What can we say about geocaching? What is geocaching? Well, to begin with, the geocache is a game of live adventures that is played outdoors where anyone can participate, basically it is a form of sports game. If you like to explore, you will probably like geocaching. In addition to being a live adventure game that combines the use of technology and strategy, geocaching can be useful to test some of your survival skills.
Geocaching is gaining popularity and it is not uncommon to see whole families get involved in geocache adventures. But what exactly is geocaching and what do you need to test it and test your explorer’s skills?
Follow us to discover everything you need to know about geocaching, including a step-by-step guide on how to geocache.
What is geocaching?
As we have already mentioned, geocaching is a form of a sport, rather experienced as an adventure game created to awaken the adventurer in you. Your main goal in geocaching is to hide or find different “treasure chests” that are rather called “caches” in the spirit of the name of the game. The most surprising thing about this is that you can find caches or hide them anywhere in the world and someone else will try to find them.
Basically, you are playing the game with millions of people involved solely by using the GPS device and your tracking skills. If you are good at guiding and following GPS routes in addition to enjoying the treasure hunt, you will love this game. Geocaching exists in its current form and under its current name for 15 years and, remembering the history of the game, geocaching originates from 160 years ago. It sounds incredible, but only because it’s true.
If you have a game called “Letterboxing”, then you have something to compare Geocaching with, since Letterboxing is your father; or rather, great-grandfather if we judge how long the game existed. Unlike Letterboxing, where you had to use maps and solve puzzles to find a “treasure chest”, completely relying on your orientation skills, Geocaching is somewhat easier, but equally interesting, useful to practice survival skills and quite pleasant.
How did the geocaching begin?
The mailbox was replaced 160 years later by a similar game that we all know as Geocaching. Why was the mailbox replaced? That is an easy question: we owe everything to the Global Positioning System, more popularly known as GPS, as we have already mentioned. With the widespread availability of GPS around the year 2000, anyone could track anything that would make GPS fans excited.
Out of that emotion came a game called GPSStash Hunt, where people from one of the GPS fanatics blogs made a deal so that each one of them hid something or, rather, “hid” it and marked it by noting the coordinates with the GPS. This is how the hunting began. Later, the name was changed to the one we know from Geocache, since most thought that the word “stash” had a negative tone.
Geocaching is still very popular and the game is now played by millions of users with the same enthusiasm for GPS than 15 years ago.
I want geocache: what do I need?
Then, we see that you like the idea of geocaching, which means that your adventurous spirit is ready for action. The question is, of course: what do you need to start and start playing the game?
First of all, you need any type of device that is compatible with GPS, which is almost any mobile device there is. You can also use a GPS device of any kind, Android phones or smart phones. Any of the listings will work perfectly.
How will you know where all the caches are hidden? There are several cache sites, specialized in tracking Geocaching and offering complete lists of Geocache points. All you have to do is create an account based on your preferences. We recommend that you try several sites to decide which one suits you best before going for treasures.
In general, creating an account is free and available to everyone, although some websites offer premium accounts in which you must pay for your access to the cache list. Basically, almost all the lists are different from the lists of other sites, so you can continue creating a free account for yourself and try to find the cache closest to you.
Geocaching 101: rules
There are not many rules to remember and follow. You have your device and have created your account in one of the Geocaching sites, which means you are ready to start. So, what are you looking for? Basically, you are following the coordinates to all the hidden hiding places, testing your orientation skills and your adventurous self. Let’s say you have managed to find the cache you were looking for: what would your next steps be?
Each cache contains “treasure”, and that treasure is usually something of sentimental value, like some trinkets, toys, various types of objects, sometimes letters and even smaller monetary values. You can exchange and take what you find in the cache. You must replace the object you took with something you have, since you do not want to disappoint the next person who finds that cache.
Each cache has a log journal and a pen, in addition to containing treasures, so you must write down the date you found the cache and its name. Writing your name is optional, but it would be good to write it.
