What is Geocaching?

Geek!This is Rhonda Martin’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

I have a wonderful “Geek” hobby called “Geocaching”. If you like electronic gadgets and like to get out of the house, try Geocaching for fun. It requires a hand held GPS and a pair of good shoes.

If you don’t know what Geocaching is, the best way I can explain it is that it’s hidden treasures that are registered on a site by GPS coordinates. You try to find the treasure by following the GPS signal and by clues giving on the site. Now these treasures are usually small and not worth much in monetary value because it’s more about the thrill of finding the treasure not what’s in it. The geocache is usually located at a scenic site that is beautiful.

The purpose of geocaching is to try and get people to enjoy the trip, so make sure you take a camera with you. We have ended up at some of the most beautiful places that I never knew existed in the state I have lived in all my life. The first time I ever went geocaching I didn’t have a camera and I was some disappointed. Another tip for those of you who like to fish – make sure you pack your fishing gear because you will find some awesome fishing holes.

Once you have located a geocache you can take an item from the hidden geocache box but you must leave something in its place. The geocache box usually has a logbook so you can write your name and the date you found it. If you want a list of hidden treasures just log onto http://www.geocaching.com – plug in your GPS and download them directly to your unit from the site. When I logged on I found three within five miles of my hometown. You will be amazed at how many geocache sites are hidden.

Once you have downloaded all the geocache sites on your GPS they are there for good until you delete them. You can literally turn on your GPS and just start driving and if you come near a geocache site your GPS will tell you. I have a friend that leaves his on in his truck at all times and if he is near a geocache site and has the time he will see if he can find it. This did get him in a little trouble because he ended up late to work a couple of times due to geocaching on the way to work. This can become addicting so they say.

You can also hide a geocache treasure and post it to the site, however remember you must maintain the geocache. If you no longer wish to maintain the geocache you must remove it and post that you did so.

You can also track a bug. This is kind of fun. You purchase a bug from the site, which is usually a fancy coin or tag, and then register it. When someone finds it they take it to another geocache and leave it for someone else to find but they must log where they found it and where they took it. The owner of the bug can track online where it has been and where it is. You can even post where you are trying to get your bug to end up at. For example, let’s just say you live in Florida and you want to see how long it would take for your bug to reach Alaska you can post for Geocachers to help move your bug towards Alaska. If someone is going to another state in that direction that this bug is logged to go then that person would take the bug and drop it off in the state closest to Alaska that they traveled to. I had a friend in Maine that wanted a Christmas Ornament to go to Alaska, so they attached a travel bug to the ornament and the last I heard it was in Ohio.

This hobby is also something the whole family can enjoy. We always plan a whole day of geocaching and take along a picnic for lunch. It’s an inexpensive way to spend the day together as a family while having a great time. I found that the young or old at heart all enjoy this hobby.

On the geocaching site it will also tell you how difficult the geocache is to locate. That makes it easier for the beginners or for the handicapped or elderly.

If you are thinking about trying this new found hobby or already registered at http://www.geocaching.com look for our user name “wearethegoonies”. Hope you enjoyed this post and give this a try if you haven’t already done so.

64 thoughts on “What is Geocaching?”

  1. Pingback: Wired Earth Blog
  2. Rhonda, thanks for the fascinating article.

    I think it would be fun to try one such expedition with a (new) friend.

    But I’m too lazy to do it on a regular basis.

  3. What a great idea-this actually sounds like fun! Very interesting article, and I must admit, a hobby the whole family can enjoy. And a great way to get physically fit too, by the sounds of it!

  4. Thanks for writing about your hobby! I had heard about geocaching but didn’t know what it really involved! Now I’m thinking my son would really enjoy sharing this with his family. I’ll have to whisper in Santa’s ear about it–though he probably already uses a GPS!

  5. Thanks Rhonda; this does sound like a ton of fun and can’t wait to try geocaching. You seem to always find something different to do with you time. Keep up the great work!

  6. I found that my family really likes this hobby. We all get excited when we find the cache. But there is a 25% down side when the cache is to well hidden and can’t be found. Its so neat to see what treasures they leave and countries they come from.

  7. I think the idea of geocaching sounds like lots of fun. And I know Rhonda has done this and thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope this catches on to others as it just sounds like loads of fun for anyone with a GPS.

