A handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) device is used in the game of geocaching, which is a kind of treasure hunting. Hiders conceal a geocache, which is a tiny waterproof container, at any location on the planet, make a note of the geocache’s GPS coordinates, and then put the geocache on a website for hunters to search. After the location has been documented, treasure seekers may use a hand-held GPS device for assistance in locating the hidden stash. They will often approach rather near, but in order to locate a cache that is well concealed, they may need to use some dexterity. The size of a typical cache may range from very minute to substantial, and in order to make the search for it more difficult, it is often hidden in plain sight. The cache will often have a journal for documenting the discovery in addition to a few trinkets that may be traded (usually of little monetary value).
In May of 2000, once the United States government made the decision to make an enhanced GPS signal accessible to the general public, the sport of geocaching was born. Because of this, the general public’s usage of GPS devices became far more accurate and helpful than it had been up to that moment.
Shortly after this official declaration from the government, David Ulmer of Oregon hid his very first geocache. His plan for the game, which he referred to back then as The Great GPS Stash Hunt, was pretty straightforward: the person who concealed the container was responsible for noting the GPS coordinates. A notation would be made in the log, the container would be located using those coordinates, and things would be traded.
It didn’t take long for someone to find the cache, and from there, a new activity in the great outdoors was born.
Over the course of the last several years, the game has undergone significant development. There are now over one million geocaches buried in various parts of the globe. It is likely that there is a cache located nearby in some location. The first cache I located was just a quarter of a mile or less from my house. Our family enjoys going geocaching together, and since we started doing so, we have discovered a number of containers and even concealed a couple of our own.
It’s not that difficult of a task:
- To determine the locations of caches where we wish to go treasure hunting, we utilise either Geocaching.com or Terracaching.com.
- Either we can print out the papers or we can put them into my Palm PDA.
- Using our GPS device, we enter the coordinates into the appropriate fields.
- We gather our wares for trade along with some refreshing beverages, since we don’t want to get dehydrated.
- Once we’ve located the location of the geocache, we begin our search with the assistance of the GPS device. In most cases, the listings provide a clear indication of what it is that we need to be searching for.
- When we have located the hidden treasure, we will next write a notation in the logbook and exchange stuff (usually small toys for us since we hunt with a 3-year old).
- When we are finished, we make it a point to visit the listing website once more in order to record the find.
- Every once in a while, I like to post a new entry on my geocaching blog, which can be found at Caching Adventures. Telling the tales that don’t exactly fit into the log entry may be done here, which is an excellent location to do so.
The sport of geocaching has introduced us to a number of nearby parks that we were familiar with but had never visited. In a single trip, our family will often find anywhere from three to five caches. Others will take on a far greater burden.
One of the beneficial things that geocaching has done for us is that it has encouraged us to go out of the home and enjoy the fresh air and natural surroundings once again.
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