You have likely seen it before. Area activities and things to do include fishing, swimming, shopping, hiking and geocaching, but what is geocaching really and why does everyone seem to love it so much? William Bailey Travel invites you to come with us as we take a closer look at this growing trend.
Started in 2000 thanks to upgrades to the technology relating to GPS, first a few dozen, now millions of geocachers began planting and finding other people’s caches in forests, cities and parks around the globe. What began as just a fun way to play hide and seek in Oregon, has become a global phenomenon with people from every walk of life, both young and old getting involved.
So how does it work?
Someone plants a cache somewhere and then marks the location on their GPS. These coordinates are then shared with other geocachers and on websites. There are geocache trails and groups found all over the world.
What is in a geocache?
What you will find (and leave to replace what you found) will depend on what type of geocache it is. There are a number of different types of geocaches including:
- Traditional Geocache – Containers will include a logbook and sometimes small items for trade
- Mystery or Puzzle – Containers will include clues and puzzles to help you find the next cache
- Multi-Cache – These caches will involve more than one container location, the first container(s) leading you to the final prize and the logbook
- EarthCache – A unique cache, these containers will include not just a log book but educational notes about the location
- Letterbox Hybrid – Different than a traditional geocache, these containers use clues (like a treasure hunt), not coordinates to help you find the next cache
There are also virtual caches and webcam caches as well.
How do you get started?
The best way to get started is to begin by getting a good GPS and learning how to use it. After this, you can join groups like geocaching.com where you can find thousands of trails and maps leading to caches all over the U.S. and beyond, in even the smallest communities and even talk to others who enjoy geocaching as well.
You can also do it on your own without the use of any group. Just go to your destination’s website and see if they have their own geocache locations to find and then get out and start hunting!