What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game that could be considered Treasure Hunting in the 21st Century. It is a simple, fun, family friendly, geeky hobby / game that anyone can play! A cache (or ‘treasure chest’) is hidden somewhere, its coordinates are recorded (in latitude and longitude), and published on a website (www.geocaching.com). Using these coordinates and a GPS unit, someone else can try and find the hidden cache.
A typical cache contains “treasure” and a log book. When found, an item can be taken from the cache as long as another item is put in its place. A message is written in the cache log book by the visitor (Typically: The date the cache was found, their name, and any comments they might have). The visitor can visit the website and post comments there as well.
Geocaching can be played by anyone, and the caches can be located anywhere on Earth. (currently there are over 730,000 caches hidden in over 220 countries!) They are stashed near the Pyramids, floating in underwater caves, or they might be down the street at your local park! My wife and I have found hundreds of caches all around San Diego county. We often go searching for caches when we travel and have been brought to places that we would have not otherwise visited. All you need is a GPS unit, Internet access, and a sense of adventure. Just don’t forget to bring something to put back into the cache.
What is a GPS device?
A GPS (Global Positioning System) unit is a electronic device that can determine your approximate location (within 6-20 feet) on the planet. Once you input the coordinates of the cache, you can use the unit to navigate from your current location to the location of the cache.
You can purchase a GPS unit for under $100.
What kind of “treasure” is in a cache?
Although occasional caches may contain movie passes, DVDs, or prepaid phone cards, most contain inexpensive trinkets (keychains, action figures, rubber balls, etc.) The real reward is the journey, adventure and destination. Many people have found interesting spots that they would have not otherwise visited if not for the hunt.
More information on Geocaching at Wikipedia
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