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All about Geocaching

Updated on January 5, 2015
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The author is an amateur artist and photographer that loves to travel with her husband of 35 years.

All about Geocaching

Do you love a good treasure hunt?

Do you own a GPS (Global Positioning Unit)?

Do you like to travel?

Do you like exercise?

Do you love seeing new places, discovering new things?

Then Geocaching might be for you!

Geocaching is kind of a high tech treasure hunt. Which isn't really about the treasure, we discovered...but actually all about the hunt itself, solving the mystery.

...By Geo King and Mamma Cache

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is basically a high tech treasure hunt. Where you can utilize your gps to find a certain latitude and longitude where the "cache" is hidden, filled with a log book to sign and small little treasures.

It is a great way to get exercise and experience the outdoors with family and friends. You might even find a bit of "treasure" that you like!

Family Friendly? Pet Friendly?

It's important to look each cache up on www.geocaching.com. It will tell you if a cache is child friendly, or if pets are welcome. It will tell you how the terrain is and how far you might have to walk to get to it.

Comfortable walking shoes are usually a good idea.

If you bring a pet, check the website about the cache, keep them on a leash, and please clean up after them and yourselves.

We have something we call, "Cache In, Cache Out"...which basically means, please take everything out that you bring with you, leave a clean trail along the way!

The History of Geocaching

How it all began

Read the history of geocaching here:

The History of Geocaching

What are the rules in Geocaching?

Take something from the cache if you want or just log your visit.

Leave something in the cache of equal value and quanity to the items or items you take with you.

No food or parishables, and no adult only content (children do find caches too). No dangerous items.

Write about it in the logbook, and log it online.

Keep the area clean, pack your trash out (cache in, trash out)

Don't damage anything while looking for a cache.

What is usually in a cache?

Many caches will be marked with a sticker tha looks like this:

Usually a log book, small trinkets, coins, travel bugs.

Treasures we found in a cache

Yep, it was Shrek and Donkey...they took a ride with us until the next Cache.

Smokey, our four legged cacher trying to wake up a Travel Bug

Smokey, our four legged cacher trying to wake up a Travel Bug
Smokey, our four legged cacher trying to wake up a Travel Bug

Travel Bugs - What's a travel bug you say?

A Travel Bug is a track-able item that moves from place to place, picking up stories along the way. Here you can add your own story, or live vicariously through each bug's adventures.

People will log online using your tracking number where they found your travel bug, where they left them, their adventures while they traveled with them, and many times pictures.

It is a lot of fun to follow your traveler across the country and throughout the world.

We have a travel bug that has logged over 21,000 miles and traveled all over the United States and even to China. You can read about Linda's Traveling Art Show here.

Where are caches found?

"There are over 500,000 active caches worldwide."

They are in many different states and even countries. There are many different types of caches too. Some are easy to find for anyone, some can only be found by boat they even have underwater caches.

What should I carry when geocaching?

Most of us carry some type of "bag" or "pack" with us when geocaching. Here is a list of necessities and some additional things others carry with them:

1. GPS

2. Printed page on the caches you are looking for, or some download them into their GPS.

3. Pen or pencil (to sign logs as many caches loose these)

4. Items to exchange for items you take (Remember take something, leave something) A good rule of thumb is to try to leave something of similar value, this way caches that have some substantial "treasures" aren't soon replaced with "item of little value".

5. Bug spray (in rural areas, bugs and ticks can be common)

6. Cell phone for emergency calls for help.

7. Water

8. Snacks

9. A notebook to log your finds, and what you take and leave, so that you can later log them on the website.

Can I move a cache once I find it?

"Don't move the cache!

Types of caches:

There are many different types of caches now. But when we started there were micro, tiny little caches the size of a film canister, small "wallet size, medium small ammo can, and large ammo can or bigger. There were also virtual caches, those are usually something that is already there, like a statue or monument.

