Expert Advice: How to get started Geocaching
Geocaching is a fun and thrilling way to explore the great outdoors. Read on to discover how to get started geocaching.
For most of us, going outside isn’t something we need to be pushed to do, rather something we enjoy taking up on our own. But if you’re thinking of a way to spice of a family-friendly hike or add some adventure on your solo trip then geocaching is a great way to not only exercise your body but also your brain and mind.
Whether you’re young or old, geocaching offers something for everyone. Now, if this is your first time hearing about geocaching, don’t worry, in this article we’re going to talk about what it is and how you can get started!
Interested in learning how to get started geocaching? Well, then keep on reading!
Before we go any further, you’re going to be seeing terms that you may not know. This game does have some words which aren’t commonly used, so before we talk about the game, let’s get you acquainted with some important terms.
When you get into a game, you start to realize that there are many terms strictly dedicated to that game. There are a few common terms that you’ll hear in geocaching which you should know.
Now that you know some important geocaching terms, it’s time we helped you understand what geocaching really is. We’re going to talk about what is it, what it entails and how to play it.
What is geocaching?
If this is your first time hearing about geocaching then you’re probably wondering what it’s all about. As this is a relatively new sport, it’s understandable why you’re just hearing about it now.
In essence, geocaching is a real-world outdoor adventure which is constantly occurring all over the world. Users have a GPS receiver, a set of coordinates and sometimes even clues in order to find the hidden cache.
But you’re not hunting for a hidden treasure chest. Instead, you’re trying to find a cache of eco-friendly treats. Though you only need a GPS in order to locate caches, it’s not as simple as it sounds.
The entire purpose of this activity is for you to search for them, meaning that you’re going to have to really hunt for them. This was just a simple description, but we’re going to give you more depth to it now.
What’s a cache?
You read that with geocaching, you’re going to be finding eco-friendly treats but what does that even mean?
Well, first off, these “treats” are called caches. Caches are hidden all over the world and are left by fellow geocachers. They leave little trinkets that are then stuffed into a weatherproof box and have a sign-in log book for you to enter your information.
Caches can be hidden right in the middle of the city or out in the rural wilderness. The coordinates of these caches are placed on geocaching website where geocachers can seek information. Not only will you be given coordinates on these websites but you will also be able to upload photos and share geocaching stories with others.
Levels of difficulty
Not all geocaches are made the same which is great because you’re able to increase the challenge if you feel the need to. Caches are usually rated between 1 to 5 stars which indicates the terrain and level of difficulty.
The levels of difficulty indicate not only how hard it’ll be to find them physically but also mentally. If this is your first time, you’ll probably want to start off with a level 1 or 2 geocache.
For level 1 difficulty rating, this means that they’re usually easy to find and is wheelchair-accessible. If it’s rated 5, then the geocache is extremely hard to find, both physically and mentally, and will also require tools to help you locate it. These geocaches may require hard hikes, so, for this, it’s important to be physically fit.
Types of Geocaches
Before learning how to play the game, it’s important to know that there are different types of geocaches.
You know now that caches are small trinkets and treasures that are placed in waterproof boxes for geocachers to find. However, there are different types of geocaches for adventurers to find.
The traditional cache is what we talked about above. They’re small trinkets which can range from pens, disposable cameras, keychains, etc. The trinkets are usually travel based.
The cache could be in the form of a puzzle. By reaching each coordinate, you get one step closer to solving the big puzzle. Some of the clues may be encrypted or you need to solve ciphers.
This is a type of cache which involves more than just one cache. For example, by opening one cache, you’re then directed with coordinates to another cache.
These are the main types of cache which can change up the way you choose to geocache. If you’re looking for more elements or would like to stick to traditional caches, you’re able to decide for yourself.
What do you need to get started?
Okay, so you may be wondering about what you’re going to be needing to take along with you for your geocaching adventure.
Well, naturally, having a GPS receiver, topo map, and compass are essential items but is there something else? Though you have the basics covered, you may want to consider taking along some of these items that we’ll list below. They’ll help keep you safe and your adventure fun.
Now, you’re probably thinking etiquette? What do you mean by etiquette? With every game, there’s always some form of etiquette that you need to keep in mind.
You may not think that etiquette is important, however, by adopting the geocaching etiquette, you’re helping to keep geocaching alive and well. Here are some of the most important geocaching etiquette rules that you should be following if you want to enjoy the experience.
The Basic Guidelines
Before you learn how to play, you need to know the basic rules that geocachers follow. Naturally, as the game continues to evolve, so do the guidelines.
So, it’s important that you check out some of the main geocaching websites just to freshen up on the rules However, there are some core guidelines which are fundamental. Here are some of them.
These are basic guidelines which all geocachers follow. By following these guidelines, you’ll ensure that your experience is eco-friendly and safe.
How to Play
Like we talked about previously, geocaching is basically navigating through terrain with a GPS receiver in order to find geocaches.
Now, so play the game it’s quite easy to start. Essentially, you’ll mainly be relying on your GPS-enabled device to help you find a geocache. Here are the basic steps that you need to follow in order to start your adventure:
That’s it! Not as hard as you thought, right? But don’t be fooled, though it looks easy, finding the geocache isn’t actually as easy as you thought. It definitely takes some hunting skills on your part.
Where to go geocaching?
Though you know how to play, you’re wondering where can you play this game? Good question. Well, geocaching is actually a lot more common than you initially thought.
In fact, there are almost 3 million geocaches hidden in over 180 countries worldwide. You weren’t expecting it to be that big, right? In reality, there’s probably a geocache located close to you right now. If you want to find if there’s a geocache is located near you, all you need to do is go online.
From there, you’ll be able to see where the closest geocache is located. Or, if you want to travel somewhere, you’ll be able to see where in the world all the geocaches are. So, if you were wondering where geocaches are, the answer is wherever you are.
How to find a geocache?
You may be wondering once you get to the location, how are you supposed to find the geocache? Do you just look under stumps or behind bushes?
Well, depending on your level of difficulty, it could be the case, but some hiding spots aren’t so simple. Here are some helpful tips when you’re trying to find a geocache:
Now you know how to find a geocache. Though it sounds easy, it’s important that you follow these helpful tips when looking for the geocache. If not, you may spend your entire day looking for a geocache that’s been right under your nose.
Geocaching is a great activity if you’re looking for an adventure during your outdoor experiences.
Whether you’re with your family, partner or on your own, geocaching is a great way to become active and have fun. You can use geocaching to travel to new places or use it as a fun activity while you’re camping or hiking with friends and family. If you don’t have geocaching in your area, you can be the first one to introduce it, spreading the activity even further.
Physical exercise is great but sometimes you need something that’s mentally challenging as well. If this is the case, then you definitely should give geocaching a try. The best part is, you don’t need any experience in order to enjoy geocaching.
Now that you are ready for your first geocaching adventure with your family and friends, you need to think about lightweight equipment to take with you. Check out my guide to the best firebox stoves, perfect for adventures such as geocaching.