Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are electronic devices which can pinpoint a person’s location anywhere in the world. The ever-increasing popularity of these gadgets has led to the development of games, including geocaching, that can be played with the aid of a GPS.
Geocaching is the hiding and seeking of “caches” around the world. Caches, pronounced, “cashes”, are stashes of prizes, trinkets, money, or almost anything. The hider of the cache, a geocacher, will strategically place a cache in a specific location. The coordinates of this cache are then given to other players. Other geocachers will then hunt for the cache with the aid of their GPS. Upon finding a cache, the finder will take something from the cache, add something to it, and sign a log verifying having found the cache. Geocachers commonly relay information regarding hiding and finding geocaches via the Internet. While it may sound easy to find coordinates that are given to you, actually getting there may be much more difficult than it originally seems. Some caches require finding several other caches in order to gather the coordinates of the final cache. According to www.geocaching.com, there are over 190,000 active geocaches around the world today.
If you are thinking about hiding a cache, think in terms of durability and waterproofing. Your cache should be placed in a durable water proof container. Small items inside the cache can be placed in plastic zip bags, or containers. Perishable items, such as food, do not work well for caches, simply because food spoils, and also because most caches are placed outside where animals could potentially gain access. As a matter of safety, it is common “geocaching etiquette” not to put anything dangerous items in a cache, as it could potentially be discovered by a child. Remember, geocaching is a hobby enjoyed by people of all ages.
Handheld Global Positioning Systems can be purchased from $90 to over $1000. It is not necessary to purchase the most expensive model of GPS available to have a good time geocaching. User friendliness and durability are qualities to look for when purchasing a GPS. For a buyer’s guide and reviews of GPS systems, visit www.gpsexplained.com .
So, what are you waiting for? Geocaching is a hobby that encourages creativity, exercise, and brainpower. Happy Hunting!