Space Needle in Seattle Washington

Source

We found probably the biggest cache, and most extraordinary cache in Seattle

Seattle was such a cool place to visit, we found three caches in our travels through the city. There are a lot more. But it is interesting how clever the cache owners have to get to hide a cache in a bustleing city like Seattle. (Must see's: Pike's Market, and take a Ferry ride across the Puget Sound)

Some common terminology and Acronyms you might see used by cachers

TB - Travel Bug, a trackable item, with a tag (similar to a dog tag)

FTF - First person to find a new cache once it has been hidden. Sometimes a new cache will have something special like a "FTF Geocoin" in it for that lucky first cacher.

TFTH - Thanks for the hide/hunt, a commone abbreviation left by cachers in a log to thank the person that hid the cache for the fun they had in finding it

TNLN - Took nothing, left nothing (Sometimes people will just sign a log instead of exchanging items in a cache.

Muggles - Muggles are people that may be lurking in the area. We try to not be observed in finding a cache, waiting until people leave the area. Because, there are those few people in the world that might decide to "steal" from a cache or vandalize it. Just better to be on the safe side. Besides it is part of the thrill to be "stealth, and sneaky" on your hunt.

Travel Bugs - Travel Bugs can be anything you can fit in a cache, they will have a travel bug tag attached to them. We usually try to move it along in the right direction, you also log your travel bug find separately from your cache.

Geocoin - Much like a travel bug, these are trackable, use the same website to look them up

There are also some promotional items you might find in a cache, like:

WDD Geocoin - The World Diabetes Day Geocoin, or travel bug.

Jeep Travel Bug - You may find a a Red Rock Crystal Pearl Jeep Commander with an official metal tag attached. They hid approximately 8,000 Jeep Travel Bugs in caches located in the lower 48 states.

Our Family Coast Trip - Lincoln City

A great place to hunt for Geocache's is at the Oregon Coast.

We found Three or Four caches on our Family vacation to the coast. But the neat thing about finding caches in cities that you don't know well is that they are placed there by the locals, that usually pick their favorite place that they want to share with fellow geocachers. One of the places, took us to a dead end road, down a dirt path through these bushes, that opened up to the most spectacular views. We saw whales blowing, tons of starfish. We would never had known it existed.

Another took us away from the coast and into the forest, thick, lush and with a beautiful stream in it. I was glad we took the time to visit it too.

Another took us on a beautiful hike, through a different type of fauna, with heavy moss, beautiful strong, tall trees. Lots of little animals to see!

Ammo Cans - Many caches are made of ammo cans

These hide the little treasures well, and hold a lot of items. Don't forget to log your finds!

Artist Point at Yellowwstone

Source

Yellowstone has a ton of caches!

Yellowstone is a treasure in itself, but they have a whole bunch of geocaches there. Many are geological in nature and you learn from them in order to log that specific cache you must answer specific questions finding the information on the signs at specific sites.

Thanks for stopping by my Geocache lens, I appreciate you! :-)

Linda

Tell us about your favorite cache? - Just remember not to divulge exactly where it is...shhh

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    • profile image

      happynutritionist 5 years ago

      We've done some of this...our favorite cache was one on a trail in the deep woods - we looked and looked...saw bear prints...and finally found the container NOT in it's original location but out in the open with bear toothprints in it:-) We take along plastic bags and tape in case anything needs repairs or protecting until the person who hid it can get to it.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Just started geocaching. My first two finds were really fun and rewarding. Congrats on your LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wow, so much information. Thank you!

    • callinsky lm profile image

      callinsky lm 7 years ago

      Wonderful article. I have been Geocaching twice when I was home for a visit. It was wonderful. We had so much fun. I really need to do it again. I had planned to this summer and just got too busy.

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 8 years ago

      Excellent lens. I want to do this some day. I will be back!

