What Is Geocaching?
This adventure sport/hobby involves the use of a handheld GPS receiver and information provided on the official geocaching website (geocaching.com). The GPS receiver uses coordinates to guide its operator to hidden treasures just waiting to be found all over the world. A typical cache consists of a waterproof container, a log book, and trinkets. Signing the log book proves you found it, and the trinkets provide trade items; the idea is to take an item, then replace it with an item of equal value. The trinkets make a nice memento of the experience. Once the log book is signed and trinkets exchanged, the container is put back in exactly the same place it was found, to await the next finder.
Every geocache hunt proves to be a completely different experience. Each hide is reflective on the person who did the hiding. In many cases, the trip leads the geocacher to new and unusual places they may never have seen if they hadn’t been guided by their GPS receiver and the cache hider’s directions. Geocaching is a great family activity!
Getting started is easy! All you need is a handheld GPS receiver (new ones are available for as little as $80) and internet access. Log on to geocaching.com (membership is free) and enter the zip code of the location where you’d like to go geocaching. You’ll get a list of caches in that area, waiting to be found. From that list, enter the latitude/longitude coordinates of your chosen cache(s) into your GPS receiver, and you’re good to go. When you find a cache, take something from the container and leave something you’ve brought with you as a trade item. Sign the logbook, then return the container to its hiding spot for the next finder.