I remember that moment quite well. Selective availability was turned off about a year before 9/11. I was sure that they would turn that back on and they didn’t. That’s when I knew that GPS would be big.
When did you realize that the global positioning system had spawned a new sport called Geocaching?
The internet is the main way that I had become familiar with how popular this sport had become. I also had several staff members who were very enthusiastic about the sport and they would let me know about developments. If you look at the number of websites and the people looking at them you can quickly see that this has a big following.
Have you found that the decreased likelihood of getting lost when using a GPSr has increased the level of adventure people are willing to try?
I would agree with that statement. We see them purchased all the time for hiking and canoeing trips.
You probably hear lots of stories from your clients about their exciting adventures. Have you heard any geocaching stories that surprised or intrigued you?
I am pleasantly surprised about the number of younger children who are getting involved in this sport. There are caches in places all over town and they are easily accessible.
Have you ever tried Geocaching
I have used GPS extensively both on business trips, backcountry trips, and product testing. I have only just tried geocaching and am not heavily involved in the sport itself.
Have you found that Geocaching crosses all user groups or do certain types of adventurers lean towards geocaching?
Geocaching crosses all user groups. It is well suited to people that no longer find themselves with big periods of open time and yet still like to get outside. The ability to have day trips or 3-4 hour outings seems to work well for some of our Customers, especially those with young families. We find that Customers with a little bit of interest in technology are usually the first to jump into this activity.
Have found that your more outdoorsy clientele have accepted or adopted high-tech into their activities?
There is no question about this.
Adventure Guide is THE destination for adventure gear in Waterloo region. For those not familiar with the store what would you say is the appeal of your store?
Our staff are on hand to explain everything to you. Our product selection is outstanding.
Adventure Guide as an independently owned outfitting store in Waterloo. Ontario. I was surprised by the size of the store when Mike walked me back to his office. They have over 10,000 square feet of retail space.