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Introduction to GeoCaching

Updated 13th May 2013 2002

 Edited by Darren Griffin

 

Geocaching Introduction

The first Geocaching website was believed to have been setup a couple of years ago, Geocaching is what is starting to be considered as an active sport.  I suppose you could think of it as orienteering back in the old days where you would try to find a specific location armed with only a map and a compass, but Geocaching is somewhat updated.  You go armed with a GPS Receiver and the hunger for the adventure.  Geocaching is a treasure hunt, you get given a co-ordinate to find or go to, and clues will then take you to another location.  Eventually after visiting numerous locations, you should be able to find a stash of cache, which can contain anything from lego blocks, to sweets, to little toys, to coins.

 

Geocaching really is an adventure game for GPS users.  UK users may remember TV shows Treasure hunt or even Interceptor where in both TV shows, there would be either treasure or a key, and the contestants would be given directions.  Geocaching is pronounced Geo-cashing.

 

Geocaching Basics

The basics for Geocaching is that someone creates a cache, on a specific day and broadcasts this on various Geocache sites, people will then go to the co-ordinates given and usually several clues later when you get to the final co-ordinates where the cache is stored, you then

  • take something from the cache

  • leave something in the cache for others

  • write about your findings in a logbook

What is usually in a cache

For the person who creates the cache, it can be placed anywhere.  In most cases a cache includes a logbook, the logbook will contain information from the founder of the cache and notes from other cache visitors.  The logbook can contain more valuable, rewarding and entertaining information.  A logbook may contain information about local places and nearby attractions, co-ordinates for other unpublished caches.  If you receive information from the logbook, you should always give something back.  There are several sites on the internet that create Geocaching coins which can be used and placed into the cache for a personal touch.

 

Where can caches be found?

Caches can be found anywhere.  Some people try to be very conservative and hide a cache under a park bench, others go to the extreme and put a cache on the side of a cliff.  You have to bear in mind that if you are hiding the cache you do need to make it accessible to all Geocaching users.  Again though, hiding a small logbook and other goodies in a popular environment where someone who knows nothing about Geocaching finds it, picks it up and takes it with them is challenging, so hiding the cache is usually very important!

 

Moving or re-hiding the Cache ?

In most cases you are not allowed to move or hide the cache somewhere else when you find it.  If you do, then other Geocaching users will not be able to find the cache.  You can move it if there is a note from the Geocache organiser saying that you can move the cache, but then and only then it's within the local vicinity of where the cache was found.

 

What types of Geocaching games are there ?

There several different variations ranging from:-

  • Offset Caches

    • They're not found by simply going to some coordinates and finding a cache there. With the Offset Cache the published coordinates are that of an existing historical monument, plaque, or even a benchmark that you would like to have your cache hunter visit. From this site the cache hunter must look around and find offset numbers stamped/written in or on some part of the marker site, or continue based on instructions posted to geocaching.com

  • Multi-caches

    • The first cache gives coordinates (or partial coordinates) to the next location, or multiple caches have hints to the final cache.

  • Virtual caches

    • A cache is actually an existing landmark, such as a tombstone or statue. You have to answer a question from the landmark and let the "cache" owner know as proof that you were there.

How long can a Cache exist ?

It does really depend on the location of the cache and the impact on the local environment.  A cache could be permanent but in most cases it's temporary and only for a day or two.  It really is up to the cache owner to set the period and let all Geocachers know how long the Cache will remain for.

 

What Geocaching websites are there ?

There are many Geocaching websites around, most are clan style websites, but these are some of the main ones that can be found:-

GeoCaching

Buxley's Geocaching Waypoint

Geocaching WorldWide

Geocaching (NL)

Geocaching with navicache.com

Geocaching Fun

Geocaching (HU)

Geocaching-Italia

The Ultimate Guide to Geocaching

Great Plains Geocaching

Geocachers Exploring Minnesota

Geocaching Australia

Geocaching Arizona

 

 

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