GPS Adventure: Geocaching

GPS Adventure: Geocaching

Have you ever wanted to find treasure? Do you enjoy following clues and solving puzzles? Do you want to see parts of your state that you ve never seen before?

If you answered yes to any of those questions, you may want to try geocaching. Geocaching is a relatively new pastime that focuses on exploring and finding hidden things through the use of GPS systems. Geocaching appeals to people who have a technical side   but it's also for people who love the outdoors. It's about hunting treasure   but you leave as much treasure as you take.

The word geocache refers to a container that someone has hidden. The cache often contains trinkets or prizes for those who find it, although you are expected to put something new in whenever you take something out of a cache. The cache also contains a log that people sign to certify that they have found the cache.

When someone hides a geocache, they find the exact coordinates of the location and include them in the clues to finding it. The people who go geocaching download the clues (or sometimes just the coordinates to the cache) and attempt to use their own GPS devices to decipher the clues and find the cache. Some of the more complex geocaches will have people find the coordinates to additional clues first before everything can be put together to find the final destination.

Geocaching is fun because it allows you to explore places that you might not have visited otherwise. Many geocachers hide the caches in little-known places that few visit. You ll discover parts of the countryside that you never knew existed and get some good exercise since most caches are located off main highways and access roads.

There are literally thousands of caches nearby no matter where you live. There are several websites dedicated to cataloging all the geocaches by area so that anyone can search by area and download instructions to a geocache near them. Some of the most popular sites to try are,, and

Geocaching has become a popular form of recreation only recently. Before May 2000, the military caused all civilian GPS units to show results that were deliberately inaccurate by over 30 feet horizontally and almost 100 feet vertically. But when this inaccuracy was removed in 2000, geocaching was quickly conceived because civilian GPS units were now much more accurate. Only two days after the inaccuracy was removed, Dave Ulmer from Oregon placed the first geocache.

Geocaching quickly caught on with people all over the nation. Many people began doing not just for the challenge but also as a way to appreciate nature and discover new landmarks. There are now geocaches all over America and in many countries around the world. Some people have even begun to keep records of how many geocaches they have found in different countries.

Geocaching will always be an interesting sport because it offers different scenery and a different goal every time. It is also relatively easy to do; you just need a GPS enabled device and sense of adventure. Now is the perfect time to become a treasure hunter because, with geocaching, there are treasures everywhere.

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