Geocaching: Using GPS for the Hobby of the Future

geocaching_aA new, high-tech hobby is hitting the streets all over the world. It’s called Geocaching, which is something like a high-tech treasure hunt, but instead of using an old, raggedy map, the game uses a hand-held GPS unit.

The idea here is that people go online and post the geographic coordinates of a small  treasure chest. Anyone can go online and get the chest’s coordinates to go looking for the “treasure” or “cache.” And when they find the cache they have the option to take the item or add to the pile of treasure, including leaving a comment on the small notebook included in the secret spot. And it is completely powered by GPS technology.

“This is really fun and it is something the whole family can do,” said Michael Bradley. “Every week, we check the website for a new treasure, then go out and find it… Even my eight year old can do it,” he added.

The caches are not hard to find with GPS because they are not buried or on private property, but instead are usually hidden in easy to find places like in the bushes or hidden under something like rocks.

“Geocaching has caught on like wildfire… Since GPS units got so cheap, there is geocaching practically everywhere you go… Some people even do it on vacation and travel around the world doing it,” said Abe Peterson, a local searcher.geocache

One of the items that is left specifically for travelers is a “travel bug.” It is a medallion that finders can take with them and put them into a cache somewhere far away from the original one. The travel journey for each of these travel bugs is then posted on the website for everyone to see just how far this “bug” traveled.

To get started on the treasure hunt, all one has to do is search for a geocaching website and find a searchable database of hidden caches. Caches are located all over the world from Africa to Iraq, so finding one in your city shouldn’t be too hard. Speaking of hard, the caches are also classified into categories from easy to difficult, based on how far you might have to travel and what kind of terrain you will have to travel to get to it (uphill, through the dessert, in the forest, etc.)

Once you got your specific cache in mind, pop in the latitude and longitude into your GPS unit and have fun hunting!

(Via Mesquite Local News)

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  • creativetypedad

    My daughter and I have become addicted to geocaching since we discovered their iPhone app.
    The concept is great –

  • creativetypedad

    My daughter and I have become addicted to geocaching since we discovered their iPhone app.The concept is great –