What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a treasure hunt of sorts. There are some geocachers that have 1,000’s of finds from all over the world. I personally know a couple that have over 25,000 finds). So every milestone of 50, 100, 200+ finds you make is a huge accomplishment which you should be very proud of. In 2017, geocacaching HQ (headquarters) hit a milestone of 3 million hides world wide. So I explain geocaching in something relate-able to most as you may have heard of the game Pokemon on the news. Well, I would say it is along the same lines, except it is real stuff. My step son was playing Pokemon so we referred to our adventure hunts as “poke-cache” or “geo-mon”. This brought about his growling attitude towards the combination of both game words). But it is a game, so how you play is completely up to you. There is some game etiquette that applies that ensures the next hunter will enjoy the find as well.
How do How do you get started?
First you will need to create an account on the Geocaching website. Try to be creative with your USERNAME because that is what you will use when signing the log and logging your finds. I was not really creative with mine. Oh well, after 4 years of geocaching everyone in my area knows my name. The basic membership is FREE and will let you view geocaching in your home area with D/T (difficulty of hide / difficulty of terrain) of 1.5/1.5 or lower and you will need to manually decipher the “hints”. The yearly premium membership will show all hidden geocaches(regular and premium hides) in an area across the whole grid of D/Ts with ratings up to 5/5 and “hints” can be deciphered with a click of a button.
Are you wondering why there are Premium hides? Well as a CO(Cache Owner) the hides I classify as Premium involve more time and money creating them. Beginners may not fully understand the game,but you will get better as you play. I feel the geocaches will be safer and appreciated more in the hands of veteran or seasoned geocachers with paid premium memberships.
What kind of equipment is needed?
You can use a phone or other GPS device to find a location. This forum offers a lot of pros and cons to both sides of the debate. Then we call it “geosense” because the GPS is only going to get you within about 30 feet or so. I personally use my IPHONE loaded with the Geocaching App, but you can also use an Android phone, GPS or other techy equipment. I would keep in mind that with most phones the cell service can be sketchy in State or National Parks, but you can work around that with Off Line Lists (meaning you do not have cell service in an area). Your geosense is used to guess “where would this hide be?” and the search begins. Looking at your deciphered hint will sometimes help narrow the location.
Well there is a ton of things. This list of definitions might help:Glossary of Terms
I will be creating additional blogs about a lot of these with what I have found, used, and discovered along the way. So lets just start with the basics and enjoy learning as we go.
Logs (physical and logging on-line)
TOTT(tools of the trade)
SWAG (stuff we all get)