The treasure hunt begins in Harbor Country速. You will find hundreds of Geocaches (geo-cashes) in our great area. Geocaching is a great activity for all ages and everyone can be successful at it. For families with children it is a great way to teach them research skills, organization, map reading, and how to use a GPS (Global Positioning System). Many vacationers as well as RVers also enjoy this sport.
Courtesy of Harbor Country Chamber of Commerce 530 S. Whittaker New Buffalo, MI 49117 269-469-5409
What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a game of hide and seek. A container is placed at specific coordinates which needs to be found using GPS technology.
As a relatively inexpensive sport, Geocaching only needs a GPS receiver or data access if you are using your cell phone. You can purchase a simple GPS from a local retailer, or find one on ebay. You can even use your cell phone and download one of the numerous apps available for free or for a small fee. For cache coordinates, go to Geocaching.com and follow their search directions to locate caches near you or to an area you may be visiting. Basic membership is free and allows you to search for caches by zip/postal code (see Getting Started for zip codes) and participate in forums. Seasoned cachers even load caches into their GPS units that are near a route they are taking while driving to a vacation spot. The beauty of caching is there are no restrictions on time or accompaniment.
A basic cache or ‘treasure’ is a waterproof container with a logbook, holding small items such as plastic rings, foreign currency, and wooden tokens that is hidden. Some cachers also hide travel bugs and geocoins – traveling items that are tracked online by their numeric IDs. According to www.geocaching.com, the sport's virtual Bible, geocaching etiquette requires that "if you take an item, leave an item, and write in the logbook.” Caches can found on every continent, including Antarctica. Geocaching.com reports that there are more than three million geocachers engaging in this fun activity worldwide. There are hundreds of caches throughout Harbor Country®
Geocachers can be a source of environmental impact, positively and negatively. Groundspeak, a company that inspires outdoor play using location-based technology, encourages geocachers to practice “Cache In Trash Out” (CITO) to minimize the impact of the activity on the environment. BE a responsible geocacher. Bring a trash bag with you to collect occasional trash on your search. Your small act can make a huge difference .
Getting Started: 1. Find a geocache location from the list at geocaching.com once you have registered and entered your area zip code. Harbor Country® has several: Michiana/Grand Beach/ New Buffalo - 49117, Union Pier-49129, Lakeside -49116, Harbert – 49115, Sawyer – 49125, Three Oaks -49128 1. Enter the coordinates of the cache in your GPS unit. 2. Using your GPS, the hunt begins to find the cache. 3. Once you find the ‘treasure’, sign the logbook and return the geocache to the location. 4. You can log onto geocaching.com and share any photos, insights, or stories.
Tips for a successful Treasure Hunt 1. When you head out, pack any needed supplies like water, bug spray, food, extra clothing. 2. Bring both a map and a compass besides your GPS unit/Cell phone. 3. Check the caches on geocaching.com after you register to see if anything is mentioned about the terrain and ratings of difficulty. 4. Make sure someone knows where you are, just in case. 5. Bring extra batteries for your GPS and a small trash bag. 6. Have a blast! Here are some geocaches to get you started in Harbor Country®: New Buffalo Beach Shelter - N 41° 47.997 W 086° 44.841 – Beginner
The Three Bears – Baby Bear - N 41° 49.754 W 086° 39.021 – Beginner
Edge of Development - N 41° 50.826 W 086° 39.894 – Beginner
Chik-n-scratch - N 41° 50.352 W 086° 39.186 – Beginner
In Like Flynn - N 41° 53.911 W 086° 35.390 – Beginner
Grandfather Oak - N 41° 51.831 W 086° 36.134 – Beginner
South End Cache - N 41° 50.523 W 086° 37.743 - Moderate
The treasure hunt begins in Harbor Country®. You will find hundreds of Geocaches (geo-cashes) in our great area.