“Take something, leave something.” Politics is the only way to make this game circulate. If that were not the case, could you imagine the disappointment of looking for something just to see that nothing can be found except from an empty cache once it reaches its goal? It is not such a satisfying feeling, so be sure to leave something if you take something.
Another rule to follow is to always return the cache in the same place where others will probably follow the same route you have. This is important so that all the caches can remain in the same place where they were found; Make GPS coordinates accurate and valid.
Those are basically the only rules you must know to start your first geocache search. If you are interested in doing a geocache search, here is how you can do it, step by step:
Start: GPS device
As we have already mentioned, you will need to have a GPS device with you in order to play geocaching. Any Android device or smartphone will also do the work as long as your phone supports GPS function. In addition to your guidance skills, GPS is all you need to get started.
The next step would be to create your own account at any of the available geocaching sites. These sites provide lists of all geocaching locations. You can try several different cache lists depending on where you live or your current location. Basically, caches are hidden all over the world, but not all sites have the same lists of geocaches, so it can happen that some sites are more focused on caches hidden in the desert, and some are more focused on those hidden in different United States or the United States. European cities
It all depends on other users using different sites to mark the coordinates of the caches you are looking for and hide. Then there are the sites that require you to pay to create your account to get access to your geocaches lists, but you can feel free to stay on the sites that provide you the list of geocaches completely free of charge. Either way, you will need your own account to start geocaching.
Another great thing about creating an account is that you can get in touch with other geocachers, track their experiences and even get some useful tips, which is excellent if you are starting with geocaching and need information on how to perform the geocache. . .
Caches near you
This is where the geocache site you have chosen plays an important role, since you will use the site to find hidden caches near your location. It will simply do the search by allowing the site to track its location, which will result in the list of hidden caches near its location.
Caches are hidden all over the world, so you probably have some hiding places (or many of them) near where you are. That usually depends on how many geocachers you have near where you are or where you live. The more geocachers, the more hidden caches, this is usually the case if everyone complies with the rules.
Choosing your first cache
All the caches in the list also have a level of difficulty on the side, which is shown in the stars. Therefore, if the location of the cache has a star, it means that the cache is fairly easy to find. Among the list of specifications there is also a cache size, so you would know what size the cache you are looking for (small, medium, large, etc.).
Some users also like to give some kind of puzzles or suggestions so they can make their search easier or harder. If you are going to perform geocaching for the first time, it could be the best thing you choose by going to the caches that have a lower level of difficulty.
To facilitate your search, you can print the page with cache specifications or write the most important things, such as suggestions and coordinates. Having fun can start!
You will notice that each cache specification must contain coordinates: longitude and latitude that tell you where the cache you are looking for is located. That is one of the most important cache specifications, since it will use those coordinates to find its cache. You will use those coordinates to create your waypoint through your GPS device so you can start your search. Following the waypoint correctly should take you exactly where you want to be.
Fair trade – fair play
We have already mentioned that you should always leave something in the cache if you plan to claim your treasure. That means you should make sure to take something with you to be able to trade. What are you supposed to bring for trade?
That depends completely on you! But surely you would not like to disappoint someone and leave something that nobody will need or use. However, you can leave something that has no monetary value, but personal value. One note that goes with that certainly could be another cacher’s day. You can also leave some money, a type of toy or an action figure, books, notes and even a poem …
Anything that you think would be fair trade is welcome. What you decide to bring with yourself for trade does not have to be something extraordinarily valuable, but try to spice things up for someone, since you would want someone to season them. The only thing that is really important is that you leave something if you take something out of the box.
However, if you are not interested in taking what you see in the box, you do not need to make an exchange, you can simply close the cache and return it to its original place.
Speaking of commercial articles, a new theme arises: what do the caches look like and if all the caches have some “treasure” elements waiting for the lucky explorer?
You will notice that no one in the geocache sites will specifically say if the hidden cache has something or not, but you can at least make sure what size is the cache you are looking for, since all users also update the specification by adding cache size.
