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Getting started with Geocaching

Everyone love a treasure hunt?

Isn't it an adrenaline-pumping experience to be so close to a treasure, hunting for it, that you can almost taste it? Now add the global village to the boundaries, a few satellites, some travel bugs and a peanut butter container wrapped in camouflage duct tape and the game is on. Welcome to geocaching!

Geocaching Treasure HuntGeocaching is like a high-tech global game of hide and seek. Some creative mind creates and hides a cache (treasure), pinpoints it's location with a GPS (Global Positioning System), and publishes the location of the cache for the world to see. Treasure-hunters like you and I then find the cache and trade some goodies from the cache.

Geo-caching first began at the turn of the century (that's 2000, not 1900) when then-President Bill Clinton allowed the military to enable GPS accuracy features from accuracy of 100 m to within feet of location points. This allowed GPS accuracy for tracking and location position points. The first cache was created in Oregon in May of 2000 and today the game has exploded to over 3 MILLION caches in over 190 countries on all 7 continents.

How does this apply to Gogirlfriend? Are you a camper? Do you like nature-walks? Want to keep the kids busy on a vacation? Do you and your partner want to share in some outdoor activities together? Or are you a hiker?

Ms. Gogirlfriend and I cruised the Caribbean again this year and we archived all the available caches on each of the islands we are stopped at. We didn't know exactly where our travels would take us, but with a GPS we were never be lost and who knows what geo-caching opportunity may cross our path.

Geocaching with Mrs. GoGirlfriendLast cruise we found caches in an awesome secluded garden in San Juan, at a beachside burger stand while exploring Orient Beach, in an old castle while on a mountain biking trek with 20 others in Curacao, and plan this adventure to add a few more to our tally. 

How do you get started? Old style ... Pick up a GPS unit that has co-ordinate entry capabilities to enter geocache location points (I have a Garmin eTrex Legend Hcx) - they begin at about $99 for a starter unit. Today ... your iPhone or Android is equipped with GPS technology. All you need is the Geocaching app on your phone!

  • Log on to Geocaching.com and create an account.
  • Under Hide and Seek a cache, just put in your home address or state to begin the search right in your neighborhood.
  • Use the "Map It" feature to use a maps visualization of all the caches in your area. The games can then begin as you see the potential of what caches are out there.
  • Pick a cache to find nearby.
  • Read the description, decode the "hint", and hit start to begin navigating to the area.
  • As the cache gets closer feel the excitement build as the treasure nears (especially if kids are with your group!

Geocaching is a fun, outdoor adventure that can take you into new areas right around the world. The philosophy with a cache of take something, leave something discovers all manners of trinkets, geocoins and travel bugs to enhance the experience.

While we travel the islands of the Caribbean, I'll be watching for a cache in our travels for what new adventures they may bring.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or drop us a line to let us know how you Geocache!

Viator

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Thanks for the invite to your Facebook Group - we're now members!

I started caching in 2002 during my separation from my (now) ex-husband and it's stuck with me ever since. I've traveled across the US in search of caches and places to explore, and have racked up almost 8000 cache finds. It's the only hobby I've ever had for longer than a couple of years! It's a great activity to keep me from sitting in front of the TV or the laptop for long periods of time - I've visited some of the coolest places I would have never known about otherwise, and made some of the greatest friends.

Hey Koenko, Geocaching is a great way to travel - and meet people. We did it on our last cruise (during a shore excursion on Curaco) and everyone with us got involved. If you have 8,000 caches - we bow down to you! Thanks for sharing!

Great column on the rockin' topic of Geocaching. Greetings from N.A.G.S. - North America Geocaching Society. We would love to have you join us on Facebook! Add your link to our group!

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