Introduction to Geocaching        Page 2 of 5
What Is A Cache?

GPS hobbyists use the Internet to tell each other about treasures, or "caches" that they have hidden. Looking for these caches is called "geocaching."

Wow! Treasure!! OK, perhaps treasure is overstating it a bit. The treasure chests (geocaches) are filled with trinkets (think small stuffed animals, dice, Hotwheel cars, plastic figures - army men, Disney or Toy Story characters, etc.). You should bring some trinkets with you when you go geocaching. When you locate the cache you sign the logbook with your geocaching "handle" (establish a free account and handle at Geocaching.com) and if you take a trinket from the cache you leave one of the trinkets you brought with you. This is a true give-and-take.

There are three common formats of geocaches:

1. A Traditional Cache - weatherproof containers (army surplus ammunition boxes are common) that hold small trinkets and a logbook.

2. Microcaches - small containers such as a weatherproof pillbox or film canister that contain a logbook.

3. Virtual caches -this is when the "treasure" is just a location or object - maybe a statue, or a bench on an cliff overlooking the ocean with a vista that you otherwise might not have found.

Handheld GPS units, at best will get you somewhere within 10 or 20 feet of a set location. After reaching the coordinates you will need to hunt for the cache. Geocachers often provide clues to help you find the cache. It's smart to print these clues (for example from the Geocaching.com web site) before you head out on a caching expedition. When your GPS tells you that you've reached the coordinates and searched a bit, if you still can't locate the cache then read the clues and also comments posted by others who have found the cache.

Continue to Page 3 - "How Geocaching can enhance your outdoor expeditions."

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