    • profile image

      Faithwalkerdiva 8 years ago

      Great lens. You are invited to come visit my lens http://www.squidoo.com/angermanagementdiva Happy President's Day Weekend

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Hi JoAnn, I wish you and your friends the best of luck. Woofs right back at ya! :-)

    • JohannDog profile image

      Johann The Dog 9 years ago from Northeast Georgia

      I have friends that do geocach. They love it! Great lens. Woofs, Johann

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Thanks marymc, I will have to do that! Appreciate you stopping by!

      Linda

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 9 years ago

      WOW! This is so new to me. I've got to come back and learn more. Sounds like something I'd love.

      Thanks for commenting on my Cruise FREE lens. I'll get back to you and send you a free copy of my Six Steps to FREEE Cruises and Tours eBook if you'll send me a email to send it. It's an attachment. You can email me at mbradleymc@yahoo.com. Just put squid in the subject line and I'll know it's from you.

    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 9 years ago

      WOW! This is so new to me. I've got to come back and learn more. Sounds like something I'd love.

      Thanks for commenting on my Cruise FREE lens. I'll get back to you and send you a free copy of my Six Steps to FREEE Cruises and Tours eBook if you'll send me a email to send it. It's an attachment. You can email me at mbradleymc@yahoo.com. Just put squid in the subject line and I'll know it's from you.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Sherry, there much easier when you figure them out...at least mine was. If you're thinking of trying geocaching, just for the fun of it, go to Geocaching.comand do a search for your home zip code. You will see just how many geocaches are in your own city! I was amazed!

    • profile image

      Sherry_2007 9 years ago

      I have a hand-held GPS..haven't quite got the hang of reading it though!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      dtbs, thank you, I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      dtbs 9 years ago

      interesting lens! thanks for sharing this info! please check mine out at----------------> Kava Kava.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Kim, Thank you, it is fun! What a great invention, weren't they? We were lost the other day in Portland of all places, trying to find a hospital where my friends sick child was...punched it in our gps...and even though we had made a wrong turn on our directions, it just re-routed us another way. I was so thankful!

      Linda

      Teddi, I really want to thank you for stopping by and reading up on this, and adding me to your favorites. Hopefully someday you will find the treasure you seek! Enjoy life, and the hunt for the treasure...sometimes we find it within our heart, don't we? :-)

      Linda

    • Teddi14 LM profile image

      Teddi14 LM 9 years ago

      I love treasure hunting. This sounds very interesting to me. Thanks for all the GREAT information on it. I am saving you to my favorites for sure. Check out my lenses.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD! Geocaching is new to me, but sounds like something fun to follow. We do love our GPS.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Annalee,

      Thank you so much for the congrats...geocaching is growing in popularity, you will probably hear more and more about it in the news from time to time. Linda

    • profile image

      AnnaleeBlysse 9 years ago

      Congrats on LotD. Great lens. I've been curious about geo-caching.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Rachel, thanks for stopping by! :-) Linda

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      RachelSmith 9 years ago

      Interesting... I thought GPS technology is used in the army, government services.. now we get to have so much fun having it with the family,.. Thanks!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      archetekt, the kids we have taken with us love it! But honestly it is also a great way to get mom and dad, and grandpa and grandma, and the kids out of the house...great family fun! Your much welcome for all the tips! Thank you for coming by!

      Linda

    • archetekt lm profile image

      archetekt lm 9 years ago

      What a fun way to get the kids outdoors more!

      5* effort here.

      Thanks for all the tips!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      serendipityrose, be careful if you do, it is very, very addictive! I warned you!!! :-)

      Tessa, thank you so much for spending some time here, and for the five stars, I really appreciate you!

      Linda

    • TessaGreen LM profile image

      TessaGreen LM 9 years ago

      Shrek and Donkey! Brilliant. I've thoroughly enjoyed my coffee break here Congratulations on a brilliant job and 5 stars - oooooo yes

    • profile image

      serendipityrose 9 years ago

      Great lens! Sounds like loads of fun! I have friends that have done this but have never tried myself. Maybe . . . if I could just get my husband to take a vacation!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      site-builder, thank you for the 5* and for stopping by, I was taking a look at all of your lens, and will be making my way through them, they look interesting! Linda

    • profile image

      site-builder 9 years ago

      Very fascinating lens.Thanks for creating it.

