Geocaching Edmonton and Area Association
G E A A
Geocaching Edmonton and Area Association
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
So, How Does it Work?
Geocaches are hidden all over the world by fellow geocachers. A geocacher will go to a location which has usually some special interest or beauty. This is often one of their favourite places to visit. At the location, they will hide a small waterproof box containing a few varied bits and pieces (usually of little value), a logbook and a pen or pencil. Using their GPS receiver, the geocacher records the coordinates of their geocache and returns home to post its existence on the geocaching.com website.
Another geocacher will see the listing about the geocache, enter the coordinates into their GPS receiver and go in search of it.
When they find it, the finder may take something from the geocache and leave something in return, and for posterity, write about their find in the logbook. If you take something, leave something of equal or greater value in it's place, also return the geocache as you found it (hidden of course).
When the seeker returns home, he/she should log on to the geocaching.com website and log that they have found the geocache and pass any comments they wish. These logs are important to the geocache hider. It is part of their ‘reward’ for hiding the geocache.
However, before placing geocaches yourself, we strongly advise that you build up your enthusiasm for and commitment to the game over a period of time. The greatest proportion of geocaching ‘drop-outs’ occur in the first 12 months after starting. The result can often lead to unwanted and unmaintained geocaches geo-littering the countryside. We would prefer this not to happen, as it spoils the game for everyone to find a neglected geocache.
What do I Need to Play the Game?
A sense of fun and adventure, a GPS receiver or a smart phone and some method of transport.
A sense of adventure to go out and find places you might never have otherwise known about and see things which would have passed you by. Imagine sitting on a small hill watching two young foxes ‘playing’ together in the field below you while a Red Kite wheels and performs aerobatics over your head.
A GPS receiver (often referred to as simply a GPS) is a device which ‘listens’ to the signals broadcast from satellites orbiting the Earth. From those signals, a GPS or global positioning system is able to calculate its location on the planet to typically within about 5 metres. Once a GPS knows where it is, and where you want to go, it can point you to your destination. GPS receivers are available from around £80 in the UK up to several hundred. A simple base model is sufficient for geocaching, but the more expensive models offer many varied facilities. There are also Geocaching apps available for most smart phones, so you may even have a device you can use to play already! Just search for “Geocaching” in the App store on your device.
Access to the Internet. Geocaches (often abbreviated to ‘caches’) are listed on the website www.geocaching.com. Sign up for free, log in and search for geocaches in your local area, you will be surprised how close your nearest one will be.
A form of transport. Most geocaches are hidden in the countryside and away from public transport routes so a method of getting to the locality is helpful. It is also true that many geocachers do use public transport/cycles and hiking. You may however, find some geocaches in your local town or city which are in fact right on your doorstep! Look at the attributes on the geocache page for parking waypoints, public transport, whether bicycles are allowed, if the geocache is recommended for kids, or if there is a hike involved.
A few bits and pieces to use as swaps in the geocaches you visit. There is no compulsion to swap anything, but often you will find an item of interest in a geocache, it is only fair play that if you take something, you should leave something in exchange of equal or greater value.
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Remember to bring:
Something to leave in the cache. One of the rules of geocaching is: if you take something out of the cache - you must replace it with another item of equal or greater value. Bring along a small toy, trinket or token to leave behind. Do not leave behind food or heavily scented items (we don’t want animals damaging the geocaches).
A pen or pencil. Remember to sign the log book found inside a cache. Some caches are too small to accommodate a pen or pencil - so bring your own!
Extra batteries for your GPS.
Hints and Tips
Before you set out on a geocaching adventure - check the online logbook to make sure the cache has not gone missing or is under repair.
Most importanly be safe. Check out the terrain and difficulty ratings for each cache before you head out for your geocaching experience! Some caches may be difficult to get to and, if beyond your ability, don't take chances. Some caches are only available at certain times of the year.