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Things to do:

Let’s Go Geocaching

By Kathy Barnett Managing Editor


hey’re all around you. You just can’t see them unless you know where they are. They are hidden in trees, fence posts, and street signs. Others are lurking in cemeteries, public parks or perhaps an abandoned sewer tile. They’re big. They’re small. Their value? Usually nothing. But it depends on the person who finds it and what it means to them. Sometimes it takes a while to find one even though there are clues to each one. They’re known as caches. People known as geocachers are using modern technology to become modern-day treasure hunters. Johnny Depp has nothing on them.. ‘er, I mean “Captain Jack Sparrow.” They use handheld GPS devices to locate these hidden treasures across the globe. Geocachers - all 5 million+ of them - are an adventurous, family-friendly sort as discovery is what drives them. They thrive on finding new caches and on discovering new destinations while doing so. Armed with smartphones or Page 12

dedicated GPS devices, and in search of their next find, geocachers hit the road in an ongoing quest for their next treasure. Find the cache, sign the logbook and see what others have left behind. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date and signs their established code name. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets. It is often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek." At its simplest level, geocaching requires the following steps: 1. Register for a free Basic Membership online at A basic membership requires only a valid email address and your name to create an account. 2. Visit the "Hide & Seek a Cache" page at this website as it explains in detail how to “hide” a cache yourself and also “seek” by address, state, or even by country. There are step by step instructions to finding your very first cache if you are new at the sport. Keep in mind that distances can be deceiving. Understand the

ference between distances as the crow flies (a direct line) versus true distance of travel. You may be a mile from the cache according to you GPS device, but there may be a river or other obstacles in the way. It is up to you to find the best route to the cache, remembering to respect the environment and practice Cache In Trash Out along the way. 3. Enter your postal code and click "search." Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache. 4. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location. 5. Share your geocaching stories and photos online with other treasure seekers. (For the record, there are 1,626,699 active geocaches and over 5 million geocachers worldwide.) I’m sure this number grows by the minute. Where will you go on your next adventure? A simple side trip to find a geocache could be the beginning of a whole new reason to take an extended weekend getaway! Winter, 2011