      Five stars for you.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Soulmate, I think you will like it if you do try it...it's addicting...and a healthy habit!

      Mogsta22, I would bet there will be even more than one. If you go to geocaching.com and type in your zip code it will show you how many and how far from where you live!

      triathlontraing, thank you and you're welcome!:-)

      Frankster, bear hugs back at ya, and thank you so much for stopping by!

    • Franksterk profile image

      Frankie Kangas 9 years ago from California

      Sounds like a lot of fun and educational too. Thanks for sharing and creating such a wonderful lens about it. 5 stars! Bear hugs, Frankie

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 9 years ago

      Thank you Linda! I lensrolled yours as well. :)

    • mogsta22 lm profile image

      mogsta22 lm 9 years ago

      Fascinating. I hear that there is a cache in the village where I live. I must look it up and maybe go and find it.

    • Soul-Mate profile image

      Soul-Mate 9 years ago

      Wow - I din't even know there was such a thing! Seems like incredible fun and something I want to do.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      GPSGuy,

      Thank you so much, your compliments mean a lot to me coming from one with your knowledge of geocaching. Thank you, :-) Linda

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      hearthealth, Okay I'm stumped...I've been looking over and over my lens, where did I quote Mark Twain? Please let me know! Thank you so much for the stars and the fav! I will be stopping by to check out your lens too! Linda

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Annie, Britney, Pyle and jvillekid,

      Thank you so much for the congrats, and taking the time to visit and leave a note, I really appreciate all of you!

      Linda

    • GPSGUY profile image

      GPSGUY 9 years ago

      Thanks for droping by my lens! You did a fantastic job here of showing the true character and purpose of geocaching. Lensrolled and 5 stared.

    • pylemountain1 profile image

      pylemountain1 9 years ago

      Truly unique lens. Congrats on your Lens of the Day award. 5 stars from me!

    • profile image

      britney-smith 9 years ago

      Congrats for being the lens of the day ! very nice lens and i learnt something from your lens ! 5 stars!

    • hearthealth lm profile image

      hearthealth lm 9 years ago

      Linda, thanks for that genius of a quote from Mark Twain. As early as grade 4 I was already preparing treasure hunt games for my friends, sans the GPS hehe.

      5* and faved! I hope you could drop by my GPS and car electronics lens sometime!

    • hearthealth lm profile image

      hearthealth lm 9 years ago

      Linda, thanks for that genius of a quote from Mark Twain. As early as grade 4 I was already preparing treasure hunt games for my friends, sans the GPS hehe.

      5* and faved! I hope you could drop by my GPS and car electronics lens sometime!

    • profile image

      Lakota429 9 years ago

      Very cool lens!!! Lots of great information! Congrats on being LOTD!!!!! Well-deserved. 5 stars! Annie~

    • TheJVilleKid profile image

      TheJVilleKid 9 years ago

      Congrats on the "Lens of the Day" from a fellow Geocacher! Very well done.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Squidwords, I appreaciate your...well..."words", thank you very much. I think there is room for more lens on geocaching. I've discovered new things as I visit other peoples lens. We can link them all together on the geocaching web-ring below! Thank you for coming to visit! Linda

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Hello fellow Idaho Geocacher, IdahoGus, I wish you the best of luck on building your lens, can't wait to see what you do. Thanks for stopping by, Linda

    • SquidWords profile image

      SquidWords 9 years ago

      Excellent Job Linda! I recently discovered GeocachingTips.com so I was going to make a lens on geocaching, but you covered it better than their site did. Keep up the great squidooing.

    • Idaho Gus profile image

      Idaho Gus 9 years ago

      Hi Linda!

      I am a geocacher too! I am new to the lens thing & I love you idea. Thanks for sharing.

