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Geocaching
 
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  • Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing, like cashing a check) is a low-impact outdoor activity that brings adults and families into the great outdoors. One way to explain geocaching is to say it’s like Easter egg hunting only it’s for grown-ups or families. And instead of searching in someone’s backyard, you can search worldwide using the Internet and Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers to help find the “treasure”.
  • GPS is a system of 27 satellites (24 active, 3 reserve) to calculate your position. These satellites broadcast their current position down to Earth via radio waves. By analyzing these signals it is possible to determine the latitude and longitude of your location.
  • A view depicting 24 satellites in orbit
  • GPS receiver Receives signals from GPS satellites. Determines latitude and longitude of your current position on the Earth's surface.
  • Various types of GPS handheld receivers Magellen SportTrak Lowrance iFinder Garmin eTrex Garmin GPSmap 76
  • Two key features used by geocachers: 1. Displaying your location and the location of a nearby geocache on a map background.
  • 2. Displaying the distance and bearing to a selected waypoint, in this case, a geocache.
  • GPS units can come with a wide variety of additional features and capabilities. They include: - Determining satellite signal strength and margin of error. - Marking waypoints (latitude and longitude coordinates). - Keeping a graphical track/map of your journey. - Displaying street and topographical maps. - Automatic route creation and traversal. - An electronic compass. - A barometric pressure altimeter.
  • People use GPS units for many outdoor navigational activities such as: Hiking and backpacking Canoeing and marine navigation Hunting and fishing Bird watching Search and rescue Exercise progress tracking Traveling via automobile Geocaching
  • What is geocaching? Outdoor adventure game for GPS users of all ages. The basic idea is to set up caches (hidden containers) and share the locations (latitude/longitude) of these caches on the internet.
  • GPS users can then use the coordinates to find the caches. The visitor may take something from the cache, leave something, and/or sign the logbook. The “find” is then logged onto the Internet website where statistics about found and hidden caches are maintained.
  • It sounds pretty simple, but many caches are well hidden and take some searching and experience to find. A testament to this is the very small percentage of geocaches that are accidentally found by non- geocachers.
  • Sometimes just getting to the cache area can be a big part of the adventure. It's one thing to see the latitude and longitude plotted on a map, but it can be quite a task to figure out how to get from here to there.
  • Geocaching can be thought of in two parts: (1) The journey to reach the cache area. (2) The challenge of actually finding the cache container. Both are equally rewarding.
  • The biggest misconception about geocaching is that some people think the caches are buried. I have found more than 500 caches, most of them in Wisconsin, and none were buried. In fact, guidelines at Geocaching.com specifically prohibit burying caches. The usual methods of hiding a cache include placing it inside a hollow log, under a fallen tree, under a small pile of stones or sticks, or in the crevice of a rock.
  • Another misconception: “Geocaches are litter or abandoned property.” A geocache is definitely not litter nor abandoned property. The owner of a geocache does not place it with the intention of disposal nor abandonment, they are still responsible for it and maintain it. A geocache is also not personal property placed on the land for the purpose of storage. A geocache does not sit idly on a shelf waiting to be taken out and used. A geocache is actively sought and visited. Every time someone seeks a geocache its status is being checked up upon. Many geocachers will fix any problems they might find with a cache, and the owner is often notified so that any further maintenance can be performed. Geocachers are also quick to take responsibility and adopt a cache that needs a new owner.
  • “ Geocaching foot-traffic will damage the land.” Geocaching has a similar minimal impact to the land as hiking, trail walking, or bird watching. Most geocaches are placed so that people seeking the cache can enjoy a nice walk. If hiking or trail walking is not deemed to be a danger to the land, then geocaching foot-traffic will not pose any danger.
  • How did geocaching get started? On May 1, 2000, the GPS signal degradation called Select Availability (SA) was removed. The change allowed GPS units owned by civilians to be accurate to within as close as 6 to 20 feet. Prior to removal of SA, the best accuracy was about 150 feet. On May 3rd, 2000 someone hid a cache in Oregon and posted the coordinates on the Internet. It became the first geocache.
  • Jeremy Irish, the owner of the Geocaching.com website, expanded the idea and named it “Geocaching” . Geocaching is now in all 50 states and more than 200 countries. Geocaching.com is by far the #1 website for geocachers. Geocaching.com has set the current high standard for responsible geocaching throughout the world. The rules regarding geocaches as well as the review process for them have been developed with input from many land managers.
  • Worldwide there are more than 135-thousand geocaches.
  • In the U.S., close to 100-thousand geocaches
  • In Wisconsin, there are more than 2,000 geocaches.
  • Geocache containers Usually a weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box
  • Containers are supposed to be marked on the outside, clearly identifying them as a geocache.
  • What is usually in a cache? A cache can come in many forms but the first item should always be the logbook. In its simplest form a cache can be just a logbook and nothing else. The logbook contains information from the founder of the cache and notes from the cache's visitors. The logbook can contain much valuable, rewarding, and entertaining information. A logbook might contain information about nearby attractions, coordinates to other unpublished caches, and even jokes written by visitors. If you get some information from a logbook you should give some back. At the very least you can leave the date and time you visited the cache. Larger caches may consist of a waterproof container placed tastefully within the local terrain. The cache will contain the logbook and any number of more or less valuable items. These items turn the cache into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the founder or other visitors of the cache may have left there for you to enjoy. Remember, if you take something, its only fair for you to leave something in return. Items in a cache could be: Maps, books, software, hardware, CDs, videos, pictures, money, jewelry, tickets, antiques, tools, games, etc. It is recommended that items in a bucket cache be individually packaged in a clear zipped plastic bag to protect them.
  • Photo of a typical geocache, including plastic bags to keep the contents dry, and a disposable camera.
  • Cache Contents Use your common sense in most cases. Explosives, fireworks, ammo, knives (including pocket knives and multi-tools), drugs, alcohol or other illicit material shouldn't be placed in a cache. As always respect the local laws. Geocaching is a family activity and cache contents should be suitable for all ages. Food items are ALWAYS a BAD IDEA.  Animals have better noses than humans, and in some cases caches have been chewed through and destroyed because food items (or items that smell like food) are in the cache.  Even the presence of mint flavored dental floss has led to destruction of one cache. If the original cache contents list any of the above items or other questionable items, or if a cache is reported to have the questionable items, the cache may be disabled, and the owner of the cache will be contacted and asked to remove the questionable items before the cache is enabled.
  • Geocaching.com Controls listing of geocaches worldwide on its website. Caches are approved by volunteer reviewers. Reviewers do not visit the geocache in person as part of the approval process. Reviewers view the online description, coordinates, topo maps, proximity to other caches, compliance with known park rules.

