What is geocaching

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Geocaching is a recreational activity using GPS receivers to describe the location of a hidden object using coordinates in latitude and longitude, and then challenging other people to use the coordinates to try and locate the hidden object. The hidden object is called a "geocache", and is almost invariably some type of container which holds a log book at the very least, and usually some trade items. Anyone who finds the cache must sign the log book and then replace the cache as they found it. The person also has the option of trading something they brought with them for a trade item from the cache. All it requires is a GPSr, and an internet connection and computer. Map skills certainly help, but in many urban areas and along many trails, even that is not a requirement.

Over time, many types of caches have emerged. Moving caches, virtual caches, hitchhikers, so-called locationless caches, even event caches, are popular.

Enjoyed by thousands of people around the globe, this activity draws people from all walks of life, and of all ages. If you ask ten different "geocachers" why they enjoy this hobby, you will most likely get ten different but enthusiastic answers. Geocaching is most often praised for bringing people to places they've never been, even "right in their own backyard". Many people also enjoy the thrill of doing things they never thought they would do, like crawl through a storm drain or a cave. You will also hear a lot about how geocaching has finally "gotten me out and exercising again", and the occasional "I've lost XX pounds and quit smoking because of this".

Geocaching really is for everyone, it's a family-friendly activity that can also be enjoyed with friends, family, or alone. Objectionable material is banned in caches, as well as placing caches on private property without permission. All caches are rated for terrain and difficulty so you know before you go on a hunt for one whether it's appropriate for Little Johnny or Grandma Alice. In addition, unless you live in a severely rural area, chances are there is probably one or more within a mile of your home (in the case of the author, there is one within 500 feet and upwards to 20 within a mile, in a small city in upstate New York).

To start geocaching, you need to look up a cache near you:

Geocaching Websites

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