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Howdy triathlontraining, congratulations to you, for making lens of the day too! Everyone that stops by here should also check out his at Family Treasure Hunting (geocaching) as it is a great place to learn about geocaching too!

      Enjoy!

      Linda

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Hi GreenRevolution, your very welcome...have fun with it!

      Hello ShortSaleRealtor, thanks for the five and for stopping by!

    • triathlontraini1 profile image

      triathlontraini1 9 years ago

      Congratulations Linda! :)

    • profile image

      ShortSaleRealtor 9 years ago

      great lens about geocoaching hi 5 to you

    • GreenRevolution profile image

      GreenRevolution 9 years ago

      Very cool lens! It sounds like a lot of fun. I love your design! Congrats on LOTD! Thanks for sharing the secret to making your colored backgrounds. It looks great!

      5 *****

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Wow, I made lens of the day, what a surprise to see so many visitors at once!!! Thank you all for taking the time to visit and learn about Geocaching, and some for sharing your own experiences! Thank you too, for the compliments on this lens! I will be adding the "secret to making the colored backgrounds to my lens called How to build your own lens because some of you have expressed interest in learning how to do it! Thanks again to all of you! What a great bunch of people you are! Linda

    • profile image

      johanschellemans 9 years ago

      Whaw, what a treasure of information on the topic!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 9 years ago from USA

      Very cool! And I love your lens design.

    • profile image

      Tarra99 9 years ago

      We picked up geocaching about 2 years ago! GREAT family activity! SUPER LENS!

      :o) Kat

    • profile image

      WhippetTalk 9 years ago

      This looks fascinating. I know someone who does this with his whippets. It's a club and they go out and do the same thing, only without the GPS. I think they use clues that are written up or something. I love the concept though. Congratulations on your LOTD!

    • profile image

      relationship-squidz 9 years ago

      Great Lens, congratulations on lens of the day, this is something that I haven't done before but sounds like great fun. You can check out my lens about - Are They Married - if you have time.

    • steve866 profile image

      steve866 9 years ago

      Wow, excellent lens 5 stars!

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 9 years ago

      I love geocaching! You can read a little about it on my blog: Worldwide Tresure Hunt - Geocaching!

      In fact, there is one more that is calling my name right now that I need to go find! I don't have a car, so the ones I go to on weekdays have to be walking distance - and there's one more out there calling me! Haha!

      Great job on this lens and explaining Geocaching so well! You deserve Lens of the Day! :)

    • NAIZA LM profile image

      NAIZA LM 9 years ago

      wow! I never heard about Geocaching not until now. I must say that it is very useful especially for the whole family. Congratulations for being the LoTD! Well deserved!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Great lens. I only read about this the other week, but it sounds like so much fun. I love the backgrounds on the modules, very neat - must learn how to do that. I enjoyed my visit.

    • Fox Music profile image

      Fox Music 9 years ago

      Great Lens - Congrats on lens of the day!! We usually do a treasure hunt at easter as our kids thought they were to old for the easter bunny,... so we stepped it up - we even did a treasure hunt for christmas this year which included clues and update from series of (6) squidoo lenses.National Christmas Treasure. Based on the movie National Treasure.

    • religions7 profile image

      religions7 9 years ago

      Sounds like fun - and congrats on LOTD!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Thanks Billco, appreciate you stopping by :-) It really is fun! Thanks for the stars, I appreciate you!

    • billco1 profile image

      billco1 9 years ago

      Great subjcet for a lens. I haven't you into this yet, but it looks fun.

      Gave you 5 Stars!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      There is a great cache in Seattle Washington, that is absolutely huge...it is actually made out of a paper box...very clever...and full of treasures!

    • ArtByLinda profile image
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      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Okay, I've got to start this...there are so many though. There is a wonderful cache in the town I live in that is a multi cache, in a cemetary with such clever little clues...utilizing not in the exact order...a headstone, a power pole and a bush...very tastefully done, in memory of a loved one!