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Introduction to Geocaching Doug Earl (D of ABCDMCachers)

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Presentation on theme: "Introduction to Geocaching Doug Earl (D of ABCDMCachers)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Introduction to Geocaching Doug Earl (D of ABCDMCachers)

2 Agenda What What When When Where Where Who Who Why Why How How Travel Bugs Travel Bugs Resources Resources

3 What

4 Geocaching – What is it? An outdoor adventure game for GPS users of all ages An outdoor adventure game for GPS users of all ages GPS = Global Positioning System GPS = Global Positioning System

5 What – In a Nutshell 1. Someone hides a weatherproof box in the woods. 2. The latitude and longitude of the box is published on the Internet. 3. Others go out and find the box using their portable GPSr. 4. Finders sign the log, trade trinkets. 5. When they get home, they log the find on the Internet.

6 What – Boiling it Down I use multi-billion dollar military satellites to find Tupperware hidden in the woods.

7 What Is a Geocache? A weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box A weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box

8 What Else Can it Be? Micro Caches Micro Caches 35mm film canisters35mm film canisters Magnetic key holdersMagnetic key holders Or smaller! (Nano caches)Or smaller! (Nano caches) Camouflaged Camouflaged Fake doggie dooFake doggie doo Hide-a-key rocksHide-a-key rocks Hollowed out rocksHollowed out rocks Pine conesPine cones Plastic spidersPlastic spiders

9 What Else Can it Be? - 2

10 What Else Can it Be? - 3

11 Whats in a Geocache? Logbook Logbook Trinkets to trade Trinkets to trade Examples: toys, books, coins, tools, games, etc. Examples: toys, books, coins, tools, games, etc. Information sheet that explains the container and has contact information. Information sheet that explains the container and has contact information.

12 When

13 Timeline May 1, 2000 Selective Availability Removed May 3, 2000 Stash hidden in Oregon Sept 2, 2000 Geocaching.com started with 75 caches Accuracy before: 100 meters10 meters or better Accuracy after:

14 Where

15 Where are They Hidden? All over the world All over the world 479,372 active caches in over 200 countries (as of 11/1/2007)479,372 active caches in over 200 countries (as of 11/1/2007) Well over 500 in the metro- Milwaukee area Well over 500 in the metro- Milwaukee area

16 The World

17 United States

18 Wisconsin

19 Milwaukee

20 Where – Kinds of Places Places with natural beauty Places with natural beauty Parks – state, county, city Parks – state, county, city Hiking and biking trails Hiking and biking trails Areas with historical significance Areas with historical significance Urban areas Urban areas Park and rides, waysides Park and rides, waysides Interesting places you didnt know existed even in your own backyard Interesting places you didnt know existed even in your own backyard

21 Where - Specifically Hollow trees and logs Hollow trees and logs Handrails, fence posts Handrails, fence posts Hanging in trees Hanging in trees Usually under or behind something, but never buried Usually under or behind something, but never buried

22 Where Wont They Be? National Parks National Parks Private property unless owner gives permission Private property unless owner gives permission Under bridges Under bridges Less than.1 mile from another cache Less than.1 mile from another cache Less than 150 feet from railroad Less than 150 feet from railroad

23 Who

24 Who Participates? All ages, walks of life All ages, walks of life Singles, Couples, Families, RetireesSingles, Couples, Families, Retirees People who enjoy the outdoors People who enjoy the outdoors People who like technology People who like technology

25 Who Hides Them? Anyone who has a geocaching.com account Anyone who has a geocaching.com account All caches must be approved All caches must be approved Maybe you? Maybe you? Get experience finding before hiding your own - find at least 20Get experience finding before hiding your own - find at least 20

26 Why

27 Why Geocache? #1 The journey to the cache – beautiful areas and interesting places The journey to the cache – beautiful areas and interesting places

28 Why Geocache? #2 Family activity Family activity

29 Why Geocache? #3 The challenge of the find, the thrill of the hunt The challenge of the find, the thrill of the hunt

30 The numbers game The numbers game Why Geocache? #4

31 Why Geocache? #5 Read about others adventures Read about others adventures

32 Why Geocache? #6 Turn off the TV and enjoy the outdoors! Get some exercise while youre at it. Turn off the TV and enjoy the outdoors! Get some exercise while youre at it.

