It might seem like something pretty common sense, but making a geocache look like a pipe bomb is probably not the brightest idea if you intend to have a long lasting cache. In Omaha last week, a geocache was spotted by park goers and reported immediately to the police, who promptly cordoned off the entire northern part of the Memorial Park. The bomb squad was called in to investigate only to find the ‘bomb’ was simply a harmless geocaching container covered in camouflage duct tape. read more
Back at the start of the year we saw some historic rainfall here in the United Kingdom. Rivers burst their banks and huge swathes of the countryside were under several feet of water. It made planning the weekly geocaching trip even more difficult – I didn’t want to do a twenty mile circular walk only to find the final mile back to the car blocked by floodwater.
It was in my frustration of consulting governmental flood maps and correlating them with geocaching maps that I discovered the wonderful world of the Greasemonkey or Tampermonkey script.
Greasemonkey and Tampermonkey are plugins (for Firefox and Google Chrome respectively) that allow you to install scripts to modify your favorite web pages. It all sounds a bit complicated but in essence they allow you to do things such as get Google Search results to appear in two columns rather than just one, or show the buffer speed of the YouTube video you are watching. read more
Bibendum, better known as the Michelin Man, has made his way inside of geocaches all over the country as part of a new Michelin Geocaching Contest launched last week. Now through December 31, 2014, the sight of the cheerful little white tire man could mean you score free tires, or even a vacation!
The contest started last week, when Michelin released 20 – 30 free trackable little Michelin men figurines to be stashed in geocaches across the country and challenged geocachers to find them. You can follow the Michelin Men latest movements on this page.
Most geocachers will be familiar with the concept of pocket queries. This feature on the Geocaching website allows premium members of the site to download a large number of caches based on certain criteria (location, type, difficulty, etc.). If you have been geocaching for some time and have premium membership it’s likely you will be well-versed in creating them. However, they are more flexible than you might initially imagine.
When you create a pocket query you will, most likely, do a search radiating out from a particular cache or location. That’s usually good enough to ensure that it captures all the caches you intend to do for the day. But what happens if you‘re intending to travel from A to B grabbing all the caches along the way? What if the distance between those two points means that creating a radius big enough for the pocket query to contain all those caches gives more results than a pocket query allows or your GPS will hold? read more
International Geocaching Day is today—the third Saturday of every August—and this year I wanted to celebrate the event with a look at the history of Geocaching. It isn’t as old as you might think and was created here in the U.S. But first, we’ll have to take a moment to look at why this modern-day treasure hunt is even possible.
GPS Selective Availability Ends
When GPS was developed by the U.S. Department of Defense and deployed in 1995, it was originally intended for military use. Because of this, the civilian sector only could receive scrambled signals, known as Selective Availability. What this meant was the signals that non military personnel could pick up were only accurate to within 100 meters–not enough to accurately use for, well, anything.
If you are an avid geocacher, it can sometimes be hard to explain to others exactly what it is about the activity that is so appealing. It’s easy to lose a muggle’s interest in the hobby somewhere between trinkets and Tupperware. So if you have someone that you’re trying to convert to geocaching, then I have a few tips for you! read more
Today is August first, which means that today is your first day to start working towards the coveted Achiever Souvenir at Geocaching.com by participating in the 7 Souvenirs of August! This month’s theme is exploring the geocaching universe by finding six different types of geocaches. So break out of your comfort zone and go and find those caches! It is going to take some planning on your part though, so don’t procrastinate until the last week! Besides, you don’t want to be the last one to log it, do you? Didn’t think so.
So, on to the challenges! Here are the six souvenirs needed to unlock the seventh: read more
Geocaching is a rapidly expanding activity with more than 6 million active geocachers around the world searching for hidden objects. But what if those caches were strung together to tell a story or the history of something like the Underground Railroad? Well, that’s what geotourism is all about, and there is a kickstarter project currently looking for backers to fund the creation of a geotour for just that purpose.
Gary Jenkins, creator of the documentary film Freedom Seekers: Stories From the Western Underground Railroad, and a geocaching expert Melissa Gard are looking create a historical geotour of the railroad consisting of 8-10 caches along the path that John Brown and the 13 Freedom Seekers took. The trip will go from Bates County, Missouri north to Nebraska City, Nebraska. The project is looking to raise $5,000 by August 27. As of this publishing date, the kickstarter currently only has $135 pledged with 27 days to go. To take a look at the kickstarter page for the underground railroad geotour, click here. read more
Texas A&M and the CDC have released a study showing that geocaching is healthier than not geocaching. Of course, I doubt that anyone thought geocaching was really bad for your health, but it’s always nice to know something you do is good for you! In this study, they tracked 1,000 geocachers throughout the U.S. aged 18-77 who geocached at least once a week. The study lasted for a year.
Part of what makes geocaching so fun is getting to explore the world around you and experiencing that thrill when you find the hidden cache. A lot of times, the treasures inside aren’t really anything super exciting—just trinkets and little items. Occasionally, though, you’ll come across a traveling item.
In my opinion, these traveling items are probably one of the cooler parts of geocaching. A traveling item is exactly what it sounds like: an item that has a goal or destination which generally involves traveling (duh). A geocacher’s job when they find a traveling item is to try and help it reach its goal–which might be as vague as traveling “as far as possible” to extremely specific, detailing a certain place it wants to be or even just a set of parameters such as “stay near water.”
But there are at least three different kinds of traveling items and etiquette that geocachers need to be aware of before removing them. read more