  8. Sounds Very Interesting!! I cant wait to try it. Me And the girls are always looking for something new and fun to do. Sounds right up our alley. Thanks Rhonda for the Information.

  9. Awesome job Rhonda, makes me want to try it also, sounds like it makes for a great family weekend get-away, especially with the fishing, where as i travel allot in the northeast i think i will likely give it a try

  10. An excellent article!! I know from experience that this is a fun hobby because my family and I do this very often and the new places close to home and out of state are beautiful. Very well written and I would highly recommend to anyone who loves the outdoors and walking.

  11. Wow! What an interesting article. Thank you so much for providing it. My family just loves to travel and your article gave so much insight. I would love to try geocaching!!

  12. I think what I liked most about this information was realizing that just anyone can do this without any specific talents needed. A curious mind and a love of adventure is all that is needed. Thank you again Rhonda for your article. Makes me want to go right out and try it.

  13. It sounds like a cool activity for families to do together. Thanks for explaining how it works; I had read a brief introduction some time ago, that still left me confused.
    I know that I would be just like the guy who ended up late to work!

  14. My husband is about to retire and we’re going to try Geo-caching when he finally has time. Fascinating hobby, wonderful for those who like to rummage around in the wilderness. Thanks for your article.

  15. Wow, sounds like alot of fun and a way to get out and enjoy the winter months.
    thanks for a super article Wanda

  16. WOW – I had read about this but really didn’t know what was involved. How very cool! I love treasure hunts, exploring and finding new places. Can’t wait to try it. Thanks for the article.

  17. Sounds fun, I know it would be something my children would enjoy to do. The always want me to plan an activity and that would be a great on to try with them. Just need a GPS.

  18. Geocaching–never heard of it before-proves your never too old to learn something new. This sounds like a lot of fun. A great family activity. Judie

  19. I think this idea is great, my kids would love it. They like me to plan activities with them and can never think of any good ideas, I have one now. I just need a GPS.

  20. This sounds like great family fun!
    We are all so busy doing our own things we often don’t do anything as a family any more. What a wonderful way to get together and have a good time.
    Thank you for sharing Rhonda

  21. Rhonda, thank you for this post and the link provided. It is very interesting for a person who needs some physical exercise at the moment. Without your post I would have never learned such a hobby existed.

  22. Thanks a lot for the explanation. I’d really like to try with a friend who owns a GPS a few times, but I’m not sure I’m ready to mak a commitment yet. There are football games to watch you know. Jack from OHio.

  23. Rhonda, whenever we see a news story about geocaching it is very intriguing. I wonder if, even in a small town, it is possible? I would love a hobby that gets me outside more.

    thanks, and best of luck to you!

  24. That was so interesting! I had heard the term geocaching but thought it was some sort of computer lingo. You really described it well. It’s amazing that with all the hatred and uncooperativeness we read about in the world, you can still have fun with strangers all around the country, maybe even worldwide. That is heartening to know. Thanks for the story.

  25. Rhonda, This is the first i’ve ever heard of this and I love it!!! As soon as I post this comment I’m heading to the website to check it out! Can’t wait to try it out! Thanks buddy, Patti

  26. How nice to be able to use the GSP for something other than getting to places I already know where are 🙂

    My wife plan on trying out the search to fullfill or Amazing Race fantasy.

  27. Very interesting! I’ve heard of geocaching before, but hadn’t read such a good description of it to really get the whole idea. Sounds like a fun activity – and as a geography major, I’m very intrigued. I think I’ll have to check it out! 🙂

  28. This is a big deal in Indiana. With our system of parks the Geocache fun is great for families to spend time together!

  29. Rhonda,
    I’ve never heard of geocaching, but you provided a great explanation! I’d love to have a gps some day. If we ever get one, this is one ‘game’ that I think our whole family would enjoy. It’s a modern day scavenger hunt! Thanks for sharing!

    Susan in TN

  30. I love outdoor/wildlife photography, maybe this is for me too…thanks for the great post and I look forward to trying this “treasure-hunting” type of experience ! You have inspired me!

  31. Wow! That is really interesting. I noticed you mentioned a friend in Maine. I live in Maine and I would have thought that it was unlikely that there would be very many sights here. Now I am thinking it might be worth a try- you encouraged me check it out.

