2 Geocaching Basics What is geocaching? What is a geocache? Why would I want to go geocaching?Brief overview of the GPS systemHow to find your first geocache.The next step… hide your own cache.What is geocaching?Who are the geocachers?What are the rules and who enforces them?What have other parks done to accommodate and regulate geocaching?How can you prepare for geocaching?
3 What is geocaching?An outdoor adventure game for GPS users of all ages.(GPS = Global Positioning System)What is geocaching?Who are the geocachers?What are the rules and who enforces them?What have other parks done to accommodate and regulate geocaching?How can you prepare for geocaching?
4 What is geocaching? A weatherproof box is hidden in the woods. The location of the box is published on the internet.Others go out and find the box.
5 What is a geocache?A weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo boxGeocache containersUsually a weather-resistant container such as Tupperware, Rubbermaid, or surplus ammo box
6 What is a geocache?Sometimes very small (Micro-cache) 35mm film container Altoids Tin Magnetic Hide-a-keyContainers are supposed to be marked on the outside, clearly identifying them as a geocache.
7 What’s in a cache? Logbook Trinkets to trade Examples: toys, books, coins, tools, games, etc.Information sheet that explains the container and geocaching, as well as contact information.Disposable camera (optional)
8 Variations on the game Traditional caches Multi-caches / Offset caches Mystery / PuzzleEvent cachesTravel bugsSo far, we’ve looked at traditional caches. Variations on the game include:A multi-cache ("multiple") involves two or more locations, the final location being a physical container. There are many variations, but most multi-caches have a hint to find the second cache, and the second cache has hints to the third, and so on. An offset cache (where you go to a location and get hints to the actual cache) is considered a multi-cache.A virtual cache is not an actual container but rather a point of interest or other significance such as a landmark, statue, historic site, etc. The geocacher has to send the answers to one or more questions about the landmark to the cache owner to prove that they were there. It’s important to note that new virtual caches are rarely approved. The preference now is to place actual caches to find.Event caches are organized by geocachers. The WGA has held several event caches over the past year – receiving good cooperation from park managers for our events. “Temporary” caches are placed in the park and then picked up at the end of the day.Travel bugs are a fun element of geocaching. A travel bug is a metal dog tag into which is stamped a unique serial number. The owner of the travel bug often attaches a fun hitchhiker such as a keychain, small stuffed animal toy, toy car, etc.The travel bug is then given a mission and registered on the Geocaching.com website. Missions often along the lines of: travel to the Grand Canyon and have its picture taken there, or visit every major league baseball park in the United States, etc. The travel bug is then put into a cache and noted as being there on the Geocaching.com website. Other geocachers who find the travel bug and can help it on its journey will pick it up and move it to another cache. They register the movement of the travel bug on the Geocaching.com website via the travel bug's serial number. In this way, the travel bugs are tracked from place to place as they move around.
9 What’s the point? Visit and explore new places. Excitement of finding “Hidden Treasure”.Family friendly outdoor activity.
10 Global Positioning System GPS is a system of 27 satellites (24 active, 3 reserve) to calculate your position.Satellites transmit their current position down to Earth via radio waves.A view depicting 24 satellites in orbit
11 Latitude & Longitude Latitude Number of degrees North Or South of the equatorLongitudeNumber of degrees East or West of Greenwich, England.
14 Where do I find out about nearby geocaches? Visit the website:Key in your zip code.Over 25 Caches within 5 miles of here!
15 Wisconsin GeocachesIn Wisconsin, there are more than 2,000 geocaches.
16 U.S. GeocachesIn the U.S., close to 100-thousand geocaches
17 Worldwide GeocachesWorldwide there are more than 135-thousand geocaches.
18 What do I need to get started? A sense of adventureA GPS receiverA computer with internet accessCompass (optional)Bug Spray or Parka
19 What are the rules? If you take something, leave something. Leave the cache as you found it.Respect private property.Cache in – Trash outRules for listing a geocache on Geocaching.com are listed on the web site. Here are a few of the highlights.No caches on land maintained by the U.S. National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuges)No caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate.No caches placed on archaeological or historical sites. In most cases these areas are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans.No caches placed in Wisconsin State Natural Areas (SNAs).
20 Cache In / Trash Out (CITO) While searching for a cache, geocachers are encouraged to pick up and tote out trash they find along the way.Geocachers often practice what is called Cache-In/Trash-Out (CITO).This means that while searching for a cache geocachers will pick up andtote out a bag or two worth of trash they find along the way. To aidin this effort many geocachers will put trash bags in their caches sothat other geocachers can use them to pick up trash in the area.Geocaching organizations often host large CITO events for the expresspurpose of picking up trash in an area. In addition, each year has oneday officially dedicated to CITO efforts around the world.CITO has the same goals and benefits of Adopt-A-Highway and Adopt-A-Trail programs that have been established in many areas, with the addedbenefit that CITO happens continuously as well as during big events.
22 1. Learn About The CachePrint out the cache page and take it with you
23 2. Enter Co-ords into the GPSr Waypoint NameWaypoint Note (Optional)Latitude and Longitude (Co-ordinates)
24 3. Follow The Little Arrow When the arrow points straight up, you are going in the right direction.How far you have to goDirection you SHOULD goDirection you are going (Typically only works while moving)
25 Don’t leave home without one! 4. Use Your CompassDon’t leave home without one!Take a short break… allow the GPSr to settle, then use your compass to zero in on the actual geocache site.Pace off the distance shown on the GPSr.Use your compass to help you find civilization if your GPSr were to ever quit.
26 5. Look Around Look for anything unusual or out of place. Look in places that YOU think would be good to place a cache.No luck? Enlarge your search area.
27 6. Woo Hoo! Found It! Sign the log book. Trade items if you wish. No inappropriate trading items please. (this is a family activity)Leave something of equal or greater value compared to what you take.Re-hide the cache back in the same spot.
28 The Next Step Go out and place your own geocache for others to find! Show off a favorite areaThink up some creative and innovative variationsShow off how sneaky you can beBe sure and ask permission of land manager(s)Be mindful of sensitive environmental areas