Caching 101

To find a cache:
1. Obtain a GPS device.

2. Create a free account on the Web site. Use a zip code to find a nearby cache. Icons indicate if the cache is a regular, multi stage, puzzle, virtual, or earth cache.

3. Print the cache information page, which includes the difficulty, size/type of container, location coordinates, information about the cache, hints and logs from previous finders.

4. Print the map. There is a map link on the information page for each cache. Use this or Google Earth to figure out the approximate location of the cache.

5. Search for the cache. Concentrate on making the distance to the cache decrease rather than following the arrow. Don't expect the cache to be at "zero." Most GPS receivers have an error between 25 to 200 feet. 

6. Investigate nearby stumps, trees, light post skirts, and rock piles.

7. Once you find the cache make sure you aren't observed removing it.

8. Sign the logbook. Take an item and leave an item.

9. Seal the cache and place it back where and how you found it. Be sure you're not observed.

10. Log your find on the Web site.

Helpful Web sites: official Geocaching Web site. Christian Geocaching forum A family friendly, weekly audio show (podcast) all about Geocaching. download (free) google earth-mapping software.

Trading no-no's
Explosives, ammo, knives, drugs, and alcohol shouldn't be placed in a cache. No food items or anything of a commercial or political nature.

Geocaching Lingo
Some logs are filled with acronyms and other Geocaching lingo. Here are some of the more common ones:

FTF: First to Find

TFTC/TFTF/TFTH: Thanks for the cache/fun/hunt

TNLNSL: Took nothing, left nothing, signed log.

TB: Travel bug. A trackable object that moves from cache to cache.

Muggle: A person unaware of geocaching.

Virtual: There is no container. The coordinates specify a landmark. Nothing is traded except photos and experiences to prove your visit.

Published, August 2006