November 6, 2011–Geocaching: Can You Find It?

Have you ever wanted to take up an exciting hobby?  Did you want to do something that you could wander outside and see nature while taking part in a thrilling activity?  Geocaching might be the perfect thing for you.

The history of geocaching can be found at The History of Geocaching page at Geocaching.com.  In general, geo refers to “Earth” as in geography or geology.  The word “cache” can have quite a few meanings, but in this case, it refers to a hidden storage location.  Think of your computer and its memory cache.  It stores information in a place where it can be retrieved when needed.  Just like geocaches, the computer gives the information a distinct location coordinate or an address where, when needed, it can go to that exact location and find it.

Now, imagine the computer storage is Earth and think of, say, Las Vegas as a piece of its info.  If someone wants to get there, they can either take out a road map and plot their route or, in more modern times, they can simply turn on their GPS systems and it will guide the diver with precise instructions to the desired location.  Geocaching operates with the same objective with one slight difference…you will be taken to the right vicinity, but you will not be told where exactly the cache is hiding.  For that, you will have to depend on your wits and creativity.  Bless you if you don’t have either!

You might ask what you will need.  As the video above says, you have to have a GPS enabled device.  When the caches are placed in their home spot, the coordinates of that location has to be recorded.  Along with those coordinates, a name has to be assigned and a small hint can and is thankfully supplied.  When you are ready to find a cache, go to Geocaching.com, register for FREE, and then search for a cache near you.  Once you choose one, it will give you a set of coordinates…something like N 43° 04.539 W 088° 55.031 (Stroll Down Geocache Lane).  You place these coordinates into your GPS device and it will lead you to the area.  I, so far, have only found three, but I am feeling a strong desire to find many more.  It’s something of a competition to many people…that is, if you like competition!

Be aware that there are a few different sizes of geocaches, ranging from tubes to waterproof boxes to tiny magnetic containers.  Each container has a piece of paper.  Put your name or geocaching.com username on the slip of paper or little book so that the owner of the geocache knows you were there.  If there is something in the cache and you want to take it, you are required/advised/requested to place something into the cache of equal importance.  It could be something so miniscule…don’t you have something just as miniscule in your possession?  Leave it!

If you find geocaching interesting or even exciting, give it a shot and let me know how you do.  Go over to Geocaching.com, register for a FREE account, and head off on your first hunt.  It can be addictive.  If you would like to hear of others’ stories and accomplishments, go over to Podcacher.com and listen to their podcast and read their blog.  I love listening to the podcast as I think it is wonderfully produced.  They were nominated for a podcast award this year.

I hope you find this interesting and fulfilling.  If you do, don’t forget….let me know!

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