Do you enjoy hiking and exploring the outdoors, seeing new places, and having fun? Maybe you want to try geocaching.
Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) has fast become a popular pastime for outdoor adventurers, especially those who use a handheld GPS. Basically, geocaching is a grown-up version of hide and seek. Someone places a “surprise” package, or cache, and provides its latitude and longitude coordinates to others who then try and find it again.
This activity is enjoyed by people from all walks of life, young and old, and is great fun. There is a hint of the exotic to the hobby, making you feel like Indiana Jones seeking out lost and hidden treasure.
The cache is usually stored in a water-tight container to protect it from the elements, and often contains a log for visitors to sign. Sometimes there are trinkets to be found too. Caching etiquette dictates that you are welcome to take one of the trinkets, but you must leave something in return.
Maybe the cache hider will leave a disposable camera for example, and request that visitors take a picture of themselves and return the camera to the box. This way there is a fun record of who all has braved the elements and sleuthed out the cache’s location.
You can find the locations of geocaches near you, or near where you want to explore, through web sites like geocaching.com. A basic membership there is free and gives you access to the locations of geocaches and allows you to share your adventures with others.
If you really get into this hobby, maybe you would like to create a geocache for others to find. There are guidelines that should be followed as the goal is to have a safe and fun experience while protecting the environment around the cache. First, be sure you have the permission of the landowner or manager. If people are going to be visiting the area looking for your geocache, they don’t want to be chased off by a surprised and angry landowner.
You need to hide your cache were it is unlikely to be found by a casual visitor, and in such a way that getting to it will not harm the local resources. You should leave a log and a writing utensil, preferably a soft lead pencil if the area will get below freezing. Also, leave a note for the hunters, explaining why the location is important to you, and explaining the basic idea of the game for someone who does stumble upon the site accidentally. Obviously, do not leave food or anything dangerous or illegal.
A good handheld GPS is critical for this activity as it is based upon recovering the coordinates of the geocache. You can find information about GPS units, basics of their features, and recommendations on models to purchase here at boneblogger.
Check back here often because we will be posting more about this fun outdoor activity. Have fun, and be safe everyone.