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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Make Hiking Fun Go Geocaching

Issue Date: July 25, 2019

Morgan Pennings

For nearly twenty years, the largest treasure hunting game has grown in popularity world-wide. This game is called Geocaching which is dedicated to inspire and enable discovery, exploration, and adventure through a combination of outdoor recreation and technology. While the concept of geocaching has been around for quite a while, the spread of technology has brought a new understanding of what it means to geocache. All you have to do to join this game is download the Geocaching app and enable your location so that you can start your own search. A basic membership is free, but for a premium membership is only $30 a year or $10 for three months.

Once you have set up your account online or through the app, you simply check the map where geocaches are located near you. There are many different types of caches: some are virtual finds where you will not find a physical item, rather you will be prompted to take a photo and answer a question to prove you were at the location. Others include: Mystery, Letterbox Hybrid, Webcam, Multi-Cache, Earthcache, Event, and Wherigo. The most common caches are traditional where you will be able to use your phone to navigate to the approximate vicinity of the cache and you can read through the recent activity or hints that might help you find a container ranging from micro to extra large.

Often you will only need a pen or pencil to record your username on the list inside the geocache container, but sometimes there are trinkets or trackables in them. If you find a trinket that you want to keep, be sure to leave something to replace it. Trackables are unique game pieces that are meant to travel from geocache to geocache. When one is found, you should log that you have retrieved it from the geocache on the app. You can look up the tracking code by going to geocaching.com and find out where the trackable's goal is so that you can drop it in a cache that gets it closer.

Some caches even require TOTT or Tools Of The Trade to find or open your cache. You can buy a TOTT starter set on shop.geocaching.com or create your own with some tweezers, a magnifying glass, a magnet, a mirror, extra paper in case the log is wet, pens or pencils, string, plastic bags, and trinkets. If you are looking to further your experience tracking geocaches, some people invest in a separate GPS system to make it easier to track the location.

Today there are more than 3 million geocaches in over 190 countries around the globe. Geocaching is a fun, easy way to get outside, is a great opportunity to teach navigation practices, and helps you keep track of the places you have traveled to. Some caches are easy to find, but others can take some time, so get your family and friends together to start the hunt, but don't let the Muggles see you during your search! Your searches can bring you to remote areas or some very public ones that have geocaches hidden in plain sight. Muggles are non-geocachers and while we love to expand the geocaching community, people who aren't familiar with the game are more prone to moving the caches or taking them altogether. Be sure to leave all your geocaches where you find them, unless they are out in the open. Good luck hunting!


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