History of geocaching
Selective Availability of Global Positioning System satellites ended at midnight, May 1, 2000, after President Clinton signed a bill that stopped intentional degradation of GPS signals available to the public.
Ref: Press release (May 1, 2000)
Two days later Dave Ulmer wrote publicly about his plans to create "The Great American GPS Stash Hunt." At the same time, he predicted that "soon we will have thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for."
Also, on that same day (May 3), he hid the first GPS stash in a 5 gallon bucket. He reported the contents to include Delorme Topo USA software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot. Today, The Original Stash Tribute Plaque is near that site.
Before the month was over, other "stashes" were appearing around the globe and Mike Teague had created the first website. On May 30, Matt Stum raised an historic issue: Cache vs. Stash. It was quickly decided that cache would replace stash.
In An Introduction to Geocaching authored by Ulmer on that site: "Geocache and Geocaching are new words developed to easily communicate the act of placing an object at a geographical location and recording its position. Geocache can be used as a noun or a verb. A geocache is an item or group of items located at a recorded geographical position. To geocache, is to place the object and record its position. Geocaching, the act of placing or locating geocaches. Geocaching is also used to describe the sport or recreation of geocaching. A geocacher is a person involved in geocaching."
Geocaching.com (currently the oldest and largest geocache listing site) became a reality on Sept. 6, 2000, when Teague announced that the new site, owned by Jeremy Irish would be the main listing site.
Since those early days, a number of listing sites have been developed. The following is at least a partial list of other listing sites with their starting dates:
- geopeitus.ee (Feb, 2001)
- navicache.com (Mar, 2001)
- geocachingworldwide.com (Jun, 2001; now dead)
- geotreasures.com (mid-2001; now dead)
- geocaching.hu (?)
- geocaching.ru (?)
- geogamer.com (Jun, 2002; now dead)
- geocaching.gpsgames.org (May, 2004)
- terracaching.com (October 2004)
- movingcache.com (Dec, 2004)
- geocaching.com.au (Jan, 2005)