The Joy of Geocaching


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Geocaching is a healthy and inexpensive way to get the whole family outdoors, energized and pulling together toward a common goal. There are more than three million active geocachers worldwide and more than one million geocaches hidden around the globe. This presentation by the co-author of the 2010 book The Joy of Geocaching explains the fundamentals of the game and shows why it inspires such enthusiasm among its players.

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  • The California county of Amador organized a fund-raising event around geocaching in March, 2009. Participants paid $10 to get a list of clues that took them through historic downtown districts and nearby attractions like the Preston Castle in Ione and the Kennedy Mine in Jackson. Each downtown selected a theme and prepared appropriate clues around it. Players mingled with locals dressed in period costumes. In one town, they took part in a murder mystery.The state of Maryland created the Maryland Municipal League Geocache Trail, which is comprised of 78 caches located in the league’s 11 districts regions throughout the state. Geocachers have to pick up or download a “passport” to carry with them on their journey and stamp each page with a unique rubber stamp at locations along the trail. Each location also houses a code word. The first 500 geocachers who logged at least 22 finds got a special geocoin.PPL Corp. (PPLPreserves), a PA-based utility, has had geocaches on its properties in Pennsylvania, Maine, and Montana since 2001. The treasure entices people to come visit the company’s wildlife refuges. “This is part of getting across the message about generating electricity in a safe and environmentally responsible way,” says Meg Welker, Education Relations Director. ”Commitment to the environment is part of our philosophy.”PPL currently has six containers stashed, one on each of its six preserves. About 2,500 finds have been logged in the last two years, says Welker. “It’s been pretty successful.”
  • The Joy of Geocaching