33 Why Geocache - Different Ways to Enjoy Traditional Caches – Most common Like hikes? – Multi-caches Like puzzles? – Mystery caches Like socializing? – Event caches Like history? – Virtuals Like challenges? – Try higher difficulty Like traveling? – Try county or Delorme challenge

34 Mystery/Puzzle Caches Before finding the cache, you need to solve a puzzle, sometimes on the cache webpage, sometimes at the cache site Before finding the cache, you need to solve a puzzle, sometimes on the cache webpage, sometimes at the cache site

35 Mystery/Puzzle Caches (2)

36 How

37 First Steps Create a geocaching.com account Create a geocaching.com account Buy or borrow a GPS receiver Buy or borrow a GPS receiver

38 Find Nearby Caches Search by zipcode or latitude/longitude Search by zipcode or latitude/longitude

39 Find Nearby Caches - 2 Use Google Maps from geocaching.com or Google Earth Use Google Maps from geocaching.com or Google Earth

40 Find Nearby Caches - 3

41 Read About the Cache Cache type, name, Who placed it Latitude, Longitude Distance from home SizeDifficulty/Terrain Hints! Unique Identifying code (AKA waypoint) Download Lat/Lon file (so dont have to manually enter) Attributes Travel Bugs / Geocoins

42 Enter the Coordinates into the GPSr Waypoint Name Waypoint Note (Optional) Latitude and Longitude (Coordinates)

43 Follow the Arrow When the arrow points straight up, you are going in the right direction. How far you have to go Direction you are going (Typically only works while moving) Direction you SHOULD go (bear right)

44 Look Around Look for anything unusual or out of place. Look for anything unusual or out of place. Look in places that YOU think would be good to place a cache. Look in places that YOU think would be good to place a cache. No luck? Enlarge your search area No luck? Enlarge your search area Heavy tree cover affects signalHeavy tree cover affects signal Use a compass – only high-end GPSrs have a built-in compassUse a compass – only high-end GPSrs have a built-in compass

45 Woo Hoo! Found it! Sign the log book Sign the log book Trade items if you wish Trade items if you wish Family-friendly, no foodFamily-friendly, no food Leave something of equal or greater value compared to what you takeLeave something of equal or greater value compared to what you take Re-hide the cache back in the same spot Re-hide the cache back in the same spot Log your experience on geocaching.com and collect a smiley Log your experience on geocaching.com and collect a smiley

46 Hiding Your Own Show off a favorite area Show off a favorite area Show how sneaky and creative you can be Show how sneaky and creative you can be Get permission from land manager Get permission from land manager DNR land - must fill out formDNR land - must fill out form Be mindful of environment Be mindful of environment

47 Travel Bugs

48 Travel Bugs and Geocoins Travel from cache to cache (not collectible!) Travel from cache to cache (not collectible!) Usually have a goal, Examples: Usually have a goal, Examples: Visit all baseball parks, all capitolsVisit all baseball parks, all capitols Have picture taken with Have picture taken with Final destination: Alaska, South PoleFinal destination: Alaska, South Pole Journey is tracked on geocaching.com Journey is tracked on geocaching.com

49 TB Examples TB Tag has a unique ID# TB Tag has a unique ID# Attached to a small item Attached to a small item

50 TB Examples - 2 From the you gotta be kidding me file From the you gotta be kidding me file

51 TB web page

52 Travel Bug Map

53 Trackables Page

54 Resources

55 Important Terms FTF: First To Find FTF: First To Find Muggle: Non-geocacher Muggle: Non-geocacher TNLNSL: Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log TNLNSL: Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log DNF: Did Not Find DNF: Did Not Find CITO: Cache In Trash Out CITO: Cache In Trash Out 1/1: Referring to difficulty and terrain 1/1: Referring to difficulty and terrain TB: Travel Bug TB: Travel Bug

56 Wisconsin Geocaching Association WGA Picnic Event McKenzie Environmental Education Center, Poynette, WI August 21, 2004

57 Premium Membership $30/year $30/year Have Pocket Queries ed to you Have Pocket Queries ed to you Up to 500 caches centered on a pointUp to 500 caches centered on a point Easy to transfer to your GPSrEasy to transfer to your GPSr GSAK GSAK EasyGPS EasyGPS Member-only caches Member-only caches notification of new caches notification of new caches

58 Similar Sites Terracaching.com Terracaching.com Goal: higher quality cachesGoal: higher quality caches Waymarking.com Waymarking.com Unique locations, but no cache to findUnique locations, but no cache to find Misspelled signs, funny mailboxes, waterfalls, water towers, etc.Misspelled signs, funny mailboxes, waterfalls, water towers, etc. Letterboxing.org Letterboxing.org No GPSr requiredNo GPSr required

59 Thanks for Attending Questions? Questions?


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