Introduction to Geocaching        Page 1 of 5
What Is Geocaching?

In a dozen or so words, Geocaching is using a handheld GPS to find hidden caches (containers with trinkets). Many times caches are hidden along rolling streams, Oceanside vistas, mountain peaks and trails and other scenic locations. When you add geocaching to your family vacations or day hikes, it adds a treasure-hunt like component to your travels.

This activity got it's start when consumers gained access to handheld GPS technology. The Global Positioning System, a series of satellites first used for military purposes, provides an invisible mesh of coordinates (latitude and longitude) that you can tap into if you own a GPS unit."Power up" a GPS, stand outside on a clear day, and in moments the unit will tell you the precise coordinates for your position on planet Earth. Obstacles such as trees, tall buildings, and thick cloud cover can limit the accuracy of the GPS coordinates. With open sightlines to a clear sky, a GPS can be get you within 10 or 20 feet of a set coordinate.

OK so let's say you have a handheld GPS unit (prices range from a low of $80 to a couple hundred dollars). Next you think, you know it would be fun to hide a treasure (cache), record the GPS coordinates, and have your kids or a friend try to locate the cache. Then you think even better, I wonder if someone else has hidden a treasure that I can find? Enter the hobby of geocaching.

Continue to page 2 - What is a "Cache?"

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