What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt using Global Positioning Satellites (GPS). The goal is to find hidden containers, called geocaches, by using a GPS enabled device. Geocaching is played outdoors and lets you hunt real world “treasure” by navigating to a specific set of GPS coordinates.
Geocaching started back on May 2nd of 2000 when GPS receivers were suddenly much more accurate. The next day Dave Ulmer hid a container in the woods of Oregon and posted the coordinates online. Check out the full history of geocaching here.
Geocaching is played all over the world. You can find geocaches virtually anywhere on the planet. Many times people place geocaches at locations that are interesting or have personal meaning to them.
There are many types of geocaches. Each of these types have their own unique properties which adds variety to geocaching.
- Traditional Cache
- Puzzle Cache
- Letterbox Hybrid Cache
- Event Cache
- CITO Event Cache
- Mega-Event Cache
- Giga-Event Cache
- Wherigo Cache
- Geocaching HQ Cache
- GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit
- Lab Cache
In addition to the above cache types, there are also older, grandfathered cache types which are still in existence but no new caches of these type can be created.
- Virtual Cache
- Webcam Cache
- Project A.P.E. Cache
- 10 Years Event Cache
- Locationless (Reverse) Cache
Geocaching has just a few simple rules. First, if you take something from a geocache, leave something of equal or greater value. Next, you should write your username and date in the logbook inside the cache. Lastly, you go online and log your find at geocaching.com. This allows others to see your experiences.
8 Simple Steps To Begin Geocaching
- Sign up for a free account on Geocaching.com
- Visit the “Hide and Seek A Cache” page
- Search by zip code
- Choose a geocache on the search results page
- Enter the coordinates into your GPS device or smartphone
- Use your GPS device/smartphone to navigate to the geocache container
- Sign the geocache logbook and then re-hide the container in it’s original location
- Log your find online at Geocaching.com
You can find geocaches with your smartphone. I found my first 100 caches with a Blackberry touchscreen and a Geocaching app installed. But, in my opinion, there’s nothing like using a dedicated handheld GPS. I personally use a Delorme PN-40 and love it but I’m thinking of upgrading to a touchscreen device. Below are some links to GPS units which are great for Geocaching. I’ve included several price ranges. This list is in no particular order.