Sunday, March 18, 2012

8 Things Only Geocachers Will Understand

geocache GPS use

Geocachers are a pretty fun and crazy bunch. I’ve not been geocaching for very long, but the more people I meet and the more caches I find, the more I love the hobby. It’s not only rewarding, but the community behind it is pretty much awesome. I also get to pretend to be a pirate, so there’s that. There’s a lot that goes into searching for a cache, but all of the joy, sorrow, bruises and scrapes is worth it when you finally find the cache.

It really is amazing to see what cachers will do to write their name on a piece of paper, isn’t it? So, for all of you geocachers out there who have struggled with a DNF for the thousandth time or climbed up a tree for a piece of tupperware, I have a short list a list of things just for you: read more

List of Geocaching Abbreviations


Geocaching, more than most hobbies, has a lot of etiquette, rules and lingo that you simply won’t see anywhere else. Most of the terms are fairly easy to understand with some context clues, but the plethora of abbreviations can easily become overwhelming for new cachers.

So, today I’ve put together a list of some of the abbreviations I’ve run across along the translation: read more

10 Tips for Geocaching Etiquette


When I first started geocaching, I was a little overwhelmed by all of the rules and things that go along with it. The community is, thankfully, pretty helpful and there are a lot of resources online but I find that one of the things that is rarely talked about is the etiquette for when you’re caching.

Today I have a list of my top ten tips for geocaching etiquette that I think every good geocacher should follow: read more

Five Ideas For Missions For Your Trackables

An assortment of geocaching trackables

An assortment of trackables

Getting a new trackable is always exciting.  First there is the allure of the physical object, art on a keychain or in the shape of a coin.  These are often stunning pieces of work and you can’t help but marvel at the design or craft that has gone into making it a physical object.  But after that initial excitement has disappeared, you’ll find yourself with a second hit, as you consider what to do with it.

It’s possible that you have purchased the trackable with a mission in mind, but if it’s a gift or something you bought for the design then you might finding yourself wondering whether to set it off on a mission or keep in your personal collection.

Whilst some designs are so good that you may ultimately decide that this trackable will only be discoverable at events you take it too, there is the thrill of sending a trackable out into the world and seeing how far it will travel.  Will it be muggled two miles down the road from where you placed it in a cache, or will it circumvent the globe multiple times?

But if you do decide to let it go, what do you make its mission?  Make it too restrictive and it’ll never move.  With that in mind, here are five ideas of missions for your trackables that will keep them moving and hopefully bring you some enjoyable logs.

read more

Essential Geocaching Gear


For me, one of the best parts of geocaching is that you never quite know exactly what you’ll come across. It’s all about the adventure and the hunt, and the thrill of finally spotting that little container is really unmatched.

However, if you want to be a successful geocacher, then having the right gear with you and being prepared is absolutely essential. Here are a few things that I always try and have on me when I’m out on the hunt, as well as a few suggestions from some fellow geocaching friends! read more

11 Reasons to Geocache More this Summer

Hiding geocache with Garmin GPS

Summer is finally here, and where I am the season certainly is in full swing. While it can be tempting to sit inside infront of a fan and simply enjoy the air conditioning this summer, I would like to make a few arguments for getting out and doing more geocaching during the next few months of awesome weather! read more

Tips for Geocaching While on Vacation

Well, summer is finally here which means that it’s time for warmer weather, BBQ, and vacations! While you’re busy planning the perfect family vacation this summer, why not consider incorporating a geocaching excursion in your trip? Whether your whole family is in on the fun or it’s just you, here are some tips to help you get the most geocaching fun on your trip: read more

Earn Geocaching Road Trip Souvenirs


Other than swimming pools and grilling outside, one of the first things that I think about when I think about summer is vacations and, more importantly, road trips. There’s nothing quite like going on a road trip with friends or family to discover new places and generally just celebrate the summer.

Well, the people over at Groundspeak want to get in on that action and have set up a collection of Geocaching Road Trip quests for dedicated geocachers to explore the history of geocaching, discover new things and celebrate 15 years of geocaching. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll get souvenirs for your trouble? Yeah, I know what I’m doing this summer. read more

Celebrate Geocaching’s 15th Anniversary This Weekend


When GPS was first implemented, the signals were intended initially for military use only. Civilians and international users were able to access a scrambled navigational signal, but the signal was far from accurate and usage was highly limited. This was referred to as Selective Availability.

However, a few minutes after midnight on May 1, 2000, the United States government decided to end Selective Availability. Overnight civilian GPS signal accuracy increased exponentially, from an accuracy of 300 feet to 20 feet or better.

Then, on May 2, 2000, GPS enthusiast Dave Ulmer decided to test out the newly un-scrambled GPS signals by hiding a container filled with random trinkets and posting the coordinates online. He challenged users to find the bucket, and Geocaching was officially born. read more

Five Cache Types To Do Before They’re Gone


When you first started Geocaching you were probably unaware of all the different cache types.  You thought that geocaching was as simple as turning up to a set of co-ordinates and finding the container hidden there.  As you progressed you probably became vaguely aware of multi-caches and puzzle caches.  Your first multi had you going to a number of locations gathering clues in order to derive the cache’s final co-ordinates.  Your first puzzle cache had you sat at your computer scratching your head as you tried to work out some cryptic puzzle, designed to test your mental abilities, before delivering you the location of the actual container.

In your day to day geocaching these are the three cache types you will primarily encounter.  But are you aware that there are many other types as well?  Some of you may have attended an event and collected the icon for that, but there are many more besides, running from Benchmarks to the GPS Maze Exhibit.  You may have even been lucky enough to collect the recent new Giga event icon or have visited an earthcache.

Whilst people can, providing they meet all the criteria, set up new caches with these icons, there are a few where they can’t.  Some cache types have been retired, allowing existing caches to remain and be logged as long as the cache remains but not allow for new caches of this type to be set up.  As time passes on and more of these caches get archived, these types only get rarer and rarer.  Some types, such as locationless caches, have completely disappeared from the game with cachers unable to even log one any more.  Others are in danger of joining these archived cache types.

So with that in mind, here are five cache types that we recommend Geocachers go out and find before they disappear from the game. read more