How to Geocache May 24 2013

Before this last weekend I had never been geocaching. I knew it was a fun, a family-friendly, outdoor activity, but with plenty of other favorite things to fill my time I just hadn’t given it a try. Let me assure you, it’s a lot of fun. If you haven’t tried geocaching yet, put it on your to-do list and make it happen. There are opportunities in almost every city so this is one outdoor activity you can enjoy wherever you live.

While preparing for my first geocaching adventure I learned a great deal. I’ll share some of my tips and favorite resources here so you too can learn how to geocache.

What Do You Need?

You don’t need expensive equipment to get started with geocaching. All you need is a smartphone that is GPS enabled or a GPS device. I downloaded a free app for my phone to make things simpler called c:geo. There are also several paid apps you can try, but as a beginner I was happy with the free tools c:geo offered.The popular Geocache app for iPhone can be found here for $9.99.

Some other helpful tools you might want to take along:

·       Pen: Most geocaches have a logbook you can sign. Take a pen so you can fill out the log and leave your mark behind. It’s interesting to see who has visited the cache previously. Some people travel around the country geocaching and it is fun to see entries left by people all around the area and the country.

·       Small Prize to Leave Behind: Many geocaches are stocked with treasures. When you find them you can take a prize out of the cache as long as you leave a similarly valued prize behind. For our first geocaching experience we took a few small prizes including a polished rock, a pair of fancy chopsticks and a small rubber duck.

·       T-REIGN ProCase: A ProCase works great for geocaching. I needed quick and easy access to my phone since I was using it to find GPS coordinates. I always had a safe place to store my phone when I wasn’t using it and could check my location when needed. The new ProHolster would be a great choice if you were using a GPS.

·       Water: Depending on the geocache you’re seeking, you might be in for quite a trek. Take along supplies you would take on a hike including water, sunscreen, snacks and other essentials.

How Do You Geocache?

Geocaching is simple. Find the cache’s GPS coordinates, enter them into your smartphone or GPS device and head to the location. Sometimes this will mean a long walk and other times you’ll find the cache close to where you park the car. Some geocaches are even located in public buildings (or on their grounds) like libraries, universities or hospitals. You’ll find geocaches in a neighborhood, out in the middle of nowhere and everywhere in between.

Once you find the cache you can make an entry in the log book, exchange prizes if the cache has any and move on to the next one. You’ll find that this modern-day treasure hunt is a ton of fun for adults and children. I know I can’t wait to get out and try geocaching again.

And did you know T-REIGN is actively involved in geocaching? If you’re near their manufacturing facility in Ontario, California, there are a few caches to discover.

Here are some great resources to help you learn more about geocaching:

·       Geocaching.com- On this site you’ll find a great listing of available caches, guides to get you started and even some videos. You’ll need to be a member to access all of the content, but registration is free and easy.

·       Dinosaur Train Geocaching- If you’re geocaching with kids you may enjoy looking for a Dinosaur Train themed cache. These are easy to find and especially aimed at children. The Jim Henson Company has partnered with PBS, museums, zoos and other locations to bring these fun, kid themed caches to areas around the country. This is a great way to introduce your little ones to this activity and to get them excited about geocaching.

You don’t have to travel far to enjoy the outdoors. With geocaching your next adventure might be right down the street.