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An introduction to geocaching by Gary Paquette. Uploaded for Middletown Public Library's Family Geocaching Clinic.

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  1. 1. Geocaching Where you are the Search Engine
  2. 2. What is Geocaching? <ul><li>Geocaching is a “High-Tech” Treasure Hunt Popular Throughout the World </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to “Orienteering” </li></ul><ul><li>A game where people hide caches and other people attempt to find them using only the geodetic coordinates and some simple hints. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Goal <ul><li>To Locate Hidden Treasure in Out-of-the-way Places </li></ul><ul><li>To Trade “Booty” with others </li></ul><ul><li>To Sharpen Navigation and Tracking Skills </li></ul><ul><li>To Discover Unknown Places </li></ul><ul><li>To Have Fun! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Tools <ul><li>Computer (to Identify Caches) </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-held GPS Receiver (to Locate Caches) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basic (~$100 to sophisticated mapping units >$400) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Compass </li></ul><ul><li>Maps/Charts </li></ul><ul><li>Booty </li></ul><ul><li>Hiking Boots </li></ul><ul><li>Bug Spray!! </li></ul>
  5. 5. History <ul><li>The mountaineering community has long hidden stashes of food, fuel and other items for use by themselves and others when caught short on the mountain. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hidden from casual passers by, animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Located using orienteering techniques </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ 3 paces due west from the oak tree with three trunks” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The advent of hand-held GPS units in the late 1990s made possible a more high-tech approach. </li></ul><ul><li>Climbers were quick to embrace the promise of civilian GPS </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracies at the time with Selective Availability (S/A) turned on necessitated a combined technical and classical approach to finding caches. </li></ul>
  6. 6. History ( Continued) <ul><li>GPS Units under S/A had an accuracy of around +/- 100-150 meters. Good enough for navigating a boat but tough to locate a cache. </li></ul><ul><li>On May 1, 2000 S/A was turned off!!! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Overnight, standard GPS accuracies increased to +/- 5 meters </li></ul></ul><ul><li>On May 3, 2000 the first Geocache was hidden near Portland, OR. By May 6 th , 2 people had already found it. </li></ul><ul><li>In September, 2000, the website that would eventually become was born. </li></ul><ul><li>Today (May 9, 2005) there are 164,446 active caches hidden in 224 countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Antarctica. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Caches Worldwide 164,446 Caches
  8. 8. Caches in the U.S. 77,621 Caches
  9. 9. Caches in Rhode Island 239 Caches
  10. 10. Types of Caches <ul><li>Traditional Caches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Small, waterproof container </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tupperware </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ammo Boxes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pretzel Jug </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Types of Caches (Continued) <ul><li>Multi-caches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Each stage yields coordinates to the next stage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Other, less popular types of caches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mystery Caches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solve a puzzle </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Webcam Caches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Find a webcam, act funny, take a picture </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letterbox Caches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Combines orienteering with GPS </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Event Caches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Participate in an event </li></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Of Interest to Boaters <ul><li>Many geocaches are accessible only by boat </li></ul><ul><li>Some geocaches are underwater and require diving skills to recover </li></ul><ul><li>Many geocaches, especially in New England, have a nautical theme </li></ul><ul><li>Something to do while the boat is laid up </li></ul>
  13. 13. RI Kayak CITO Event <ul><li>Event Cache, May 15, 2005 </li></ul><ul><li>N 41° 38.035 W 071° 13.847 </li></ul><ul><li>Requires a kayak </li></ul><ul><li>Shoreline cleanup cache event </li></ul>
  14. 14. Mercury Rising <ul><li>In Rhode Island (Virtual Cache) </li></ul><ul><li>By the time you solve this puzzle you will: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn all about the German Enigma cipher and use a virtual Enigma to decode 7 detailed messages. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn about the last submarine battle of WWII </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>View artifacts from this battle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Locate the resting place of the submarine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit the grave of a Nazi submariner </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Mystery of the John Dwight <ul><li>Multi-cache </li></ul><ul><li>N 41° 24.260 W 070° 52.956 </li></ul><ul><li>Rum Runner </li></ul><ul><li>Sailed from Newport on April 6, 1923 </li></ul><ul><li>Crew never seen alive again </li></ul>
  16. 16. Sailors Cache <ul><li>Traditional Cache </li></ul><ul><li>N 41° 25.288 W 070° 56.214 </li></ul><ul><li>Cuttyhunk Island </li></ul>
  17. 17. Rapture of the Deep <ul><li>Underwater (SCUBA) Multi-Cache </li></ul><ul><li>N 25° 41.902 W 079° 19.048 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Off of Bimini in the Bahamas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>90’ Wreck Dive </li></ul>
  18. 18. Bay Keys Cache <ul><li>Traditional Cache </li></ul><ul><li>8 nm round trip by small boat off of Key West, FL </li></ul><ul><li>N 24° 38.489 W 081° 46.755 </li></ul><ul><li>Great Heron NWR </li></ul>
  19. 19. 16,000,000 Bricks <ul><li>Virtual Cache </li></ul><ul><li>N 24° 37.764 W 082° 52.362 </li></ul><ul><li>Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas </li></ul><ul><li>70 miles west of Key West </li></ul><ul><li>Historical Fort Jefferson </li></ul>
  20. 20. More Information <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The “Bible” </li></ul></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More than you ever wanted to know about GPS </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Geocaching for Dummies ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Geocaching for Idiots ” </li></ul>