Did you know there are over 200 hidden treasures in the tri-county area? Thanks to Geocaching, anyone with a sense of adventure can go on a treasure hunt in their hometowns. In fact, there are over three million active geocaches worldwide and geocaching translates into 20 languages.
What is geocaching? Available in over 190 countries, geocaching is a GPS-enabled treasure hunt for outdoor enthusiasts. Players follow GPS coordinates to find caches hidden by fellow geo-explorers in public spaces. Geocaching began as a way to test the accuracy of GPS receivers.
Geocaching is an activity that can be done individually or in a group. Ideally, the cache is usually a waterproof container, sometimes an ammo box, strategically placed in a public space where it sits unnoticed by the general public. The cache will contain small items and/or a log. To get a better grasp of how it all works, check out Geocaching 101 for tips and advice.
Create a free basic account at Geochaching.com or download the FREE app. To play, simply search for geocaches within a 10, 20, or 50-mile radius. Next, choose a cache location and read the clues associated with it. From there, download the coordinates to a cell phone or handheld GPS device. Obviously, be aware of private property, respect boundary lines, and always park in a safe location.
Find a cache.
When a cache is found, first take a moment to observe the cache and how it was put in place. Open the container and sign the logbook. If the cache contains trinkets or swag items, take an item out and leave something of equal or greater value inside. As a rule of thumb, return the cache to its original position to avoid detection from “Muggles”, a name for people who are oblivious to geocaching.
Record a FIND.
Share the experience online and record it as a FIND. The geocaching website and app will save the data in your profile dashboard. In some cases, if the cache is not found, it is important to log that as well. Also, if you find a cache damaged or left open, as a courtesy, record that in your log so the owner can remedy the situation.
Hide a cache.
As a member of the geocaching community, one can hide a cache for others to find. However, geocache experts recommend finding at least 20 geocaches before hiding one. The more geocaches you find, the better you will understand how to create an enjoyable experience for other geocaches. Of course, before you hide a cache, get permission from the business or landowner. Once your cache is approved and published, make sure to monitor and visit the cache location periodically to inspect the container and contents.
Geocachers take advantage of every opportunity to find beautiful places and hidden treasures. Basically, every destination becomes a new playing field for geocachers. To learn more about geocaching and other activities around Cuba, MO, go to visitcubamo.com.