Call it a game, a sport or just a past time, but the process that is geocaching can be a lot of fun. Geocacing is a hobby of ours that we have enjoying for the last few years. When we are not running Big Box Pro video productions, we are often out looking for more geocaches. I will take a few minutes here to give you a basic rundown of what geocaching is and how you can start to participate.
History– So I have been told, back in 2000 someone in Oregon hid a box of toys out in the world. Then he gave the coordinates on-line hopping someone would grab there handheld GPS and go looking for his cache. It worked and the rest is now a world wide game known as geocaching. There are hundreds of boxes, tubes, containers and locations near your home waiting to be found.
How to start– First of all you will need a GPS. The acronym stands for Global Positioning System. The techies call them GPSRs for receiver. No matter what you call them you will need one. There are several brands such as Garmin, Magellan, Tom Tom, and Lowrance that make good GPS units. I prefer Garmin and so do a majority of geocachers out there. Some of the new PDA cell phones are coming equipped with a GPS receiver and software that allows you to cache with your phone.
The next thing you will need to do it so set up a free account with www.geocaching.com they are the clearing house for all the geocahes. Most GPS unit come with software that enable you to download from the geocaching website and upload the coordinates into your GPS. If you have an old GPS unit you will have to key in each cache’s coordinates by hand.
There are several different geocaches that you can hunt for. Take a look at http://www.geocaching.com/about/cache_types.aspx this is an outline of the basic styles of caches available to find. Although with items like virtual caches the find is the location or the view and not a box of goods. Some are multiple location caches that take you to multiple locations before you arrive at the main cache.
Whats next– Go caching! Good luck going out and finding your first cache. Be warned geocachers are clever and they always trying to find a new and better way to hide their cache. As you find more and more caches you will get a sense of where they might be and where not to waste time looking. All in all caches are good hearted and are a wonderful group of people. Try to be cautious to your fellow caches and also to the environment while you are out there caching.
When you find a traditional cache it will have a log book, pen and some items for trade. If you plan on taking an item make sure you leave an item. To be on the safe side take your own pen. If you want to be a good cacher practice the cache in trash out routine. This helps keeping the places we love clean and nice for the next generation on cachers.
Help – If you do not find what you need on the www.geocaching.com website, or you are just in search of more information check out www.podcacher.com. Sonny and Sandy do a great job every week with providing a wonderful podcast show. They are funny, entertaining, informative and just a bit dorky like the rest of us geocachers, but they work hard to put on a great show and it shows. We often download the podcacher show and burn it on to a cd to listen to while we are going out caching. Once we are done with the disc we donate it to a cache so others might have the opportunity to learn more.
Well that is all the time I have today. Good luck and keep you head up out there