Friday, May 4, 2007

Geocaching - A Fun Sport

In the past year I have become interested in Geocaching and now occassionally travel around the area with GPS in hand trying not to be to obvious.

For those not familar with the term "geocaching" It is simply a term that was created to describe what I call the sport of global scavenger hunting. Yes - it is a game of sorts! The game goes like this.

You log onto the Geocaching Website and put in an identifying locator such as a zip code of where you want to hunt or where you are located. This then brings up Caches that are geographically located close to you. These caches can take various forms from army cannisters to film cannisters. They may have a varied type of items in them or they may just have a visitors log.

Each cache gives the co-ordinates of the cache and the ability to download this into a GPS navigation system. I use a handheld Garmin Unit. Well, the next thing you do is tell the GPS unit to find the location. This is where you jump into the vehicle and drive as close as you can get and then sometimes a short hike or sometimes a great hike through nature brings you geographically close to the hidden cach. (Hidden by someone else and logged into the website.)

At this point you may stand around with the GPS unit in the air trying to get the best reading and get usually within about 10 feet of the prey. Now it is time to put your kid skills into play and look under rocks and around trees until the cache is found.

After finding the cache you can sign the log, return to your computer and log your visit. The website keeps track of all of the sites that you have found.

Another twist is to try to find a cache with a travel but in it. These are registered trinkets with the website that have a goal of trying to move across the country. You take the trinket and then the next cache that you find that will hold it - you place it there and then log it into the website.

These items are fun to watch and see where they travel.

An interesting Game. - Keeps you off the couch - keeps you active - and takes you to see sites that you may not have seen before.