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Ten years after it all began, geocaching is still going strong. Both the number of geocaches and the number of geocachers are in the millions, in more than 100 countries, and continue to grow. This fascinating, high-tech yet family-friendly outdoor activity--which combines aspects of treasure hunting, cutting-edge navigation, and exploration--may be the fastest growing new sport on the planet. But there is much more to geocaching than what most people know. This revised and updated edition ofThe Geocaching Handbookcovers everything the aspiring geocacher needs to get started, and it provides plenty of information to help practicing geocachers take their skills to the next level. Learn how the game began--in a foreword by its founding father, Dave Ulmer--and discover how to: Select a cache listing and begin your hunt for the treasure Buy a GPS receiver and use it to navigate to the cache Create and hide your own cache for others to find Practice backcountry safety and geocaching etiquette Play other geo-games, such as "Are U Nuts?" and "Geodashing" Connect with other geocachers through clubs and geo-events
Layne Cameron is an avid outdoorsman who has authored or coauthored four books and more than 300 articles for national magazines and newspapers. He lives in Muncie, Indiana.
Table of Contents
(1) Foreword by Dave Ulmer, the Founding Father of geocaching (2) Intoduction (3) Geocaching: The Global Sensation (4) Let's Go Geocaching (5) GPS Units (6) Creating Caches (7) Geo-Games (8) Backcountry Safety and Outdoor Etiquette (9) Geo-Happenings (10) Clubs and Web Sites (11) Cachionary 1.0 Glossary
Brief History of Geocaching:
In 1996, President Bill Clinton penned Presidential Decision Directive NSTC-6, America's GPS policy. As a result of that directive, President Clinton ordered the Defense Department to turn off Selective Availability (the jamming signal) that prevented recreational users from receiving accurate positioning. On May 1, 2000, the White House announced that it would "stop the intentional degradation of the GPS signal available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. This will mean that civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to 10 times more accurately than they do now."
As history was being made, self-professed techno-geeks like Dave Ulmer, an electronics and software engineer from Portland, Oregon, followed the announcements. After brainstorming new ideas for this budding technology, Ulmer came up with the idea of a treasure hunt.
On May 3, just two days later, Ulmer placed a five-gallon bucket near a wooded road about one mile from his home. Inside the bucket were a logbook and some trinkets for trading. He dubbed his game The Great American GPS Stash Hunt.
Ulmer posted a message on the Usenet newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav announcing the inaugural stash and its GPS waypoint. He noted only one rule: "Get some stuff, leave some stuff."
Less than five days after setting out the inaugural cache, other caches were set out in states from California to Illinois and as far away as Australia. Today, there are more than 65,000 active caches in nearly 200 countries across the globe.
Tips: Once you get within 25 feet of the cache, it's best to really turn up your sleuthing skills. You need to remember that the waypoint can be either the location of the cache or a vantage point from which to spot the cache. Look for places that could hide a five-gallon bucket, an ammo box, or a foot-long plastic tube, such as hollow stumps, clumps of cattails, in the nooks of boulders, or under a pile of pine needles.
If you are seeking out micro caches in cities, think to yourself, "Where would I hide a small tin?" Your search may have you peeking under park benches, loitering around alleys, or, in the case of "Chief Muncie," wading through hedges.