You’ve heard about Geocaching, now it’s time to get out there and do it!
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching involves following GPS coordinates and clues to locate a hidden ‘cache’ at a nearby location. Geocaching communities are active all around the world, and there are bound to be some nearby no matter where you are. These caches can contain anything, but are usually small objects with more personal value than monetary value. The finder of the cache is welcome to take the objects but must in turn leave some of their own and fill out a logbook entry of their find (the only required item in a geocache!).
“Back in the day…”
When I started caching we had to do it with GPS and coordinates. The growth of new technology such as phones and aps has made the game more accessible for everyone. No hard core Guiding skills necessary!
Where are they hidden?
Caches can be anywhere – under rocks, bushes, hidden inside trees, even underwater! It’s up to the person hiding the cache to be as creative as they want, and for the eventual seeker to be able to find it. Other options for creativity include items like Travel Bugs, trackable tags that can be attached to geocached items. These items can make it around the world and their progress can be logged online. Like the rest of geocaching, there is no set goal for these Bugs, and half the fun is creating them yourself.
How do I find out the locations?
The easiest way to get involved with geocaching is online. The largest community, Geocaching.com, has conveniently created an app to streamline the entire process and give you everything you need to start geocaching. You can find the app at http://www.geocaching.com/mobile/.
What etiquette is important?
People who geocache believe that you protect the environment that you are enjoying. Leave the places you are visiting as nice, if not nicer then you found them. Practice good environmental stewardship.
Four fun facts about geocaching:
- The first geocache was hidden in May 2000
- “Travel Bugs” are small objects with a trackable code. The owner “sends” them to a destination and can track their journey online.
- Muggles… those are the people who aren’t caching. It’s important to keep your activities hidden from them so that they don’t interrupt or destroy the caches.
- The word Geocache means ‘hidden location on Earth’