  32. What an intriguing hobby. I am for anything that gets America up and MOVING!!! I think that this would appeal to a broad range of people. Your explanation not only was very interesting and clear, but it covered many fine points. Thank you. Good luck to both of us.

  33. I really like the idea of searching for hidden treasure and from what you wrote I gather that the real value is getting to see an area that someone else loves and you might have otherwise missed.

    If I was going to geocache and submit something from my own city, I would send you to Lithia Park in Ashland Oregon and show you the troll bridge. Most of our tourists (and even many locals) aren’t aware it is there.

    Thank you for teaching me about geocaching.

  34. Gosh Rhonda, your artical makes it sound so fun. I have some relatives that do this then meet up with us camping, they are always so excited about finding the cach.

  35. What a great article!! It sounds like tons of fun!! I’m always looking for a new hobby that ‘ll get me out of the house.

  36. This sounds like it could be alot of fun……I enjoy going to new places so this would be a good way to find some new ones. Ill have to check it out.

  37. Sounds like a great way to go for a Sunday drive to go treasure hunting. You do such interesting things. Keep us posted as to what the finds consist of.

  38. Rhonda,
    What a wonderful article! You have me wanting to run out and buy a GPS (darn-it black friday has passed) It sounds like so much fun and always a new adventure. I had heard of Geocaching before, but I didn’t really know what it was, you did a great job of explaining. Thanks….I am off to find a deal on a GPS!!!!

    Julie 🙂

  39. Rhonda
    Never heard of geocaching before, but your old auntie thinks it would be fun, especially up where I work all summer.. You will have to teach me more.. What an electronic world we live in..
    Thanks for explaining about it.

  40. Thanks for posting about Geocaching. My family, including my two sons, 6 and 8, love letterboxing, which has many similar characteristics to geocaching. They love the thrill of following clues and finding a hidden “treasure”. We’ve tried geocaching a little bit, but found it more difficult for the kids than letterboxing. But after reading your article maybe we’ll have to give it another shot!

  41. I never knew GPs’s could do this kind of thing. Sounds like so much fun and would make be want a GPS for this reason alone. Thanks for the great explanation.

  42. Rhonda says it all and so well. Thanks for introducing all of us to something different that families can do together.
    If your in Maine, look out for the moose they love this new activity too.

  43. This sounds awesome! I have a GPS that I usually take with me when I go fourwheeling w/ my buddies, I think they would all enjoy this. Sounds like a great way to spend time outdoors with a group of friends/family. I can’t wait to get going, thanks Rhonda!!!!

  44. Wow!!! Now I’ve got to get a GPS!!! This sounds like such fun!
    My husband would love to do this, it’s brilliant! We love the outdoors and this would be so much fun! I know my friends would love this too! Ive never heard of this until now!
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  45. I have never heard of such! It reminds me of a high-tech version of Sherlock Holmes. I always wish I were clever enough to put clues together but I’m afraid this hobby will be left to those far more savvy than I am.

  46. I was not familiar with geocaching but it sounds like a lot of fun. I got my son a Tom-Tom for Christmas. I’m going to look for a group in our area. This would be a great way for a divorced dad to spend more time with his kids and have fun too. Thanks for the info.

  47. Wow Rhonda, great article! I have never tried Geocaching but I will pass it on to my kids. They are always looking for new things to do plus going outside on new adventures is good excerise. Thanks Rhonda!

  48. I work in a truck stop as a waitress and I’ve had customers talk of this before because they were traveling through and finding these “treasures.” I never knew exactly what they were pertaining to, but It seemed interesting. Now that I’ve heard Rhonda’s excellent description of it, I WANT TO DO IT! I guess I’ll have to ask Santa for a GPS!
    With our economy being the way it is today, it’s cheap, fun, family times that will get us through, such as this one. Thanks so much for introducing us all to this new adventure!

  49. I definitely have heard of Geocaching. I know alot of Jeep owners who get together and do it. Except they take it to the extreme and drive places us mere mortals wouldnt think of driving (and yes, I own a Jeep). I think its neat how its kind of like a giant treasure hunt for everyone. Very interesting article, I really enjoyed it.

  50. read your article and dont plan to go geocaching anytime soon. There needs to be real treasure , that would make the hunt more interesting.

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