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Geocaching: High tech treasure hunting for everyone

Technically Speaking

Geocaching, you ask? It certainly is a funny sounding word, but what is it? If we said “treasure hunting” would that be better? In many ways geocaching is a game of high-tech treasure hunting for fun. The treasure may be just stickers or toy soldiers, but the fun is really in the hunt. The search for the “cache”, as it is called, is what it is really all about.

To begin geocaching there are a few things you will need, however. You will need a GPS unit. In most cases an “outdoor” GPS unit – or sometimes called a hiking GPS, which is different than an ordinary car unit – will be necessary Outdoor units have more detailed maps when it comes to navigating off-road areas such as fields and wooded areas. The same companies that make car GPS units such as Garmin and Magellan also make outdoor GPS units as well.

If you’re unsure whether you want to invest in an outdoor GPS unit, you can always use a car GPS unit or even your smartphone if it is GPS enabled. With these types of devices you can find caches that are hidden in public spaces that are within cellular range.

At some point before your search, you will need access to the Internet to find the coordinates of the hidden caches, whether it is on your smartphone or with a regular computer. The most popular site is geocaching.com – this site has the most comprehensive list of cache sites. Once you create your free account you can then gain access to information about hundreds of caches in your area.

The website even has a “Geocaching101,” or “beginners,” section for those new to the game. This section gives tips on how to get started and provides information on some easier ways to find caches for newcomers.

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