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chupacabra's avatar

Geocaching: What is it like?

Asked by chupacabra (796points) August 29th, 2010

I have heard about it and just joined a web site about it but am interested in hearing anything collective members have to say.

Any tip or hints?

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10 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Something similar is letterboxing, it’s less hi tech and more local. Might be interesting as well. Same theory, though. Should be web sites for your area.

Dog's avatar

What does the geocache actually look like? Is it a real physical thing?

Seek's avatar

A friend of mine is really into it. Or, used to be.

When the phenomenon was still fairly new, it was pretty awesome – you’d find the cache – usually a cigar box wrapped in plastic, or a tin ammunition box, filled with stuff and a log. You take something out, put something in, and sign the log with your home city.

I guess once upon a time it wasn’t unusual to find money, or toys for the kids, or vouchers for restaurants, or other really cool things. From what I hear, the quality of the caches has gone down considerably.

Cruiser's avatar

It is a blast! Most caches I have seen are coffe cans with log sheets and do dad soveniers that you swap somethikng you brought tgo trade. Wedo it with the scouts and my boys trade patches. One thing it they are not all that easy to find and to alwys leave it in better shape then you found it.

MebiByte's avatar

The first thing you need to do is create an account at This site is home to over a million geocache locations. Once you create your account, you can search for geocaches near where you live. After you find them, you come back to the website and log your find. The log on the website is a good place to share your story of what happened while finding the geocache!

In order to find the geocaches, you will need a GPS unit! There are a bunch of different types on the market, including some that are ready for geocaching right out of the box! Garmin are usually the best for the money, but as long as you can type in coordinates, you should be fine!

If you don’t want to buy a brand new GPS, and you have an iPhone, Android, or Windows Mobile device, there is an app you can use to locate nearby Geocaches. When I go geocaching, I use my iPhone 4 with the paid version of the Geocaching app. It works incredibly well, and allows me to log my visit right from the app.

Geocaching is like a pirate finding buried treasure on a deserted island, except that geocaches can be anywhere from deep in a forest to right in the middle of a huge city. You could be passing by a geocache every day and not even know it’s there! The sizes of geocaches range from large ammo cans to tiny magnetic containers smaller than a quarter. It really depends on what you are looking for in geocaching to determine which size you will want to search for more often.

The smaller geocaches usually only have a log book to sign your name, but the bigger goecaches usually have toys or other dollar-store type things that you can trade for when you find the cache. In some geocaches, you might find a “Geocoin” or “Travel Bug” that travel from geocache to geocache, usually on some sort of goal. If you want to take a “trackable item,” be sure to move it to another geocache location as soon as possible so it can keep moving on it’s journey.

Finding geocaches isn’t the only part of geocaching though. I have actually hidden a geoache in my town, and it’s really fun reading the logs of people finding your very own geocache. Visiting your geocache and making sure it’s still OK is a big part of owning a geocache, but seeing all the names of the people who found your cache on then log book is an amazing feeling. If you get the chance, hiding a cache is as fun as finding one!

Geocaching is definitely a fun hobby! The first time you try it, you will be hooked. Going with friends makes it even more fun. If one of you can’t seem to find it, you can bet the other will! Don’t get frustrated if you can’t find the geocache. The fun is in the searching, and thinking like the geocacher who hid the container. After finding your first few geocaches, you will develop the ability to go straight straight where an easy cache is at. You instantly know exactly where a cache will be hidden given the surroundings.

Geocaching has grown into an incredible phenomenon that regularly appears in the news. Sometimes it can even save lives! In this story, two women are saved by geocachers in the desert! And that’s not even close to the amount of news from the past few years!

So, go out and give geocaching a try! You will enjoy it :P

Kayak8's avatar

I love it, feel free to PM me with questions. The above from MebiByte is a good overview!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’ve been doing it for 9 years. You can make it as easy or exciting as you like just by picking something with a high or low terrain/difficulty score. Stat with 1 and work your way on up.
There is a group in my area who set up extremely challenging caches that take hours and must be done in complete darkness. They are fantastic. (5 Diff 4 Terrain) Another one “Acrophobia” (a 5) requires rappelling gear. You rappel over the side of a cliff and go down about 20 feet. Suddenly you find yourself hanging in free space 80 feet or so above the rocks. What a rush!

I usually try to grab at least one cache whenever I travel .
You will really enjoy it.

Kayak8's avatar

I like the puzzle caches that can take a month to solve (and about that long to find at times).

chupacabra's avatar

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the great responses and will be heading out with my kid today to seek our first geocache!

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