Geocaching: What it is, How to do it, Why you do it

Geocaching: What it is, How to do it, Why you do it

September 25th, 2012

What it is:

What is GeocachingGeocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt that has been popular for several years.  This activity uses the internet, either on your smart phone or on a handheld GPS (global positioning system) to get coordinates.  Once you have the coordinates and clues, you search for hidden treasures or caches.  Caches are generally a container that has hidden treasures inside along with a logbook to sign and reasonably priced trinkets for trade.

How to do it:

Look up caches in your area at Geocaching.com by entering your zip code.  At Geocaching.com you will find a list of active geo-caches around the world!  Some are easy to find and some require a long hike.

To find a cache, enter its coordinates in a handheld GPS receiver or into your smart phone app.  Look for caches in likely places or even at objects that appear out of place (unnatural piles of sticks, rocks out of place, etc.).

Always be aware of your surroundings and remember to take your eyes off of the GPS occasionally to look around so you don’t fall.   Be sure to take your time, be patient and have fun!

Once you Find a Cache

Take something from the cache while leaving something behind in the cache (trade) too.  Jot down the information requested in the log book in the cache.  Some people are not interested in trading and that is okay too.  Please reseal it carefully and place it back exactly where you found it.  Be sure to hide it as well as you found it!

Tips on what to take with you on a geocaching hunt:

  • Always carry extra batteries (for your GPS unit)
  • A map and compass
  • Water and snacks
  • A variety of small items or trinkets (if you take something from the cache, you must replace it with something of equal value)
  • A hiking stick, flashlight & pen for signing the log book

Remember to be responsible for the environment

  • Keep your vehicle on designated roads and trails
  • Caches should not be buried in the ground
  • Caches should not include any food items
  • Leave the area looking as though you were never there

When you get home, go back to geocaching.com  and write a log to the “owner” of the cache.  They would love to hear who found it, the condition of the cache, the condition of the trail it was on and the trade you made !

Why you do it:

Geocaching is an enjoyable activity for the whole family and is a great source of fresh air and exercise.  It is a great way to discover new parks, new activities and natural history in your area.  It also can make a fun addition to your next vacation.  Look up cache locations along highways you are traveling and near hotels you plan to stay at to make the travel time even more fun.

Simply stated it is a great hobby.

Geo-caching in the Tatanka Bluff Cooridor:

Want to geo-cache the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway?  There are eight parks in this particular journey, click here for all the details!

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