Thursday, May 26, 2011
What is a Geocache??
A few friends have been asking "What is a Geocache?"
It's a hidden container with a log and may be very small (nano) up to a large tupperware sized plastic container or ammo box sized container that not only holds a log but also a few trade items or trinkets and travel bugs.
To read more about it, go to http://www.geocaching.com/
To be more precise, it's a scavenger hunt with no prizes except your own pride in finding the hidden cache and signing the log. You use a GPS system to locate each cache. You also need a computer but since your reading this blog, I'll say your half way to your first cache.
The easiest way to start is to go to the seek and hide section of the Geocache site. ( http//www.geocacheing.com ) (if that don't work, remove the ing ending and try again, doing this from memory and I have the site bookmared so I don't have to type it in each time ) anyway....
your going to seek a cache so scroll down just a little bit and enter in your zip code or you can use your address. below that is a range of 100 miles.. i suggest that you lower that to around 10 miles of your zip code. Now that range is based off the post office not your home. So if your more than 10 miles from your post office, you may want to use your address or if you know your GPS coordinates for your home you can enter them in on the site and it will then go to a list of Caches in your area. If you don't have a GPS there isn't a reason you can't find a site, if you know your town well enough. Many of the descriptions will give you a good idea of just about where one may be hidden. Be careful of parks though since many are hiden in out of the way places near the edges of the woods or boundry of the park. But we have found a few just from the description. Like the one at the sign of the "Pic-N-Sav". There is only one sign for it so we knew it had to be around that sign some where, and it was.
Be sure to read what size your looking for. A nano can be the size of a pencil eraser, and could have a magnet on one end and stuck up underneath on a metal surface. A small can be the size of a pill bottle, or matchstick case. Be sure to read if it's camouflaged or not as well. Remember they are suppose to be hidden from the casual passerby. There is one we kept going back to look for over and over while in Tupelo. If we had not gone to the Geocache tent and seen some of the ways things are hidden we would have never guessed it was that item. And Jerry being an Electriction didn't even catch it either. I was lucky to have remembered seeing a similar item on the table. I'll post a few of our finds when we get a better connection and I can upload a few pictures to my blog.
I have over 70 finds and out of all the caches we have gone looking for, have only been asked one time, what were we doing?
Of course there are a few "rules" to hiding a cache. they are not to be buried or at least not to deeply. Can be covered with a rock or piece of wood to blend in. Can be in a cematary but not under a headstone. can be behind one, though. Have to be able to reach it without climbing too high. (not sure about that one at the community college in Tupelo, have to move a bench to reach into for that one, we didn't get that one) Can not be on public school grounds. Can be on privet property, but only with permission. You must ask for permission to put in a park from who is running the park wether it's a city or state park.
I know it seems like a lot of rules but that's ok. Cause I'm not looking to hide any, yet. And they all make good sense. I'm not fond of cemetery caches, unless there is a historical site as well. I know I would not like one at the cemetery out by the farm as it's a small, family cemetery. But a city one is a bit different. Just be respectful of where you are. And it's asked that, if possible, to remove any trash if you find some along the walk to the cache. Being a good ambassador for the game that way.
There are several good GPS units out there and each are a bit different to use. We have a Garmin. The Magellan we have does not work right any more. I think because it's older, and needs a new chip or something. I like that we have a hand held unit that is accurate up to about 15 to 20 foot of where a cache is said to be.
When I told my daughter about it, she looked up her home town and said she may be able to find a couple without the GPS with the kids.