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Dennis

Travel Note A Geocaching Primer

Dennis

100+ Posts
Dennis submitted a new resource:

A Geocaching Primer - A modern treasure hunt to get one out walking

What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is an electronic treasure hunt. One finds caches at listed GPS co-ordinates.

Why Geocache?
Many geocaches are in interesting or picturesque places. I would have missed once in a lifetime views had I not hunted geocaches. Most memorable is the panoramic view I was treated to high above Ephesus.

If one has children or grandchildren, it is a way to engage the whole family in an activity. Some geocaches are listed as “child friendly” and contain...
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joe

500+ Posts
Hello Dennis,

I have heard and read about geocaching, but never felt inclined to do one of these hunts (or place a cache). A treasure-hunt type of game is one of the best types of games around, both for kids and adults (I used to organize some for my children and their friends when they were young), and I completely understand the appeal of these. You also mentioned the sense of community between participants, and the opportunity to reach interesting places that you might not have seen, were it not for geocaching.

But what I'm curious about is why people are attracted to this type of way of seeing new places, and are willing to devote so much time to it. Basically, when you travel (or even just visit an area that could be new to you, even though it's close to home), your senses are flooded by new sights, and one's natural curiosity is usually sparked. Everyone gets attracted to whatever is interesting to them personally (and if you like to just let your instincts lead you, then all the better). What do you think is special about geocaching, that just good-old exploring can't accomplish?

In my case, walking around for hours squinting at an "X" on a screen while traveling would be a sure-fire way to be invited to a divorce...! ;)
 

Dennis

100+ Posts
Hi Joe:
I agree with you Joe. The old saw about golf "a good walk ruined" could apply to geocaching. For me the attraction is doing the activity in the company of others, particularly my grandchildren. I was introduced to it while travelling with my daughter in Turkey. My wife too poo-poos some of my quests but she also at times becomes infected with the thrill of the chase and has persevered when I was ready to give up.

In familiar places like our neighbourhood parks, it gets me out walking territory I've been over many times. I view the trail with new eyes ("Hmm I hadn't noticed that bunch of lady slipper orchids before"). In new places your comments ring particularly true. However, by viewing the description and others comments on the website I have chosen obscure tracks that I would not have known about otherwise. The cache above Ephesus remains a highlight for me. Here's the view we experienced.

Anatolia 2008 623.jpg


In the final analysis, it's another fun outdoor activity. Your comments could also apply to individuals who do birding, wild flower viewing, photography or any other focused outdoor activity.

I, like you, are content to, in Wordsworth's words "wander lonely as a cloud" for many of my walks.
Buen Camino!
 

joe

500+ Posts
In the final analysis, it's another fun outdoor activity.
I'm sure it is.
Is there some way I can see if there are any caches in my area, for example, without having to pay anything? Do they give you general locations of caches, with the exact coordinates kept for registered members? Just out of curiosity....
 

Dennis

100+ Posts
Hi Joe:
Go to www.geocaching.com. Register as a basic member. It's free. That's all I've got and am satisfied with it. Once registered you can put in your address (street and city). A list will come up. From there you can either click on the cache name or go to the right hand side top and click on "Map these caches" or something similar. A map will appear. You can zoom in or out. Click on a symbol and the cache name and info will pop up. Then click on the name to get particulars. "Clear search filters" in map view will generally garner more cache hits.

The process for c:geo is much the same. It is an app that presently is only available for android devices. Download it from Google Play. This website has a good overview and instruction guide : http://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/content/programs-and-classes/featured-series/geocaching/pdfs/c-geo-tip-sheet.pdf
 

joe

500+ Posts
Thanks Dennis, I'll look into it. This will be interesting - if there's something close by, I might give it a go...
 

joe

500+ Posts
Well, I registered on the site, and lo and behold! there's a cache less than two kms. from my home.
I entered the coordinates into Google Maps on my computer, saw more or less on the map (satellite view) where the cache is located , read the hint on the site - and off I went.
This one was pretty easy, I found it in about five minutes. Here are some pics for those who are first-timers, like me. (Spoiler warning : I show the cache!).
I didn't get hooked, but I can see the appeal, especially for a foreign tourist. Also nice to read the comments on the site, from tourists who found it.
I just replaced everything as I found it.

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Dennis

100+ Posts
Congrats Joe! Kudos for giving it a try. Specially impressed that you tracked one down without relying on a hand-held GPS unit. Remember to log it in.
 

Pauline

Forums Admin
We found one today on the Main Street of our village. The hint was To The Sea and this is my favourite sign in the village. It also said magnetic and we eventually found a small container with a magnet attaching it to the back of the sign. Inside were tiny pieces of paper.

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Dennis

100+ Posts
Bravo Pauline. The pieces of paper were logs of others who have found the cache. Micros like the one you found, are, to my mind, less satisfying than regular sized caches that contain "treasures" like lapel pins, foreign coins etc. I specialize in garnering key chains. Others like micros because they are harder to fond.
 

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