‘Cache’ The Latest Craze- Geocaching

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We take a look at the world of Geocaching.

Remember treasure hunts as a child? Ever wish you could recreate these, on a global basis? Geocaching is the answer. An outdoor treasure hunt for everyone- adults, children, those in rural or urban areas -if you’ve got an iPhone, android or a handheld GPS system, you can get involved!

You might be feeling a bit puzzled and wondering ‘what is geocaching?’. If ‘trackables’ (traceable chips), ‘muggles’ (non-geocachers) and ‘TFTC’ (A ‘Thanks For The Cache’ acronym) are all Greek to you; here’s a quick guide. What is the key point of geocaching?
You can plant prizes, known as ‘caches’ and have others find them, or you can find your own.

Why is it called a geocache?
The geocache is named after geography, and a ‘cache’ (meaning stored or stashed in both computing hardwear and hiking terminology.)

Essential Geocaching Lingo:

  • BYOP: Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil
  • FTF: First to Find.
  • Geo-coin : A trackable (more on this later)
  • Puzzle Caches:  Caches with puzzles to be solved to determine the coordinates.
  • TFTC: Thanks For The Cache
  • TFTH: Thanks For The Hide
  • TNLN: Took Nothing. Left Nothing

What is the cache?
A cache is a prize inside a sealed container, with a log book. You take a prize, and put one back in of equal value. Prizes can be things like trinkets, coins,  games, toys, so long as they are inedible and safe for all ages.

How is Geocaching played?

Register online at geocache.com (it’s free), and search for caches near your location. Pick the size cache you want to find- there are micro sized to large. (For guidance, a regular is about the size of a loaf of bread, micro is the size of a film canister.)

Get the co-ordinates- like these: N 45° 17.460 W 122° 24.800 sent to your phone or enter them into your GPS. Then go find the cache!

Will I get to my cache immediately?
According to geocache. com, a GPS will get you close to your prize, but will need to put in effort when it comes to the specific location at around 30 feet away.
Some of them are very well hidden.  Remember that most are on the natural trails, and won’t be on any private land (without permission) historical sites or extremely busy areas.
To help, the cache you choose will have a hint that can make spotting the cache easier. This will need to be decrypted from something that looks like this; “Vagurgbcbsgurzrgnyfcvplcrnahgfbagurzvaglfvqr”.

I’ve found the cache. Now what?

Sign the log book, using your ‘lingo’ (TFTC!- Thanks for the cache!) and take what’s inside it, replacing with something new before placing it back. You can also check if there is a ’trackable’ inside.

What is a trackable?

This is a chip or a coin with a code on it. The idea of a trackable is that it is moved from user to user to get to an intended destination. If you wish, you can take this, and using the geocache website you enter the code into the website and see where they want the coin to go. You then move it on your next cache.

Geocaching started in America, but has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. Have you been geocaching? What caches have you got, or given?

Elaine

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2 Responses to ‘Cache’ The Latest Craze- Geocaching

  1. Paul says:

    Nice intro to geocaching.. When will see GO Geocaching listed on your store boards?

    I just need to comment on a few points in your blog.
    What is Geocaching?
    Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

    A cache is NOT a prize inside a container, the container is the “Geocache” or “Cache” as often referred.

    What’s Inside a Cache?
    In its simplest form, a cache always contains a logbook or logsheet for you to log your find. Larger caches may contain a logbook and any number of items. These items turn the adventure into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the cache owner or visitors to the cache may have left for you to enjoy. And yes you are correcct, if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value in return.

    When at the cache sign the paper log book, when at home log it online and record your adventure and tell the cache owner and other cachers all about it.

    What is a trackable?
    It is not a chip!

    A Trackable is a physical geocaching “game piece.” Each Trackable is etched with a unique code that can be used to log its movements on Geocaching.com as it travels in the real world. Some of these items have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles thanks to geocachers who move them from cache to cache!

    There are three main types of Trackables: Travel Bug® Trackables, Geocoins and other Trackables.

    A Travel Bug is a trackable tag attached to an item that geocachers call a “hitchhiker.” Each Travel Bug has a goal set by its owner. Goals are typically travel-related, such as to visit every country in Europe or travel from coast to coast.

  2. Jason B says:

    You might want to change your above instructions. The site to register is http://www.geocaching.com. Is there not someone who works for Go Outdoors who could have written an informed piece? Rgds

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About Elaine

I'm Elaine and I'm a web content writer at GO Outdoors. That means I write a variety of content for the website, including our Expert Advice Guides. This involves writing guides to help people buy outdoor gear as a beginner. As well as this I work on the reviews- moderating and approving them, so I think I know a little bit about what our customers like and don't like! My aim is to help you understand the outdoors so you can get out there and enjoy it, whatever you've got planned.