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GEOCaching on a Budget
- Buying a GPS Device For Geocaching: If you’re looking to start geocaching, you’ll probably need a GPS device. This handy guide tells you what features to look for in a GPS system.
- GPS Reviews For Geocaching: This website has detailed reviews of different brand and models of GPS systems. The list can help you get a good idea of how much it will cost, too.
- What is The Best GPS For Geocaching?: This is essentially a combo of the two previous sources. A list of features you need and a list of specific models to consider.
GeoCache Apps for iPhone
- A Beginner’s Step by Step Guide to Geocaching (PDF): From the University of Connecticut, this PDF will give you a step-by-step list of ways to get started in the geocaching world.
- Everything On Geocaching: Start here if want a lot of facts! This is a Wiki on the basics as well as the history, technology, ethics and other ins and outs of geocaching.
Get Started Geocaching With The Kids
- High-Tech Treasure Hunt Gets Kids Outdoors: The National Wildlife Foundation wrote this article about their geocaching program through the Ranger Rick Magazine.
GeoCache Apps for Android
- CacheSense: This is a paid app with a reasonable price that allows you to access Geocaching Live. It also supports Google navigation.
Ready to get started with your budget-friendly hobby?
Geocaching traditionally involves hiding a container with a log book and a small “treasure.” The coordinates are then shared online through a geocaching website or app. Some geocachers prefer to use hints, puzzles and vague clues to guide you. When you find the cache, you sign the logbook and can take the treasure as long as you replace it with something of equal or greater value.
Luckily this fun, family-friendly hobby is easy on the budget, especially if you already own a GPS device or a smartphone. Here are a couple of things you should consider when starting out.
Find a good geocache resource: To access a geocache database, you’ll need to sign up with one of the many geocaching websites. Some cost money, while others are free. Some offer premium memberships that allow you access to different kinds of caches. Whatever you start out with, remember you’re not locked in. You can try demos or cancel your first subscription if you find another website you like better.
Get your “survival kit” together: A geocache can be hidden near the playground at the end of the street or it can be along a hiking trail or in a state or national park. Make sure you’re prepared for the length and exertion of your particular geocache.
Your kit may include the following items:
- A good pair of shoes
- A GPS system
- A cell phone (in case of emergencies and for general reference)
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Water and snacks
- A backpack
- A “treasure” to leave in the cache
- A camera
- A notepad, pen and calculator (in case you have to solve puzzles to find the cache)
Learn the etiquette: Veteran geocachers have established a code of honor when it comes to their caches. These can include common sense rules and basic courtesy. For instance, never take a prize or treasure from a cache without leaving your own. Because many children are engaged in geocaching, never leave profane or violent material or any dangerous objects like drugs, knives, etc.
Always put the cache back where you found it. Don’t use the container to start your own cache somewhere else. This means the next person using the same information that led you to the cache will be led to nothing. That’s quite a disappointing experience!
Create your own caches: On that note, don’t forget to contribute to the geocaching community yourself. There tend to be far more seekers than “planters” of caches. Once you’re familiar with how the process works, put together your own cache in a watertight container (many people use old Tupperware), and establish your own coordinates, puzzles, and clues to provide a day of fun for someone else!
One last note on safety:
- We would like to end by giving a few more common sense tips for safety.
- Do not put yourself or anyone else at risk of bodily harm in order to reach or place a cache
- Avoid geocaching at night, especially in unfamiliar areas
- Wear sunscreen and bug repellant, as needed
- Always bring water, just in case!
- Make sure your phone and GPS device are fully charged before you head out!
Are you ready? Gather your supplies and start treasure hunting!
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