Geocaching Geocaching Presentation Transcript

  • Geocaching By Cheryl LeJune and Tim Sebesta
  • What is geocaching? Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
  • What is geocaching?
    • Low-impact outdoor activity for GPS users of all ages
    • GPS = Global Positioning System
  • Global Positioning System
    • GPS is a system of 27 satellites (24 active, 3 reserve) to calculate your position.
    • Satellites transmit their current position down to Earth via radio waves.
  • Global Positioning System
  • GPS receiver
    • Receives signals from GPS satellites.
    • Determines latitude and longitude of your current position on the Earth's surface.
  • GPS receivers
  • GPS receiver
    • Location can be displayed on a map background
  • GPS receiver
    • Display of distance, bearing and ETA to a selected waypoint
  • Other GPS receiver features
    • Determining satellite signal strength and margin of error
    • Marking waypoints (latitude and longitude coordinates)
    • Keeping a graphical track of your journey
    • Displaying street and topographical maps
    • Automatic route creation and traversal
    • Electronic compass
    • Barometric pressure altimeter
  • Uses for GPS receivers
    • Hiking and backpacking
    • Canoeing and marine navigation
    • Hunting and fishing
    • Bird watching
    • Search and rescue
    • Exercise progress tracking
    • Traveling via car, motorcycle, bicycle
    • Geocaching
  • What is geocaching?
    • Outdoor adventure game for GPS users of all ages.
    • The basic idea is to set up caches (hidden containers) and share the locations (latitude/longitude) of these caches on the internet.
  • What is geocaching?
    • GPS users can then use the coordinates to find the caches.
    • The visitor may take something from the cache, leave something, and/or sign the logbook.
    • The “find” is then logged onto the Internet website where statistics about found and hidden caches are maintained.
  • What’s the point?
    • It may sound simple, but many caches are well hidden.
    • Many require searching and experience to find.
    • Only a few geocaches are accidentally found by non-geocachers.
  • What’s the point?
    • Sometimes just getting to the cache area can be a big part of the adventure.
    • It's one thing to see the latitude and longitude plotted on a map, but it can be quite a task to figure out how to get from here to there.
  • What’s the point?
    • Geocaching can be thought of in two parts:
    • The journey to reach the cache area.
    • The challenge of actually finding the cache container.
    • Both can be equally rewarding.
  • Misconceptions about geocaching
    • FACT: Geocaches are not allowed to be buried in the ground.
    “ Geocaches are buried.”
  • Misconceptions about geocaching
    • FACT: Geocaches are not litter or abandoned property.
    “ Geocaches are litter or abandoned property.”
  • Misconceptions about geocaching
    • FACT: Geocaching foot traffic is similar to hiking, trail walking, or bird watching.
    • Most caches are placed near trails.
    “ Geocaching will damage the land.”
  • How Did It Get Started?
    • On May 1, 2000, the GPS signal degradation called Select Availability (SA) was removed.
    • The change allowed GPS units owned by civilians to be more accurate – to within 20 feet or better.
    • On May 3rd, 2000 someone hid a cache in Oregon and posted the coordinates on the Internet. It became the first geocache.
  • How Did It Get Started?
    • Jeremy Irish, the owner of the Geocaching.com website, expanded the idea and named it “Geocaching” .
    • Geocaching is now in all 50 states and more than 200 countries.
    • Geocaching.com is by far the #1 website for geocachers.
  • Worldwide geocaches 767,628 Active Worldwide
  • U.S. geocaches
  • Houston geocaches 2264 in area code 77095 3620 in area code 77433
  • Geocache containers
    • A weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box
  • Geocache containers
    • Usually a weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box
  • What’s in a cache?
    • Logbook
    • Trinkets to trade
      • Examples: maps, books, software, hardware, CDs, videos, pictures, coins, tools, games, etc.
    • Information sheet that explains the container and geocaching, as well as contact information.
    • Disposable camera (optional)
  • What’s in a cache?
  • What are the rules?
    • Cache contents
    • No food
    • No weapons (knives, ammunition, explosives)
    • No drugs or alcohol
    • No adult materials
    • No solicitations (business, religious, political)
  • Who enforces the rules?
    • Geocaching.com
      • Controls listing of geocaches worldwide on its website.
      • Caches are approved by volunteer reviewers.
      • Reviewers do not visit the geocache in person as part of the approval process.
      • Reviewers view the online description, coordinates, topo maps, proximity to other caches, compliance with known park rules.
  • Cache In Trash Out Cache In Trash Out is an ongoing environmental initiative supported by the worldwide geocaching community. Since 2002, geocachers have been dedicated to cleaning up parks and other cache-friendly places around the world. Through these volunteer efforts, we help preserve the natural beauty of our outdoor resources!