Introduction to Geocaching Doug Earl (D of ABCDMCachers) Agenda
What When Where
Who Why How Travel Bugs Resources What Geocaching What is it?
An outdoor adventure game for GPS users of all ages GPS = Global Positioning System
What In a Nutshell 1. 2. 3. 4.
5. Someone hides a weatherproof box in the woods. The latitude and longitude of the box is published on the Internet. Others go out and find the box using their portable GPSr. Finders sign the log, trade trinkets.
When they get home, they log the find on the Internet. What Boiling it Down I use multi-billion dollar military satellites to find Tupperware hidden in the woods.
What Is a Geocache? A weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box
What Else Can it Be? Micro Caches 35mm film canisters Magnetic key holders Or smaller! (Nano caches)
Fake doggie doo Hide-a-key rocks Hollowed out rocks Pine cones Plastic spiders What Else Can it Be? - 2 What Else Can it Be? - 3
Whats in a Geocache? Logbook
Trinkets to trade Examples: toys, books, coins, tools, games, etc. Information sheet that explains the container and has contact information. When
Timeline May 1, 2000 Selective Availability Removed Accuracy before: 100 meters May 3, 2000
Stash hidden in Oregon Accuracy after: 10 meters or better Sept 2, 2000 Geocaching.com started with 75 caches
Where Where are They Hidden? All over the world 479,372 active caches in over 200 countries (as of 11/1/2007)
Well over 500 in the metroMilwaukee area The World United States
Wisconsin Milwaukee Where Kinds of Places
Places with natural beauty Parks state, county, city Hiking and biking trails Areas with historical significance Urban areas
Park and rides, waysides Interesting places you didnt know existed even in your own backyard Where - Specifically
Hollow trees and logs Handrails, fence posts Hanging in trees Usually under or behind something, but never buried
Where Wont They Be?
National Parks Private property unless owner gives permission Under bridges Less than .1 mile from another cache Less than 150 feet from railroad Who
Who Participates? All ages, walks of life Singles, Couples, Families, Retirees
People who enjoy the outdoors People who like technology Who Hides Them?
Anyone who has a geocaching.com account All caches must be approved Maybe you? Get experience finding before hiding your own - find at least 20 Why
Why Geocache? #1 The journey to the cache beautiful areas and interesting places Why Geocache? #2
Family activity Why Geocache? #3 The challenge of the find, the thrill of the hunt
Why Geocache? #4 The numbers game Why Geocache? #5
Read about others adventures Why Geocache? #6 Turn off the TV and enjoy the outdoors! Get some exercise while youre at it.
Why Geocache - Different Ways to Enjoy Traditional Caches Most common Like hikes? Multi-caches Like puzzles? Mystery caches Like socializing? Event caches Like history? Virtuals Like challenges? Try higher difficulty
Like traveling? Try county or Delorme challenge Mystery/Puzzle Caches Before finding the cache, you need to solve a puzzle, sometimes on the cache webpage, sometimes at the cache site
Mystery/Puzzle Caches (2) How First Steps
Create a geocaching.com account Buy or borrow a GPS receiver Find Nearby Caches Search by zipcode or latitude/longitude Find Nearby Caches - 2
Use Google Maps from geocaching.com or Google Earth Find Nearby Caches - 3 Read About the Cache Cache type, name,
Who placed it Size Difficulty/Terrain Latitude, Longitude Distance from home Unique Identifying
code (AKA waypoint) Download Lat/Lon file (so dont have to manually enter) Attributes Hints!
Travel Bugs / Geocoins Enter the Coordinates into the GPSr Waypoint Name Waypoint Note (Optional) Latitude and Longitude
(Coordinates) Follow the Arrow When the arrow points straight up, you are going in the right direction. How far you have to go Direction you are going (Typically only works while moving)
Direction you SHOULD go (bear right) Look Around
Look for anything unusual or out of place. Look in places that YOU think would be good to place a cache. No luck? Enlarge your search area Heavy tree cover affects signal Use a compass only high-end GPSrs
have a built-in compass Woo Hoo! Found it! Sign the log book Trade items if you wish Family-friendly, no food
Leave something of equal or greater value compared to what you take Re-hide the cache back in the same spot Log your experience on geocaching.com and collect a smiley
Hiding Your Own Show off a favorite area Show how sneaky and creative you
can be Get permission from land manager DNR land - must fill out form Be mindful of environment Travel Bugs
Travel Bugs and Geocoins Travel from cache to cache (not collectible!) Usually have a goal, Examples:
Visit all baseball parks, all capitols Have picture taken with Final destination: Alaska, South Pole Journey is tracked on geocaching.com
TB Examples TB Tag has a unique ID# Attached to a small item TB Examples - 2
From the you gotta be kidding me file TB web page Travel Bug Map Trackables Page
Resources Important Terms
FTF: First To Find Muggle: Non-geocacher TNLNSL: Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log DNF: Did Not Find CITO: Cache In Trash Out
1/1: Referring to difficulty and terrain TB: Travel Bug Wisconsin Geocaching Association http://www.wi-geocaching.com WGA Picnic Event
McKenzie Environmental Education Center, Poynette, WI August 21, 2004 Premium Membership $30/year Have Pocket Queries emailed to you
Up to 500 caches centered on a point Easy to transfer to your GPSr GSAK EasyGPS
Member-only caches Email notification of new caches Similar Sites Terracaching.com Goal: higher quality caches
Waymarking.com Unique locations, but no cache to find Misspelled signs, funny mailboxes, waterfalls, water towers, etc.
Letterboxing.org No GPSr required Thanks for Attending Questions?
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