What Is Geocaching, You Ask?

Geocaching has evolved from Letterboxing. Letterboxing was a game created to satisfy the desires of the Orienteer. Someone somewhere would hide a letterbox in the woods, and then post the clues on how to find the box at letterboxing.org. The box in the woods would have a log book, a personal rubber stamp, and a ink pad. When someone would find the Letterbox they would stamp their personal log book with the stamp that was in the box and then they would stamp the log book that was in the box with their personal stamp.

The way Geocaching works is: you need to have someway of measuring latitude and longitude. Most people choose to use a hand held GPS unit. You would obtain the coordinates of the Geocaches from geocaching.com and download or enter them manually into your GPS unit. When you find the cache it will usually be an old ammunition box or a tupperware container that will contain a few little trinkets know as "Swag", and if you like you can swap something. Their will also be a log book for you to sign.

Once a cache has been placed usually the first person to find it will get an extra special reward. For Example a $50 Gift card. They are also then said to the FTF (First To Find) for that cache.

When you begin to look at the different caches to find you will notice there are a few different types. The most popular are Traditional, Micro or Nano, Multi-Stage, Mystery or Puzzle, and Letterbox Hybrids.

Traditional Caches being the most popular consist of a single stage, a log book and swag for trade if you like. Micros also called Nanos are also considered Traditional Caches but do not have a box of swag to trade, just a log sheet to sign. Multi-Stage caches will have a few stages where you will need to find the first to get the coordinates for the next stage. Mystery or Puzzle Caches will involve complicated puzzles that you will need to solve first to determine the coordinates of the cache. Letterbox Hybrids caches are traditional caches that also have stamps for the Letterboxers to enjoy.

In some of the swag boxes sometimes you find what are called GeoCoins or Travel Bugs. These items will have a special tracking ID number that you can log on a special website like geocaching.com noting that you have found it and are going to move it to another cache. There it will keep track of where that item has been around the world. Sometimes a trackable will have a requested path to take or specific final destination.