Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt game played all over the world by adventure seekers equipped with hand-held GPS units. The basic idea is to locate geocaches (typically hidden containers or landmarks) and record your visit and then share your experiences online with other geocachers.
Geocaching was started by Dave Ulmer from Oregon in a series of discussions on USENET, a public messaging system that pre-dates the world wide web as we know it. With the limitations on consumer GPS units lifted in 2001, Dave placed the first of what would be called a Geocache and shared the coordinates with his peers. Databases have been set up to track the locations of these caches and today there are over 2 million geocaches hidden worldwide.
My favorite description of Geocaching to date is “Running into the woods with a high tech device looking for children’s toys”. The concept is simple. Obtain the coordinates or clues for the coordinates from an online database and use a hand-held GPS to get to the coordinates where the cache is hidden. The cache could
be a small canister with a scroll of paper for logging your visit, or it could be a larger container filled with various odd and ends for trade. The mantra is Take Something, Leave something, and successful hunters are expected to sign in to the log that they were there.
While I only own two geocaches myself, I have had a hand in placing about a half-dozen really great geocaches including Long Island’s first Pod-cache (unfortunately not there anymore) and a few puzzle-caches (Caches where you have to solve puzzles/clues). I don’t go out caching as much as I used to, but I have found over 50 geocaches in two countries.
Some GeoCaching Resources:
- Geocaching.com – Home page of the sport.
- Terracaning – Offshoot of Geocaching with a stricter member base.