Geocaching was developed by Dave Ulmer near Portland, Oregon in 2000. It is an adventure activity where people use GPS receivers to find hidden treasures called caches. In geocaching, a participant places a cache in a container and then hides it at a certain location. The person who hides the container then posts the geographical coordinates of that location along with other information about the location on an online geocaching listing service. People who wish to hunt for the cache use the information from the listing service site along with a hand-held GPS device to try and locate the cache. It is generally understood and expected that when a cache is found the contents are removed by the treasure hunter and replaced with new contents for the next hunter.
Getting started in geocaching is fairly simple. What is needed to search for geocaches is a hand-held GPS receiver, online access in order to search for cache locations on geocaching listing services, and topographic maps to aid in the search. People who want to place caches need the above equipment along with a heavy-duty water-proof container and a treasure to place inside it. Log books are also typically placed within a cache. This is so that the cache hunters can record their find. Occasionally, participants who place a cache will put a disposable camera in the container in hopes that the person who finds it will take a picture of themselves with the treasure. Later on when the camera is full, the cache hider can develop the photos and place them on the listing site or on a personal web site.
Geocaching is a great activity that can be enjoyed alone, in a group, or with one’s family. It is especially popular with people who love the outdoors. This activity and several variations have spread worldwide from its origins in Oregon.
Below are some links for more information on geocaching.
Basics of Geocaching
Geocaching: A page from the U.S. Geological Survey with information about geocaching.
What is Geocaching?: An introduction to geocaching from ExploreAshville.com.
Geocaching: High-Tech Hide-and-Seek: Basic information on geocaching from National Geographic News.
A Modern-Day, World-Wide, High-Tech Treasure Hunt: This article describes the basics of geocaching.
Geochachers Encouraged to Tread Lightly: Page that suggests tips for responsible geocaching.
History of Geocaching: Learn all about the history of GPS systems and the history of geocaching.
Communities and Organizations
The Geocaching Association of Great Britain: An organization in Great Britain to support the enjoyment and growth of geocaching.
The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site: All the info needed to get started in geocaching, including GPS reviews, a listing service, forums, and more.
GPS Games: Links to new games based off of geocaching.
River Valley Geocachers: A group of geocachers predominantly from the states of Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, and Tennessee.
Salem Area Geocaching Association: An association of geocaching enthusiasts from Oregon.
A Beginner’s Step by Step Guide to Geocaching: A page with detailed information on how to get started in geocaching.
Finding a Geocache: Tips to help make a geocaching expedition successful.
Geocacher University: Geocaching information, resources, links, and more.
What the Heck is Geocaching? A Beginner’s Guide: Informative guide to geocaching.
Guide to Geocaching: Information on getting started in geocaching from GPS Magazine.
Geocaching With Kids: This guide to geocaching gives tips on how to get your kids involved in the fun.
GPS and Geocaching for Educators: This geocaching guide is aimed at using the activity in an educational setting.
Tools for Geocaching
Geocaching with Garmin: Information from Garmin about geocaching, with links to information about their GPS units and how to get started.
Magellan GPS Units: Information about GPS units from Magellan.
The Cache Shack: Online store that has supplies to help with getting started in geocaching.
GeocachingSupplies.net: Online geocaching store that sells containers, GPS devices, clothing, geocoins, and other accessories.