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the basics for beginners

 

WHAT EXACTLY IS GEOCACHING?

According to Wikipedia, it’s 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. In short, it’s a real-world treasure hunt using your GPS or iPhone—and it’s happening all around the Black Hills!

 

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START

  1. Difficulty Levels: each cache has a level from beginner to expert that will be marked on the owner’s profile. Make sure you and your explorer can handle the terrain and the size of the cache.
  1. Where is the treasure? Not all caches have treasures in them–some just have a logbook. Read the comments below the cache profile to set your kids up with proper expectations.
  1. One-for-One: only take one item from the cache. Children can take turns with taking and replacing items for each cache you visit.

 

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DOWNLOAD THE APPS BEFORE YOU HEAD OUT:

  1. Geocaching: $9.99 (for iPhone or Android)
  2. Google Maps or MapQuest, to use as a geo-locator: price range from free, and up.
  3. Geobucket or Geocaching Toolkit: price range from free, and up.

*Note: you may not need this one right away, but if you’re a geocaching pro, it may be just what you are looking for!

 

THINGS TO TAKE WITH YOU GEOCACHING:

  1. Pen or pencil: to sign the logbook!
  2. Phone: you need to know where you’re going–and to share photos!
  3. SWAG: a toy or treasure to swap. If you take one, replace it with something similar or better!

 

THE HUNT BEGINS FOR YOUR FIRST GEOCACHE:

  1. Create an account at Geocaching.com. You will use your login info with the Geocaching app.
  2. Launch the app and hit the ‘Find Nearby Geocaches’ button.
  3. Review the cache details for difficulty, trinkets needed, etc.
  4. Choose one from the list and head out on your adventure!

 

DOCUMENT YOUR GEOCACHING ADVENTURE

  1. Sign the logbook at the cache location with your geo-name (your username on geocaching.com)
  2. Mark it off your cache list! This lets the cache owner know you found it.
  3. Take a picture and Instagram it, use hashtag #BHPtreasure @bhparent. (but don’t give away the location!)

 

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ACRONYMS

First to Find. Congratulations! You were the first to find a new geocache!

BYOP: Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil.
If you see this on the cache profile, there is no pen/pencil at the cache location.

D/T: Difficulty/Terrain. Geocaches are rated in two categories on a 5-point scale. Knowing the difficulty level of the cache location will help in planning your treasure map.

TFTC: Thanks for the Cache. Let the owner of the cache know about your adventure and thank them for the find!

SWAG: Stuff We All Get. These are the trade items you find within the geocache. For examples of what geocaches look like check out geocaching.com.

 

 

Compiled by Jenna Carda

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