It’s summer, let’s get out and explore! Geocaching makes this super easy and super fun.
Geocaching came about over 10 years ago and was originally called “GPS Stash Hunt” because that’s exactly what geocaching is- a hide and seek treasure hunt with people all over the globe. At it’s origin, geocachers would go onto their computers and find a coordinate to the hidden cache and then navigate to the cache with a handheld GPS. Since then, geocaching has evolved into a very user friendly experience and through their app you can access millions of geocaches in seconds.
We understand that not every hobby is right for every person, but our philosophy has always been to try something new and our goal is to pass that philosophy onto others. So this month in particular, we really encourage you to try. It’s a really easy hobby to put off because if you’ve never geocached, it requires you to step outside of your comfort zone. (pun intended)
Included in your New Hobby Box is everything needed to create, hide, & find a geocache. The Geocache App is free but it also has a ‘premium’ option that gives you access to even more geocaches… 3 million in 180 countries to be exact. On the insert included in your NHB you will find a handwritten code for you to have the premium Geocaching perks. To activate your premium membership and take advantage of it’s perks, we recommend reading through this tutorial fully (perhaps even go on a maiden voyage) and then redeem HERE 😉 😉
Before we get into how to find and stash caches, take a look at these important geocaching terms:
Cache – A shortened version of the word geocache.
Cacher – Also known as Geocacher. One who participates in geocaching.
Muggle – A non geocacher. Based on “Muggle” from the Harry Potter series, which is a non-magical person.
Muggled – The discovery of a geocache by a non geocacher. When a cache has been “muggled”, it usually means it was dismantled or removed by an unsuspecting non-player.
Logbook – A physical record of everyone who has found a geocache. Usually made of paper, logbooks come in many different sizes, shapes, and formats.
The Creed – Also known as the “Geocachers’ Creed“. Designed to help orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations, so that everyone can enjoy geocaching.
FTF – “First to Find”. An acronym written by geocachers in physical cache logbooks or online when logging cache finds to denote being the first to find a new geocache.
SL – “Signed Log”
GC Code – A unique identifier associated with every geocache listing. The GC Code starts with the letters “GC” and is followed by other alphanumeric characters, such as GCK25B.
SWAG – “Stuff We All Get.” Trade items left in caches by geocachers.
Find Count – The number of geocaches a player has found.
GPS – “Global Positioning System” A system of satellites working with a GPS receiver to determine a person’s location on Earth.
Ground Zero – (GZ) The point where your GPS device shows that you have reached the geocache location. At ground zero, you are zero feet (or zero meters) away from your destination.
Puzzle Cache – A type of Mystery Cache involving puzzles to be solved to determine the final coordinates. The puzzle should be solvable from the information provided on the cache page.
Power Trail – A path with a large number of caches placed within close proximity to each other. Promotes players’ ability to easily increase their find count.
Finding a Geocache:
Step 1- Create a geocaching account at www.geocaching.com or directly on the app.
Step 2- Plan your first find.
Step 3- Navigate to the location.
As mentioned in the video, geocaches come in various shapes, sizes, and difficulties. Some of them even require solving puzzles to reveal the cache’s location. The most common and the original cache is the Traditional Cache. Traditional caches come in micro, xs, medium, or large sizes. Every traditional cache will contain a logbook to find and depending on it’s size, it will contain items to trade.
The items in your fanny pack serve as trade-ables, so be sure to take them with you on your first geocaching adventure.
Things to note:
The Geocacher’s Creed
When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:
- Not endanger myself or others.
- Observe all laws & rules of the area.
- Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.
- Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.
- Minimize my and others’ impact on the environment.
- Be considerate of others.
- Protect the integrity of the game.
Geocaching at night is not recommended
Before navigating, read the description
Each geocache will have a description with information regarding the specific cache such as it’s name, ID, size, the type of terrain, and the difficulty. Most caches will also have a brief history of the location or why the owner (person who hid the cache) chose that location. Some geocaches also provide ‘hints’ if you have trouble finding the cache. For an example, we’ve chosen to navigate to Geocache GCMTF8 named “Tree Huggers”. Here is it’s description:
By looking at the description, we can see that this is a XS traditional geocache with low difficulty and terrain levels! With this being an XS cache, it will more than likely only contain a log. Time to find out….
Always bring a writing utensil.. Just in case
The description to this cache does not indicate to BYOP (Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil) like some descriptions do… but since it is an XS cache, it’s safe to bring one just in case there isn’t one or in case the pen/pencil is damaged.
Center the compass needle
Time to go. After pressing “start”, navigating to the cache is as simple as centering the compass needle.
However, once you hit ground zero, it’s best to look up 😉 We decided to have a look at this cache’s hint and it was, “Two trees, one heart.” ……..Then we saw this:
Know your acronyms
Now that we’ve found our cache, it’s time to sign the log book. But before you sign your first logbook, it’s important to know logbook acronyms.
We signed our names and the acronym T4TC which means, “Thanks for the cache”
Even though this cache was an XS, past cachers left swag…. we found a soda tab, piece of shell, ticket to The Shed, a photo, and an index card with jokes on it. However, we TNLN (Took Nothing Left Nothing)
Try different types of caches
Geocaching has level upon level of new things you can try. For example, Earthcaching. Once you enable your premium account using the code written on your insert, you will notice an earth shaped icon on your maps. These are Earthcaches. An EarthCache is a special geological location people can visit to learn about a unique feature of the Earth. Other types of caches include: Puzzle-caches, Multi-caches, Letterbox-caches, and more. The complete list of types of caches can be found here.
Hiding a geocache:
Ready to hide a geocache?
If you haven’t already figured it out… The container and logbook included in your New Hobby Box are for you to create and hide your own cache.
The FTF button is for the first person who finds your cache.
BE CREATIVE! Before hiding your cache, go on a few finds. Notice how the best finds are the ones that lead you somewhere interesting and have great clues to go along with it. Help fellow cachers discover somewhere new, learn something new, or solve a puzzle.
Geocaching takes hiding caches pretty seriously so please familiarize yourself with their guidelines: www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx
There are 3 steps you must preform in order to hide a Geocache.
- Take the quiz (below)
- Create and prepare your cache
- Submit your cache for review (below quiz)
When you are ready to redeem your Premium Membership Code you can do so here 🙂
**If at some point you have already had a Premium Geocaching account, you will need to create a new account to upgrade using your code. (Your code only upgrades to Premium from a Basic membership)**
THANKS FOR TRYING NEW THINGS WITH US!!
A big congrats to Josiah P. from Georgia on being chosen as our video contest winner! Check out the awesome video that won him a 12 month subscription:
I'm excited to be a part of a contest for hobbies using my other hobby – video making 🙂
Posted by Josiah Palmer on Sunday, July 30, 2017
What questions do you have for the New Hobby Box team or each other?
Once you’ve set out on your adventure, please share your experiences…
Your friends, @NewHobbyBox