Geocaching is an outdoor sport wherein the participants look for hidden geocaches by using GPS coordinates. Geocaches come in different shapes and sizes. They are hidden in various places as well.
Before you head out and start your geocaching adventure you must first pick out a geocache near your location. There are websites that have a list of geocaches in your area. You can choose from the database a geocache and review the information regarding your chosen cache. Load the coordinates that you will find on the cache page on your GPS-enabled device. Check also for other information that might be helpful in your search. You can either connect your GPS device to your computer to get the coordinates or manually input it onto your device.
When you have all the information you need, drive to the general location of the cache. Using your coordinates, walk around the area until your GPS receiver unit zeroes out. Always check your GPS device to find out if you are in the right area.
When you get to the area indicated on your GPS coordinates, start searching the perimeter for hiding spots. Geocaches may be hidden under fallen logs, piles of rocks, tree bases or under the bush. Any place can be a hiding place.
Finding a cache may be quick or it may take some time. The key is not to give up. Following the coordinates closely will definitely help you find one. When you finally find a cache, don’t just grab it. Observe how it was placed or hidden since you have to put it back exactly how you found it.
After keeping a mental picture of how the cache was placed, carefully get the container and open the lid. If there’s water or dirt, be sure to remove it first before opening the lid to prevent it from going inside the container.
The containers contain a logbook and some pencil. The logbook contains entry from others who have found the cache too. Read whatever is written on the logbook – what other participants have written. On the next empty page, you can share your experience too. Don’t forget to sign your name and include the date as well.
Sometimes, the cache contains small items that can be traded. You can actually get an item from the container granting that you will also leave something behind. You can bring something that is uniquely you to tell other participants that you have been there. If you don’t have something to trade, do not take anything from the container and just sign the logbook.
After you’ve signed the logbook and traded items, put the lid back and make sure it is sealed tightly. Put back the cache exactly the way you found it. Make sure that it is also hidden the same way. Before leaving the area, check if you have all your belongings with you, such as your GPS receiver, cellphone, compass or map. It is also important to cover your tracks and refrain from leaving any sign that you have been there.
When you get home log on to the website where you got the coordinates and share your experience with other geocachers like you. Sharing what you have accomplished and how you were able to do it may be helpful to others. In the event you do not feel like sharing, it is also okay not to do so.