What game is played on all 7 continents, including Antarctica, in more than 222 countries? Geocaching is the gaming phenomenon that is sweeping the world. This new spin on the timeless treasure hunt utilizes GPS tracking systems to 'hunt' their 'treasure', known in this game as a cache. People of all ages, race, religion, and ethnicity are participating in this worldwide treasure hunt.
What exactly is Geocaching? It is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users where the basic idea is to have individuals or organizations set up caches all over the world and share the coordinates of their location on sites on the internet for other people to find. Seemingly easy, this can be quite deceptive – it is one thing to see where an item is, it is quite another story to actually get there and find it.
Geocaching is all about location, location, location! The location of the cache demonstrates the founder's skill and daring level. They can be placed anywhere, from a rocky cliff to an underwater destination, in cities both above and below ground. The first documented placement of a GPS – located cache took place on May 3, 2000 in Beavercreek, Oregon. The caches can be located anywhere one could think up.
Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. There are three rules upon finding the cache:
- Take something from the cache
- Leave something in the cache
- Write about it in the logbook
The First item should always be the logbook, and can be only this. The logbook should contain information from the founder of the cache and notes from the cache's visitors. If you get some information from the logbook, you should give some back.
Larger caches may consist of a waterproof plastic bucket placed with the logbook and any number of items, including, but not limited to, maps, books, software, cd's, videos, jewelry, games, tools, etc.
You are welcome to any of the items, understanding that if you take something, you are expected to leave something of equal value in its place. Caches can be as creative as their locations!
Through time, variations of the game have been created. One such variation is "Offset Caches" where the cache is not found simply by going to some coordinates and finding a cache there. Rather, the published coordinates are that of an existing historical monument, plaque or benchmark.
For this site the cache hunter must look around and find offset numbers stamped or written in or on some part if the marker site.
"Multi-Caches" are another variation where the first cache gives the coordinates (or partial coordinates) to the next location, or multiple caches have hints to the final cache. This game truly is whatever one can conceive.
Since this time, more than 440,000 geocaches are registered on various websites devoted to the sport. So gear up with your GPS system and start 'hunting' today!
We hope you not only learn something new, but will also share your experiences with us. Send in your geocaching experiences and share them others! Send us an email with your experiences, reviews, comments or suggestions, or if you cannot find what you are looking for, email us. If you add to our knowledge by sending us pictures, your story, information, and/or product reviews, you may even be selected for our weekly feature!