Geocaching is one of the latest crazes for people who enjoy outdoor activities and want to have a little fun. What is it? How do you play?
High Tech Treasure Hunting: Geocaching
As high tech treasure hunts go, geocaching is perhaps the hottest craze at the moment. It’s a global game of hide and seek where all of the individuals do the hiding as well as the seeking. It doesn’t even really matter what the treasure is as long as there is a treasure to try and find. The thrill is in the search and the treasure, itself, is merely a prop. Finding the treasure eams “kudos” or high praise to the individual who does so.
Geocaching Defined: What is it?
Taking apart the word geocaching in order to better understand it is simple. Geo comes from the word geography, which means the study of the earth and caching is defined as the process of hiding a cache or creating a hiding place. Geocaching involves the hiding of a secret stash, pinpointing its exact location, the search for the hidden treasure, and the discovery of it. The number of participants varies according to the popularity of the game in the locale at which it occurs.
Geocaching Basics: How to Play
There’s no closing of the eyes or hiding them behind your hands either as this high tech game of “find it if you can” involves greater distances than the original game of childhood hide and seek. The seekers get to use their GPS devices in order to try and track the hidden cache through the coordinates that have been provided.
Players need to understand how to use a GPS receiver as well as how to store waypoints or locations. Each waypoint can be labeled or name for easier identification so that it can be used more readily. Most GPS receivers are designed to hold hundreds of waypoints, making them perfect for a game of this sort.
It isn’t as easy as finding out the waypoint for the hidden treasure and arriving there. Remember the “geo” part of geocaching? This part stands for the earth or the part of it that you will have to circumnavigate in order to get to the waypoint for the cache. You might need to span a river, get around a lake, or climb a mountain in order to arrive at the correct destination. Therefore, while it might appear to be easy, after all, you do get the exact location within 6 to 20 feet, it actually isn’t that simple.
Geocaching: Finding the Treasure
What happens if you are lucky enough to find the treasure? Well, the rules of the game state that you must leave an item of equal or greater value in place of the treasure that you take. In order to do so, everyone participating in around of geocaching needs to bring an item of value with them that they will be able to trade or exchange for the item that they take.
Additionally, players must include an account of their discovery in the logbook for that particular cache. Finally, the entire experience should be logged at geocaching.com for others to read.
What Are GPS Receivers?
GPS receivers or units are electronic devices that can be used to determine a location using longitude and latitude. They are accurate within 6 to 20 feet. GPS units can be used to trace a route from one location to the next or backwards. Depending on the style and expense involved, a GPS device can also feature voice navigation, maps, and built-in compasses.
GPS satellites transmit information or signals to the GPS unit in order to help it determine a location. This process is referred to as trilateration and requires a minimum of three satellites in order for it to work. In fact, the greater the number of satellite signals that the GPS can receive, the more accurate the location will be.
Intro: Geocaching is one of the latest crazes for people who enjoy outdoor activities and want to have a little fun. What is it? How do you play?
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