Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Geocaching- What is it?

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A few weeks ago, I promised to introduce you to the sport of geocaching. Perhaps you've done some research since then and found out a little more on your own. You may have even found your first cache by now. If not, though, here's an intro on Geocaching.

So what IS geocaching?
Basically it’s like a high-tech treasure hunt. I’ve also heard it referred to as “modern-day orienteering.” (Think Boys Scouts and compass.) Basically, someone hides a container with a log and (often times) inexpensive trinkets… said container is called a cache. The use of colored duct tape and/or spray paint ensure that a cache can be hidden basically anywhere.

After hiding the cache, the “hider” uses their GPS to determine the coordinates of longitude and latitude. Those coords are then entered in a web database. While there are many web databases for geocaching, by far the most used is http://www.geocaching.com/.

Other geo-cachers can then log onto the site, perform a search and get the coordinates of all caches hidden nearby. Those coords will then be entered into a GPS and the hunt begins. Once a cache is found, the cacher (finder) will sign the log book with their registered geo-caching alias. If the cache contains trinkets, the cacher can trade out a trinket if he/she chooses to. The understood rule is that if you take a trinket, you put in something to replace it.

Most importantly, remember to sign the long, as that is your proof that you did, indeed find the cache. You will also need to “log your visit” on http://www.geocaching.com/.

What does a cache look like?
Caches can be anything from ammo cans to film canisters, magnetic keyholders and matchstick holders to Tupperware® containers. Anything has the potential to become a chance container. For example, you can take the rounded cap off of a metal fencepost, superglue a pill bottle to the underside of it, add a log, and put it back on the fence post. The fence cap just became your cache location. Caches are truly hidden EVERYWHERE. You probably unknowingly drive past at least 5 in your everyday activities, but as a non-cacher or “muggle” you would never know it.

Stay tuned for the next installment how to become a geocacher!


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Posted by The Spears Family at 9:31 PM
 

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