First, here's some info: Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and finding treasures. One person places a geocache in a location somewhere in the world, pinpoints the location using a GPS unit and then shares the location online. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. A system of satellites works with a GPS receiver you hold to determine your location on the planet. Anybody with a GPS unit can search for the treasure. A geocache (cache for short) is the hidden container. The container contains at least a logbook. If the container is big enough, it can also hold a pencil and treasures to trade.
One important term you may find in the descriptions or in comments is the word "Muggle." If you are a Harry Potter fan, you know a Muggle is a non-magical person. In geocaching, a Muggle is a non-geocaching person. Muggles may look at you weird while you are looking under rocks, in trees and walking through areas off trail with lots of tall weeds and lots of cactus. They may also accidentally find a cache and either get hooked on geocaching, ignore it or they may take the cache thinking they are cleaning up litter. Muggles get blamed for missing geocaches all of the time.
Here are the steps for Geocaching:
1. Set up an account at Geocaching.com. You can sign up for a free account or a Premium membership (see the website for details.)
- FTF: First To Find a new geocache
- BYOP: Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil - let's you know you need to bring your own writing utensil to sing the log
- DNF: Did Not Find - A log type to let the owner of the cache know that there could be an issue with their cache.
When you find the cache, sign the logbook (or log sheet) and check out the SWAG (acronym for "Stuff We All Get"). If you take some SWAG, be sure to leave something. In the cache below, I took the Scooby Doo SWAG and left the bobber. If you take something, you HAVE to leave something!
5. Enjoy the area. A lot of geocaches are hidden in areas with a lot of history, beautiful scenery or lots of fun things to do. One of our favorite lakes to fish and camp at has a lot of areas with historical signs and we have never stopped to look at them. On this trip, we stopped and checked out the signs while we were looking for the geocaches.
When logging a find, you can use these as comments:
- TFTC: Thanks For The Cache
- TFTH: Thanks For The Hide
- TNLN: Took Nothing Left Nothing
- TNLNSL: Took Nothing Left Nothing Signed Log
- TNSL: Took Nothing Signed Log