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All about Geocaching
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:
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
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:
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.
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
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
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! :-)