In the spring of 2000, the federal government relaxed regulations regarding the public use of global positioning satellites, previously only accessible for military use.  Within days, the first geocache was hidden and a new sport was born. Ten years later, it’s still going strong, with over 4 million geocachers worldwide.  If you have a simple GPS, a map, and a sense of adventure, you may want to give it a try.  It’s a treasure hunting expedition that the entire family can enjoy, and could easily be enjoyed while taking an RV vacation, since both incorporate getting outdoors and enjoying nature.

 

Groundspeak is a geocaching Web site (www.geocaching.com) that allows you to type in your zip code or search by state to get a list of nearby caches and their coordinates.  The caches are rated from 1-5 for terrain and difficulty (1 being the easiest).  Although the journey is the main reward of finding a cache, they often contain a variety of items, most often small trinkets, a log or journal in which you record the find, and possibly a disposable camera to take the cacher’s picture. As a rule, caches are never buried, but are often cleverly hidden (a realistic-looking pine cone or rock).   

 

Etiquette of the sport requires that if you take something from the cache, you leave something of equal or greater value. You write about your find in the cache logbook, and log your experience on the geocaching website.  A common practice is “Cache in Trash Out” (thanks, geocachers, for leaving the area better than you found it!).  Not only will you see spots you may not have seen otherwise, but your directional and puzzle-solving skills will be put to work (although you’ll be having too much fun to notice!)

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