What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity in which the participants use a GPS device to locate a hidden container called a “geocache” or “cache” (pronounced “cash”). In simple terms, it is a treasure hunt.

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The typical cache is a waterproof container containing a logbook which participants find, sign and then replace exactly as they found it.

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Within the cache there might be much more than just the logbook. Larger containers usually contain items for trading, such as toys or other small trinkets.

A few trinkets for trading.

A few trinkets for trading.

How it works:
For the traditional geocache, a geocacher will place a waterproof container containing a logbook (with pen or pencil) plus trade items into a hiding place then record the cache’s coordinates. These coordinates, along with other details of the location, are posted on a listing site. (See next page for how to locate this listing site).

The geocachers doing the SEEKING will record the coordinates from the listing site and then seek out the cache using their GPS device. The finding geocachers record their exploits in the logbook and online. Geocachers are free to take objects (except the logbook and pen/pencil) from the cache in exchange for leaving something of similar or higher value. They must then hide the cache exactly where they found it.

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Container sizes range from “nanos”, which can be smaller than the tip of a finger and only have enough room to store the log sheet, to 20 litre buckets or even larger containers. The usual size in an urban area is about the size of a lunchbox but may also be cylindrical in shape or metal in nature.

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Where might caches be hidden?
The fun of the process is obviously in the finding! Caches may be buried at the base of a tree, in a hole in a tree, under a log, underground, under a bridge, attached to a railing or bench … pretty much anywhere at all.

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See “Getting Started” on the next page if you are up for the challenge!


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