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I have seen it mentioned several times, and from my brief glance at Google, it looks interested, so I thought maybe we could start a thread about it and hear from those with experience.
 

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I have dabbled a little. It can be fun, I took my son out a few times and he liked it. I also did it once while on vacation which was interesting because I ended up in several interesting local spots I would not have found otherwise. www.geocaching.com has several different kinds of caches. Some just take you scenic locations. Others take you to small boxes filled with trinkets for kids (leave one, take one). Others require you to complete a puzzle or riddle.

For the boxes, the GPS gets you in the general area and then you have to search for the hidden box. Occasionally this will involve weeds, bushes and ticks.
 

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The things I learn on KB never ceases to amaze me...I've never heard of geocashing...I went to the website and there's a hunt right down the street from me.  My neice is visiting for a week and this is definitely something we will do one day. I'll let you know if we are successful!
 

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Chad Winters said:
For the boxes, the GPS gets you in the general area and then you have to search for the hidden box. Occasionally this will involve weeds, bushes and ticks.
And apparantly...poop as we've read :p

Hmm, maybe it's something we could try during our week in NC...sounds like fun and who doesn't love a treasure hunt?
 

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I agree.  I just might have to buy a GPS and try this out this summer.
deb
 

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I think I can use the Tom Tom I have for my car.  I was able to put in the latitude/longitude numbers so we'll see.  My neice gets here tomorrow so one day this week we'll go out on an adventure.  This can't be as hard as finding the eggs for the egghunt on these boards. 
 

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Although I don't do it very often, I've been geocaching since 2002. It was a great way to get my daughter off the couch and doing something outside. It taught her a lot about reading maps, directions, etc. And we had a lot of fun finding the caches.

It's best to use a handheld GPS, but I do know of people who have used the car-mounted types. They just tend to hunt for the ones that are near the road/parking lots.

It's completely free (except for needing a gps), so I think it's definitely worth trying. It has brought me to a lot of neat places/parks that I didn't know existed.

HINT: If you are new to geocaching, when you are on the site (www.geocaching.com) look for the size of the cache. When you are just learning about this 'sport' you do not want to start with a micro or small cache. You want to start with a normal sized cache. The micro/small are often harder to find and sometimes hidden by people whose sole purpose is to make it difficult. The normal size is more apt to have the little trinkets and be easier to find and take you to new places.
 

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So if I'm understanding this correctly, I need to carry some small trinkets with me to replace if I'm going to be taking the trinkets I find?  And the purpose of the trinkets are what exactly? 
Thanks for the tip about the handheld.
 

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drenee said:
So if I'm understanding this correctly, I need to carry some small trinkets with me to replace if I'm going to be taking the trinkets I find? And the purpose of the trinkets are what exactly?
Thanks for the tip about the handheld.
Trinkets are completely optional. But the general rule is that if you take something, you should leave something. It's usually stupid stuff - some people leave stickers, action figures, bouncy balls, etc. I try to be a little nicer and leave stuff like compact electrical tape, zipper pull thermometer (great for leaving in the winter), stuff from the Target $1.00 spot. Just make sure it is not food and not something that can rot. And it should be something that can get wet (or be in a ziploc) because this stuff is outside.

There is no real purpose in the trinkets, except to add some fun and maybe give the kids something to look for. I actually think it's fun to get little figures; I got a variety of animals one day.

Sometimes you can find a "travel bug" or a "coin" that is meant to travel from one cache to another. If you find one of these, please only take it if you intend to send it on it's way again.
 

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drenee said:
Thank you for the tips. I'm getting excited about giving this a try.
other hints:
- be inconspicuous. You don't want other people to see what you are doing because they might not know about geocaching and then might wreck/destroy/move the cache
- always try to hide the cache as well or better than how you find it. Everything from melting snow, wind, a playful dog can uncover a cache so try to help out and hide it well when you are done.
- when hunting, the first place to look is
under a log
. The second place is often
in a hole in the tree.
 

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I've been geocaching since early January in and around the Austin area. We have something like 1500 caches in the area within a 20 mile radius). It gets me out of the house and I get some exercise hiking in the greenbelt parks in the city. I didn't know we had greenbelt parks until now. It's great fun and I try to do a caching run at least once a week. I've loaded all the cache locations into my GPSr and keep an eye on it when I'm driving around the city and sometimes stop and go for one when I have the time. You can find the cache coordinates a www.geocaching.com . Just enter your ZIP code. You can then see a list of nearby caches and a map showing them.

A car GPSr will work, but a "geocaching friendly" model handheld is better when you get serious. A Garmin model makes it a bit easier, as it can talk directly to Geocaching.com to download coordinates.

If anyone has any questions, I'll do my best to answer them. I've become addicted. ;D ;D

My brother and I are currently working on two that are pretty difficult. On one, you have to find 14 caches and get the cards from each and solve a puzzle from the hints on the cards to get to the last site. One of the locations required hiking/climbing up the side of a steep hill (there was a path, of sorts. I was out of breath at the top of this one.

The other is a sequence of 45 locations, you find the first and it redirects you to the second, etc. It was a group effort, not done by one individual. The total distance to go from one cache to the final one is 115 miles. We've been working on this one for a month off and on, and have found the first 6 locations.

Mike
 

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I'm getting very excited about this.  I love being out of doors, and I think my next purchase is going to have to be a handheld GPS. 
 

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drenee said:
I'm getting very excited about this. I love being out of doors, and I think my next purchase is going to have to be a handheld GPS.
If you haven't used a handheld GPS before, before you buy one I would recommend asking your friends to see if you can find one to borrow first. It might give you an idea if you will actually like one and what to look for when you buy your own.

Garmin and Magellan are the most popular, with Garmin being the most common. Some of that is marketing, it doesn't mean it's any better. In fact my 7 year old Magellan has some great features that my new fancy Garmin doesn't have. Both are good, just read about them and you'll find the one that is right for you.
 

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I have been geocaching for about 2 years now, it is fun and frustrating at best.

Biggest tip for you new cachers:

DO NOT TRY TO FIND NANO SIZE!!! You will pull your hair out.

Also, when the clue reads camo, DO NOT ASSUME a military camouflage color...think camouflaged as in WELL HIDDEN!!!

Also, don't place food items in caches.

These are just a few things off the top of my head. The main thing is to make it fun.

-sailor
 

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jmiked said:
My brother and I are currently working on two that are pretty difficult. On one, you have to find 14 caches and get the cards from each and solve a puzzle from the hints on the cards. One of the locations required hiking/climbing up the side of a steep hill (there was a path, of sorts. I was out of breath at the top of this one.

The other is a sequence of 45 locations, you find the first and it redirects you to the second, etc. It was a group effort, not done by one individual. The total distance to go from one cache to the next is 115 miles. We've been working on this one for a month off and on, and have found the first 6 locations.

Mike
Now that sounds like a fun treasure hunt! You definitely have to keep us up to date on this :)
 
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