The available cache sizes are micro, small, medium and large, where the micro almost never contains anything, except the registration papers: not even a record book to fill and the micro containers are too small for the pencils, so if do not have your own The pencils with you, the chances that you can not record the end of your search, go against your favor.
Medium, large and even small hiding places usually have some objects ready for trade, so if you want to have the great feeling of finding a “treasure”, you would probably want to go for them.
Not all caches look the same, since there is no store that sells boxes of specific geocaches. As this is the case, some people will use plastic containers for sandwiches, some people will store their products in ammunition boxes and others will go for large sealed buckets. The size of the cache generally depends on the stored elements, so the larger the cache, the higher the level of difficulty.
In case you choose to go to the larger caches, you should probably consider bringing a larger item to exchange, since the chances of there being a lot of things to trade are much higher.
What you do not have to cache
If you like what you find in a cache, be sure to replace it with something equally valuable. Almost all caches contain loglines that also have all the items listed, so everyone will know that all transactions were fair and that nobody dared to get something out of the cache without leaving something. Avoid leaving sharp objects, ammunition, weapons, food and drinks (especially alcohol).
Try to be as fair and educated in the spirit of the game and remember that people of all ages participate in the game of geocaching, even minors.
Waypoint and follow-up
To make sure your point of reference works in your favor, helping you track and find the item you were looking for, be sure to use GPS units to be able to track the point efficiently. With little practice and exploring your device, you will easily learn how to use GOS to track caches.
The arrow unit will show you the way, making it much easier to search.
My first revealed cache
Once you find the cache you’ve been looking for, you should make sure you can remember the way it was hidden, since you’ll have to try to hide it in the same way. This is very important so that other cachers can find the cache you have found.
Sometimes, you may feel frustrated or disappointed by how badly the hiding place you have found, so you could try and make someone else’s day run out and leave something behind. Remember that there are many other caches waiting to be revealed and tracked.
The record book
You will also find a log book in the cache, since each container has one. Usually, there is a pencil available with him, but it would not hurt if you decide to take one just in case. It will record the date and the username you are using in your geocaching account.
If you have taken something, write down what you have taken and also be sure to write down what you have left in return.
In addition to sweets and trinkets, you can also find traceable items. Not all caches have one, but some do. What are the trackables and why do people leave them? The trackers are usually connected to a certain task established by its owner and the tasks can vary greatly, although the purpose is generally the same: the trackers must travel the world.
The owner can trace the path of their traceable items through the Geocaching.com site and verify the progress of the hi8s task. The task could be something like: travel around the world, visit each state, cross each ocean, visit 50 states, etc. You can also help make a trackable move if you find it. If you find a trackable object, and keep in mind that there are several types of trackable game pieces, such as Geocoins, Trackables and Travel Bugs, be sure to log in to the site you are using and help the game piece move forward.
Closing the cache
Once you have finished with the cache you have found, be sure to put it back in the right place, so that other geocachers can find it. Close it securely to protect it from external factors and be sure to leave something for future geocachers.
Register your cache request
Once you return home, you should also visit the page with your cache specification and register your visit so that the rest of the geocaching community knows that you have found the cache you were looking for.
Record the same details that you entered in the log book that is in the cache.
Hiding your own hiding places
You can hide a cache anywhere you want and fill it with whatever you want, as long as you follow the rules of this incredible game. Once you hide your cache, be sure to check the coordinates of where your cache is hidden. Mark the size of the cache and the level of difficulty with the site where you have an account.
You can add suggestions, puzzles and encryption, along with any type of riddles you like to give more flavor to the game and make it more difficult to find the cache. Take a picture of where the cache is hidden and load it with other specifications. This is recommended, but usually not mandatory.
Most important of all: make sure you play geocaching fairly and enjoy your treasure hunt!
If you decide to go geocaching, now you can answer without problems and with all the most frequent questions so you can find your way in this incredible game. Now that you know how to do geocaches, take your device, create an account and start using GPS functions to find the nearest cache!
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