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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Underground Railroad Geotour Looking For Funding

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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

New Study Reveals Health Benefits of Geocaching

Geocaching_LogoTexas 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.

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Geocaching: Traveling Items Guide

travel bugPart 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

Creating Pocket Queries With GSAK

 

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As regular readers will know, I’m a big fan of a piece of software called the Geocaching Swiss Army Knife (or GSAK) and recommend it to any serious geocacher.  At its most basic, it’s a database for geocaches which you can use to generate advanced find statistics.  But its flexibility means you can do a lot more with it, from speeding up your cache logging through the use of templates, to planning a day out.

One of the great things about GSAK is uncovering these really powerful, time-saving features that make geocaching less about administration and planning, and more about going out there and finding Tupperware.  read more

Waymarking for Beginners

waymarkingIf you are a geocacher, you have probably heard of virtual caches or webcam caches whilst tromping through geocaching.com’s extensive list of options. If you have, you will know that they’re not logging any more on that website and the reason is because the company behind geocaching.com, Groundspeak, has a better platform for this type of thing–waymarking.com.

What is Waymarking?

While geocaching is about treasure hunting for containers in unique locations, waymarking is all about visiting new places and just exploring what is there. Many of the waymarks are in cities and they point out interesting locations, fun activities, good food or just plan old weird stuff. For waymarkers, it’s all about discovering a new location and exploring places you otherwise might not have known existed. read more

Exploring the World With GPS Games

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Part of the wonder of GPS is that you can go anywhere and never have to worry about getting back. But if getting there is the best part of the journey for you, then check out these GPS games you can play by yourself or with others. It’s a great excuse to get out and enjoy the beautiful summer weather and maybe discover something amazing! read more

Geocaching Event Calendar

2014 GPS predictions

Geocaching, despite its growing popularity, is still something of an underground activity. If you are tired of getting strange looks from muggles while walking in circles looking for a new cache (and then the frustration of standing around waiting for them to leave so you can GET the cache after you have found it), this month is the perfect time to find a Geocacher event near you! read more

Geocaching Abroad

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Have you ever looked at your geocaching statistics on the Geocaching.com website, found yourself clicking on the maps tab and feeling disappointed in the number of places you’ve cached in the world? Or you have you got an upcoming holiday and are wondering whether there are any caches you could do whilst on vacation?

Either way, geocaching abroad is both an exciting and terrifying prospect.  So if you are thinking you might indulge this summer, before you grab your GPS, suntan lotion and sombrero, consider these handy tips. read more

Geocaching Tips for Beginners

Geocachingcontainer.jpgThe world of geocaching is full of adventures and treasures to be found. But, for beginners who may not have a GPS device or have not used it outside of city directions, it can be a little daunting to get started. The only rules with geocaching are to sign the logbook, don’t let Muggles (people who don’t geocache) see you getting the cache, replace the cache exactly how you found it, and leave something if you take something. And have fun. It’s that simple!

Here are a handful of things to consider once you decide to try your hand at treasure seeking.

Do Your Research

There are several different websites where you can log geocaches, each with their own pros and cons. The most common is geocaching.com, by far one of the largest geocaching sites. Sometimes the geocaches are a little questionable, but the sheer number of entries to choose from is extensive. Another slightly smaller site is TerraCaching, which claims to focus more on quality and nature with their caches than other bigger sites. Last, but not least, the Garmin-owned OpenCaching is still in beta, but has, understandably, a bit more compatibility with sending maps to your Garmin GPS. It also has a much smaller listing of caches.

If you’re just getting started, we recommend making an account on geocaching.com and working from there, depending on what you like. read more

Planning Geocaching Days Out

Geocaching planning using the map

I don’t know if you’re like me, but come the weekend my motley crew and I want to go out geocaching.  Trouble is that it usually gets left to me to organise things.  And with that invariably comes a list of requirements: injuries that mean we have to limit the distance walking, or restrictions due to someone needing to be back by a certain time, or warnings that people are bringing pets and so don’t want to cross a lot of fields with livestock.  And if you’ve been geocaching for some time you find that you’ve done all the local series and it seems like there is nowhere to go. read more