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March 19, 2010

Geocaching, here we come…

Filed under: Outdoors — Tags: , , , — Marcus @ 9:41 pm

So, it looks like I may have picked up a new hobby… Geocaching, I tried to write a quick summary of geocaching, but it turned out to make the hobby sound very confusing, so to quote Wikipedia:

“Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually a tupperware or ammo box) containing a logbook. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is most often described as a “game of high-tech hide and seek”, sharing many aspects with orienteering, treasure-hunting, and waymarking.”

So far I have only taken the time to find two caches, but they were both “micro” caches which make them pretty hard to find, in looking at the map of caches around my house there are literally hundreds that are within walking or at least bike riding distance. Also people tend to hide the caches in interesting places that you would probably never notice otherwise, so I am learning a lot about the area by my home I would have never realized (The last one I found was in a cemetery I didn’t realize was there and it was hidden right beside the gravesite of a civil war soldier, I thought that was an interesting thing to come across).

Here are some pics of the two caches I have found so far:


This was my first find, it was about 4 blocks from my house and a pretty easy find, it took about 5 minutes to find it.


This was my second find, I just about gave up on this a few times, it took me about 45 minutes to find it, you see the bushes in the background, yeah, this was hidden back in those.


Here is a pic of the second find before I took it down to sign the log, now to get that picture I had to part the bush and find the spot it was in, also it was not hanging down nice like that, it was stuck back through the fence and resting on a branch behind the fence, it stuck out like a white grain of sand on an off-white beach.


In these tiny caches there is only room to sign your name on the log and then put the cache back in its original hiding place, here is the log from this cache.


Something else that is neat is finding actual wildlife while out searching for the caches, I took several pictures of some deer by a cache I was attempting to locate, I didn’t end up finding the cache, but seeing deer around here made the trip worth it, I will be back again soon to try and locate that cache (I ran out of time last time out).

I have known about geocaching for quite some time, and have wanted to try it for awhile, but I never had the couple hundred dollars to drop on a GPS device before, however I just got an iPhone work and I realized that it could probably do it since the newer iPhones have a GPS device built in. Low and behold, I did a quick search and found a great app specifically for geocaching on the iPhone. I can’t say the iPhone is the perfect device for geocaching as it is not all that accurate, but I think it will do fine for now, at some point though I may step up and buy a real GPS unit.

Until next time…

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