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» What is Geocaching?

What is Geocaching?

So you’ve wandered onto a web page, read an article or maybe accidentally found a cache somewhere and are now trying to work out what this strange sport is all about.

Geocaching is a loosely organised individual sport relying on satellite technology to show you where latitude and longitude coordinates are within a few metres. Geocachers set off to find coordinates that they have gotten from websites such as this one and when they get there they are rewarded with a find. They use a hand-held GPS device, about the size of a mobile phone, to find their quarry. The search can take from a few minutes to a few hours.

What do they find? More often than not, a lunch box containing a log book, maybe some swappable goodies, and a pencil. Geocachers write a log in the book about their hunt, they may swap something they have for something in the box, always making sure their swap is fair, and replace the container exactly as they found it. The containers vary and may be as small as a film canister or as large as a 44 gallon drum.

But caching (a word of French origin meaning 'to hide' pronounced “kha-shing” (rhymes with stashing) – not “cay-shing”.) is about a lot more than Plastic Boxes – it’s all about getting out and seeing things you wouldn’t otherwise have seen. Some are puzzle based, some take you through several steps before you get to the final point. There are lots of variations and only a few rules.

After finding a geocache, finds are logged on the internet as well so that other finders and the cache owner can see what is going on with their cache. Photographs can be logged as well, adding to the wealth of information and a personal history that geocachers are creating.

Cachers are environmentally conscious – try to stay on paths, not to crush vegetation and leave an area as you found it – if not better. Cache In Trash Out – if you find rubbish on a trail – take it out with you. The best way to a cache is usually up the path until the last possible moment.

Beg, buy, borrow a GPS from somebody, plug in the coordinates and head out – it's the best way to find out what this somewhat odd sport is all about.

This information was kindly supplied courtesy of Geocaching Australia’s Wiki 

Cache types: 

There are many different types of caches.  The cache types used in this Burke and Wills project are traditional caches or virtual caches. 

A Virtual cache is a type of cache that has no physical container. This is usually done because it would be inappropriate to place a physical container at the location. Reasons for this include:

  • it's an environmentally sensitive location
  • the land owner does not want caches left there

Logging a virtual caches usually requires proof that you have visited the location, usually in the form of a photograph containing your GPS.  

This information was kindly supplied courtesy of Geocaching Australia’s Wiki