Geocaching has become one of the most popular activities to do with a GPS receiver. Thousands and thousands of people around the world use their GPS receivers to go on geocache adventures and see the countryside. The next step in enjoying geocaching is to make your own. There are a few simple steps to make a geocache, so we ve compiled a list of all the things you need to consider when making your own geocache.
What Kind of Geocache?
Believe it or not, there are several different kinds of geocaches you can make; the kind you create depends on what you like to do. They also depend on the interests of the people who will seek your geocache.
- Traditional Cache A traditional cache is as simple as they get. You pick a location to conceal your cache and record a single set of coordinates for geocachers to locate. Geocachers put the coordinates into their GPS receiver and find the best path to your cache. Some people who make geocaches create puzzles or clues to figuring out the coordinates to make the geocache more challenging.
- Multicache A multicache is just a standard geocache that takes a little more effort to find. You record a series of landmarks or coordinates that geocachers must find before they make it to the final geocache site. Simply create clues for each waypoint that will lead geocachers to the next waypoint until they find your geocache at the end of the trail. You can also create puzzles and clues at each waypoint to make the geocache more difficult.
- Virtual cache Virtual caches aren t a physical cache (hence the name); instead, the reward of a virtual cache is the location itself. If you know of a beautiful or fascinating spot or a famous landmark, create a virtual cache by requiring the geocacher to get a picture of the virtual cache location or information about it. Virtual caches are popular in places that are environmentally sensitive or have historical significance because people can learn more about the places they visit.
Where to Hide the Geocache?
After you know what kind of cache you want to make, it s time to pick the location. Picking the right location is the most important part of making a geocache. For most geocachers, half the fun of geocaching is the scenery.
The easiest way to start is to select a location that you already like and visit frequently; then you ll know it well enough that you can select the right spot. You don t have to make a geocache out in the woods either; some geocaches are hidden in urban areas. The most important considerations in making a geocache are stashing it in a place that won t be accidentally found by non-geocachers and hiding it on public property so that anybody can look for it.
Avoid hiding a geocache in places that aren t open all year round or in rough terrain that might be too difficult for the average geocacher.
What to Put in the Geocache?
Making a geocache is easy because you only need a few simple things.
- You need a water-tight, weatherproof container that can withstand some wear and tear. The container should be big enough to hold the following items below.
- Next, include a logbook. This is a small notebook or pad of paper where geocachers can log their success in finding the cache. Typical logs include name, date and time of discovery and a few lines about the journey. Remember to include pencils for people to write with (pens can be included but will dry out over time).
- Finally, include a handful of trinkets, toys or other small prizes that geocachers can take as a memento of the cache. It is a long-standing tradition of geocaching to take an object from the cache and replace it with something of equal or greater value.
Make sure that all these items fit easily into the cache container with some extra room left over if geocachers want to add something to it. You can also create a microcache if there isn t very much room to conceal the cache. A microcache is a smaller container (often a film canister) with just a rolled up piece of paper for a logbook and a stub of pencil.
You can also include a geocoin, sometimes called a travel bug. Geocachers take the geocoin from one cache and leave it in another the next time they go geocaching. Then the process is repeated by other geocachers. The geocoin has a tracking number on it that can be entered into certain websites that keep track of the geocoin s journey. Some geocoins have traveled all around the world in the pockets of geocachers.
How to Stash Your Cache
Once you ve created the cache, take it to your chosen location and hide it. Try to do it at a time when other people aren t around so suspicious people don t take it. Hiding your geocache is tricky business because it has to be easy enough to find that a geocacher can find it but concealed well enough that non-geocachers won t stumble upon it. If you hide your geocache thoroughly it may be important to give clues for finding it once geocachers have found the right spot.
Once you ve hidden your geocache, create an entry on one of the geocaching websites that catalog geocaches. Give the coordinates, any clues and details about what kind of terrain geocachers should expect so they can be prepared.
Congratulations, you ve just made your own geocache. You can sit back and wait for other people to find your geocache, and then, after a few months, go back and check your logbook to see who s been by. It s all part of the fun of making your own geocache.
And make sure you have a GPS receiver that can keep up with your new geocaching abilities. Take a look at our review of Recreational GPS Receivers, where you can find the best-rated GPS receivers on the market.
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