    1. 1. Finding Happiness in an Ammo Can in the Woods<br />Paul Gillin<br />Co-author, The Joy of Geocaching<br />
    2. 2. What is Geocaching?<br />Worldwide treasure hunt enabled by the Internet and global positioning satellites<br />Simple rules with complex player-defined variations<br />Containers must have log books<br />Containers must be locatable by geographic coordinates<br />Containers must not be buried<br />That’s it!<br />
    3. 3. Navigation Basics<br />The world is divided into 180 degrees of longitude and 180 degrees of latitude. Each degree is made up of 60 minutes and 360 seconds.<br />That’s a total of 7,776,000 unique spots, or about one for every 10 square feet!<br />
    4. 4. “Caching is a great leveler...You can be caching with a bank president or a ditch digger... it doesn't matter." -- Don & Jacqi Liddiard (Rock & Crystal)<br />“We've adopted a very large circle of friends through geocaching. Some we've never physically met." -- Paul & Karen Sandvick (Jug & Roon)<br />“I can literally drive from Alabama to Kansas, pull up to some guys sitting around the campfire and within minutes I’m accepted” – Ed Manley (TheAlabamaRambler)<br />“It stirs a passion in me that no other hobby has before. It has dimensions of camaraderie, competition, mental stimulation, fitness, and creativity that I’ve never found elsewhere." -- Dean Powell (J5 Crew)<br />“I feel the weight of the world lifting from me when I'm tramping through the woods." -- billandlore<br />
    5. 5. Kyjen is at:<br />N 39° 34.857 <br />W 104° 48.463<br />There are 46 geocaches within a 2-mile radius and 5 within a 10-minute walk!<br />You are here<br />
    6. 6. Fun Facts<br />Date GPS network opened for public use: May 2, 2000<br />Date first geocache placed: May 3, 2000<br /># of geocaches, Jan., 2003: 41,000<br /># of geocaches, Jan., 2005: 140,000<br /># of geocaches, Jan., 2010: 1,010,000<br /># of registered geocachers worldwide: 4,000,000<br /># of geocaching organizations, N. America: 126<br />Age of oldest known geocacher: 99<br />
    7. 7. More Fun Facts<br />Most geocaches found by one person, lifetime: 39,265<br />Most geocaches hidden by one person, lifetime: 2,285<br />Most geocaches found by a team in 24 hours: 626<br />Geocaches within 10-mile radius of DFW: 1,269<br />Geocaches with 10-mile radius of Denver, CO: 1,824<br />Highest geocache: Mt. Everest (Earthcache)<br />Lowest geocache: 7,000 ft. below Atlantic Ocean surface<br />Mt. Everest Earth cache<br />
    8. 8. Why On Earth??<br />Appeal of geocaching is in the hunt and the accomplishment of discovery<br />Most geocaches are hidden in places the owners consider special to them<br />Many have historical significance or local importance<br />A great way to explore new areas without a guidebook<br />More than 70% of players regularly explore in groups<br />Accessible to people of all ages and abilities<br />
    9. 9. Geowoodstock<br />
    10. 10. Cache Types<br />Virtual cache<br />Traditional cache<br />Multi cache<br />Earth cache<br />Puzzle cache<br />Letterbox hybrid<br />
    11. 11. Name (often a pun)<br />Who and when<br />Type & difficulty<br />Where<br />Map<br />Download stuff<br />Download stuff<br />Miscellaneous stuff you need to know<br />About (often misleading)<br />Description (may be misleading!)<br />Trackable items therein<br />Encrypted hint<br />
    12. 12. Pay Attention to Logs<br />Hint<br />Hint<br />Hint<br />
    13. 13. Tools to Aid Your Search<br />Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (GSAK)<br />GeoBuddy<br />Geocaching GPSr<br />Google Street View<br />Microsoft Streets & Trips<br />
    14. 14. Planning Your Outing<br />How Long?<br />How Far?<br />With Who?<br />Quantity vs. Adventure<br />Consider the Weather<br />And Your Frustration Level!<br />Stuff to Bring<br />Spare Batteries<br />Cell Phone<br />Whistle or Horn<br />Dry Clothing<br />First Aid Kit<br />Hiking Boots<br />Hat<br />Sunblock<br />Mirror<br />Tweezers<br />Bug Spray<br />Walking Stick<br />Water<br />Pen<br />Food<br />Todd Beal and the <br />Amazing Caching Vest<br />
    15. 15. It’s Your Choice!<br />
    16. 16. Geocache Containers<br />Bison Tube (Micro)<br />Nano<br />Traditional Ammo Can<br />Pill Bottle (Small)<br />Range of Sizes<br />
    17. 17. Unusual Containers<br />Log<br />Hollow Rock<br />Dragonfly<br />Bottle Cap<br />Sprinkler Head<br />Light Bulb<br />Rusty Bolt<br />Spider on Rock<br />Rattlesnake<br />Cinder Block<br />Light Switch<br />Bone<br />Cell Phone<br />
    18. 18. Typical Hiding Places<br />Rock walls<br />Crevices<br />Light Skirts<br />Suspended<br />Inside trees<br />Covered by sticks<br />
    19. 19. A Language All Its Own<br />FTF – First To Find<br />DNF – Did Not Find<br />CITO – Cache In, Trash Out<br />Skirt-lifter – Cache placed under the skirt of an outdoor light fixture<br />Muggle – A non-geocacher<br />Ground Zero – Point where GPSr coordinates exactly match cache coordinates<br />P & G – Park and grab<br />Virt – Virtual cache<br />UPS – Unnatural Pile of Sticks<br />TFTC – Thanks for the cache<br />GeoSense -- Sixth sense gained from experience finding geocaches<br />Travel Bug Hotel – Geocache placed principally to house trackableitems<br />TNLN – Took nothing, left nothing<br />
    20. 20.
    21. 21. Extreme Geocaching<br />
    22. 22. Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your GPSr Too Much<br />At best, only accurate to within 10-ft radius (315 ft2)<br />Satellite reception affected by objects, weather, visibility<br />“Signal bounce” can seriously degrade accuracy<br />Low batteries can make matters worse<br />The person who hid the cache had the same limitations!<br />
    23. 23. When You Get Close, Look For:<br />Unnatural piles of rocks or sticks<br />Items that don’t seem natural<br />Evidence of other humans<br />“Geotrails”<br />Places where you would hide a cache<br />Can You Spot the Cache?<br />Can You Spot the Cache?<br />
    24. 24. Unwritten Rules<br />Log your finds and leave a unique comment or story<br />Log your “did not finds” – owners need to know<br />Always hide just as you found – a small change can make a big difference in difficulty<br />Never disturb nature<br />If you take items, leave items of equal or greater value<br />Notify owner if cache is compromised<br />Pick up trash on your way out<br />
    25. 25. When to Quit? Depends…<br />Joy of Geocaching Survey n=142<br />
    26. 26. Trackables Travel the World<br />
    27. 27. Unique Codes Are Logged Online<br />
    28. 28. And Inspire Commitment<br />
    29. 29. Geocaching in Business & Education<br />Arkansas State Parks <br />Amador County, CA<br />State of Maryland<br />PPL Corporation<br />Geoteaming is one of several companies that organize geocaching events for team-building<br />
    30. 30. Favorite Stories<br />A Fine Send-Off – Ben Johnson was hospitalized with terminal cancer just 33 caches short of the 1,000-find mark. Daughter Kathy tells what the members of his local caching organization did.<br />Horse Sense – Brad Simmons and friends came up with a clever idea to distract a crowd of people while his wife replaced a cache in an awkward location<br />
    31. 31. Thanks!<br />Linden Publishing, 2010<br /><br /><br /><br /><br />