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Geocaching 101

Page history last edited by Jason 9 years, 10 months ago

Welcome to the wonderful world of GEOCACHING! 


Geocache opened


"an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world." 


You can think of it as a treasure hunt, using your mobile phone! (or GPS receiver). Most of the worlds community of geocachers share info and connect with one another on http://www.geocaching.com/. A free site to join, with extra privileges for subscribers (naturally). They also provide an app for both iOS and android, which although not cheap (10$) adds alot of value to the geocaching experience. The good news is, the app purchase is not required to participate, all you need is the coordinates of the cache you are looking for, (which can be searched online and printed out), and a device with which to receive GPS coordinates, (most likely your phone). A complete introduction to geocaching can be found on their site, but in short the game involves 3 steps:


1. Browsing - Perform searches on the website (or using the app)  looking for caches close-by that you will attempt to locate.


2. Discovery - Explore the site using your GPS device to hone in on the target.  Once you get as close as possible to the coordinates (aka "ground zero") you can begin looking for the cache.  This part is fun as the cache is always hidden, and sometimes involves more intricate puzzle solving or clue interpretation.


3. Sharing - Report back to the community on your findings! Build your reputation by finding many caches, and help keep them aches active by reporting missing or tampered with sites. 


Geocache quick FAQ


What do I do when I find a cache? Huzzah! At the very least, the cache will contain a logbook. You can 'sign in' with your name and date, them simply replace the cache to the state you found it in. (Or better if things look awry) Many caches however do in fact contain treasures and the protocol is to leave something behind if you wish to take one of the cache treasures.


Won't casual passers-by be suspicious? Maybe! These casual onlookers (non geo-cachers) are refereed to as "Muggles" and although they are mostly harmless you should avoid looking too conspicuous and tipping them off that you are seeking treasure. Discretion is advised particularity in urban areas. 


What if I can't find a cache? How hard were you looking?!  Some caches are indeed hard to find, the difficulty rating can be found on the website. There may also be additional hints available, but usually those are spoilers and will give you the specific info you need to find it.  In some cases, a cache may have gone missing so you should also check the recent logs to see when the last time it was reported as found.



Geocache supplies

  • A map and/or the cache coordinates. These can be found on http://www.geocaching.com/ or by using gthe app. 
  • A fine point pen (to sign the log book)
  • Treasures of your own to leave behind. These can be ANYTHING but are mostly small things. Marbles, kindertoys, business cards, shiny rocks, anything. Don't take one of the treasure unless you can leave a suitable replacement!


Geocache at SFU

There have already been many fine caches established on Burnaby mountain, several of which are within a 10-15 minute walk of the DAC, where the ETUG spring workshop is being held. There may even be some extra-easy caches set up just for ETUG! ;)







Comments (2)

Jason said

at 3:34 pm on Apr 9, 2013

Hey Folks! I'm committed to setting up a special ETUG cache for our event, and looking for any and all ideas on how best to integrate it into the workshop. Let me know your thoughts, and if you think any additional information or facilitation would be needed to pull this off. Cheers! 8j

Gina Bennett said

at 7:26 am on Apr 10, 2013

I *love* this!!! Jason, this is a great introduction, just enough info to be useful, intriguing, but not overwhelming. Some special caches just for ETUG? How cool is that?

I have linked to this page from the main SCETUG wiki page.

Hm, it would be awfully nice if we could add a 'badge' for this.... Leva???

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