Would you like to have some fun that can involve the entire family? Try this outdoor activity of geocaching! This treasure hunting adventure includes finding small caches left by others in which participants must use coordinates to find the locations of these hidden treasures. People all over the world are involved in treasure hunting while exploring interesting, outdoor locations.

An enthusiast in Oregon, David Ulmer, decided to test the accuracy of his GPS receiver. After leaving some small items, a logbook, and a pencil inside a hidden container in a remote place, he posted the coordinates onto a GPS user website. His note inside simply read “Take some stuff, leave some stuff.” Two other GPS enthusiasts independently found the cache right away, and this sparked a nationwide desire to hide and hunt for these small, hidden treasures. This fun activity was originally called “GPS Stash Hunt,” but it didn’t take long for others to rename it “geo” meaning “earth,” and “cache” meaning a “temporary storage location.”

Equipment that you will need includes a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or a mobile device that uses GPS to pinpoint specific locations. Geocaching is legal in every country except North Korea where the use of these devices is illegal. You can use your iphone by downloading a geocaching application.

The cache can be placed in a small, waterproof container, and left in a safe location for future players to find. The cache is suppose to contain small treasures left behind by others, a logbook, and hopefully, a pencil or pen. You may want to bring your own writing instrument just to be sure you have something to write with to document your find.

There are some basic rules that must be followed when engaging in geocaching. When you find a cache, and if you take an item out of the cache, you will need to replace it with another small treasure. Then, sign your name and date your find. Put the cache back in the exact same spot that you found it. Do not write anything offensive within the cache. Also, the idea is to find, document, and leave a very light footprint. Be careful not to place a cache on private property without permission, or in National Forests.

This fun, family sport is not without its dangers, however. Remember that you are going into areas that may have ravenous mosquitoes, other biting insects, poisonous snakes, and perhaps, wild animals. Wear appropriate attire and insect repellant. Also, be careful not to tread on private property.

When you follow these few simple rules, you and your family can have an adventurous day of treasure hunting while exploring the great outdoors.





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