The Beginning Uses a GPS system originally designedfor the military, created in the early1970’s, declassified in 1983, and madeavailable to everyone in 2000. GPS stands for Global PositioningSystem and refers to a system of 24satellites that orbit Earth and sendsignals to receivers.
The first geocache was hidden on May3, 2000 when Dave Ulmer hid a cache inthe woods near Beaver Creek, Oregon.He shared the coordinates online andthe hunt began. There are currently 2,107,846 activegeocaches and over 5 milliongeocachers worldwide.
Geo-Lingo BYOP – Bring your own pencil/pen. Cache – Short for geocache. A hiddencontainer that contains a logbook. CITO – Cache in Trash Out. Anenvironmental initiative supported by thegeocaching community.
DNF – Did Not Find. Acronym used inlogs. D/T – Difficulty/Terrain. Difficulty relatesto how hard it is to find and terrain refersto the physical environment. FTF – First To Find. GPSr – Global Positioning Systemreceiver. Muggle – A non-geocacher.
ROT-13 – The encyyption methodutilized on Geocaching.com. SWAG – Stuff We all Get. Trade itemsleft in caches by geocachers. TNLN – Took Nothing, Left Nothing.Logbook terminology. TNLNSL – Took Nothing, LeftNothing, Signed Logbook. TNSL – Took Nothing, Signed Logbook.
Last But Not Least…. Waypoint – A refernce point for aphysical location on Earth. Waypointsare defined by a set of coordinatesincluding longitude and latitude. Everygeocache listed on Geocaching.com is awaypoint.
CACHE Typically, a cache is some sort ofcontainer that holds the treasure youseek. A cache is categorized in three essentialways….. 1. Size 2. Type 3. Difficulty
Size Four size classifications….. Micro – Size of a film canister. Small – Size of a sandwich container. Regular – About the size of a shoebox. Large – Quite big – holds over 5 gallons.
Types Traditional – Most common and can beany size. Multi-Cache – A set of related caches.The first contains hints for finding thesecond and so on. Puzzle Cache – Requires players tosolve puzzles to find the cache itself.
Additional Types EarthCache – Not a physical object butan educational lesson about the featuresof Earth. VirtualCache/Webcam Cache – Not aphysical object but a location on Earth.Players need to answer questions aboutthe cache location or provide a picturetaken at the site.
Difficulty Refers to how difficult it will be to find thecache and is trated in two categories..D/T (Difficulty and Terrain) Both are rated using a five-point scalewith one star being the easiest and 5stars the most difficult.
D - Difficulty Factors that may affect the level ofdifficulty include the extent to which thecache is camouflaged and if specialequipment is required. Make sure to read the informationprovided before heading out.
T - Terrain Things that might increase the level ofdifficulty getting to the cache include thephysical terrain you need to cross, thelength of the walk (or hike) and if specialequipment is needed to access the area.(Think four – wheeled drive)
Now What Click on Play – then Hide and Seek. Enter the zip code, city or state where youwant to hunt. Note level of difficulty, type of cache, andwhen it was last found. Download or manually enter the “waypoint” You may want to have hints & info with you.
Go find the cache Follow the GPS coordinates Look around If you are having trouble, look and seeif there are clues or hints. You mightread the logs of others for help also.
Eureka – You Found It Open the container and sign the log. SWAG If the webpage asked you to do somethingspecial, please do that. Close the cache tightly and PUT IT BACKEXACTLY AS YOU FOUND IT! Log your visit on the site, even if you didn’tfind it.
GPS Basics Know your GPS receiver or becomefamiliar with your app.
Stash a Cache Be sure to get permission from the landowner or manager. Know the rulesabout geocaching in that particular area. Be sure the cache will not disrupt thewildlife or hurt the geography in the area. Enter the cache on the website. Be sureto be as accurate as possible. Use yourGPS.
No – No’s Food Items. Knives, razors, sharp objects, orweapons. Matches, fireworks, lighters, live ammo. Drugs, alcohol, pornography, or illicitmaterial Solicitations
How to….. Select and camouflage your container. Select an appropriate location to stash yourcache. Entice other players to hunt for your cacheby providing clever hints and GPScoordinates.CREATE A MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE
Consider Location Not close to active railroad tracks. Not on a military installation. Avoid highwaybridges, dams, government buildings, orairports. Do not bury a cache. Make sure you have permission.
Similar Sites Letterboxing – game with stamps Bookcrossing – lending library GPS Games – variety of games using aGPS receiver Whereigo – gaming platform
Citations Geocaching.com Staff. “The CompleteIdiot’s Guide to Geocaching”Penguin, 2012. Lo, Burt. “GPS and Geocaching inEducation” ISTE, 2010. Personal expertise of: Tony Riehl, Billings, Montana Susan Cornett, Newark, Delaware