Geocaching is a global game of hide and seek, played with waterproof containers, “treasure” or items placed in the container, and GPS units used to locate the containers or caches. It is played by millions of men, women, and children around the world. Here is a brief primer.
How do I get started?
All you need is a GPS unit that will accept longitude and latitude coordinates, the coordinates of a geocache or geocaches, and the desire to engage in a fun and exciting outdoor activity.
How do I find a geocache?
There are many websites listing the GPS coordinates of geocaches around the world. Geocaches are said to exist in more than 200 countries.
Is geocaching new?
Geocaching using GPS units has been around since year 2000. It is similar to a 19th century game called letterboxing, which involved clues, directions to landmarks, and letterboxes that contained hidden items.
What do I do if I find a geocache?
If you find a geocache, you may take an object from it, but if you do, you must replace it with another object. You may also write in the logbook.
How do I place a geocache?
To place a geocache, you need a solid waterproof container, such as an ammo can, that can withstand the elements and repeated use.
Are there rules governing geocache activity?
Yes. The generally accepted rules include not endangering others, respecting private and public property and nature, and adhereing to any specific geocaching rules that may be in effect for public property containing geocaches.
What kind of GPS do I need?
There are many hand-held GPS units designed specifically for geocaching, including models by Magellan, Garmin, and DeLorme. Many of these GPS units are waterproof to withstand the elements. Some “paperless” models are pre-loaded with lists of geocaches. Look for a model that has a large, bright screen that can be seen easily outdoors in a variety of lighting conditions.