Did you make a New Year’s resolution for better health and fitness this year? Even if you didn’t make a resolution, we’d like to challenge you to get out geocaching more! Geocaching is a great way to mix up your day and get outside. Not every cache run has to be a trek out to the woods. Chances are you pass fun and quick Urban caches every day on your way to and from work, school or running errands.
Whether the new year inspired you to be more active, healthier, or you just want to break up your daily routine, caching can help you meet your goals in a new way.
If you’re looking for a way to get outside more or increase your activity level consider plotting a short caching route during your daily activities or before or after work/school. Park further away than you usually do or walk the whole way. Be sure to set the Trip Odometer on your GPS at the beginning of your jaunt and see how much extra distance you rack up just grabbing a few caches -you might be surprised. Just assess the difficulty level of your targets before you head out so you stay within your schedule, and watch the clock. You’ll find it’s a great way to get some exercise in without having to hit the gym. You also may find yourself more relaxed and able to focus better getting a little more activity throughout the day.
Of course the weekends are still open for bringing along the family, friends or your best four-legged pal and heading out for that trek into the woods! Or maybe you’ll want to show everybody your new favorite Urban caching route. Either way it’s a great time to go caching.
Do you have any suggestions or tips to share for working geocaching into your fitness plans?
This week we have a wonderful guest blog post from Josh and Liz over at Peanuts or Pretzels! Thank you Josh and Liz for sharing your geocaching experiences with us!
As the year draws to a close and a new year is on the horizon, it's common for many of us to look back on our experiences and look forward to the new adventures that await. One of the coolest things about being a Geocacher is that we have the opportunity to have some pretty amazing, and unique memories that many others don't have the opportunity to experience. Even with all these great memories, there is always something more to be had. And the first step to accomplishing something is to set a goal. So to help you come up with some goals for the new year, we have put together our recommendations for Geocaching Resolutions for the New Year.
Discover a Geocache High in the Mountains
Sometimes nothing beats setting out on a 3 to 5 hour hike in search of a view that can take your breath away. What makes it even more rewarding is being able to sign a logbook at the end of that hike. Not only can you get some good exercise, see some amazing views, but to do it all in the name of geocaching is a great resolution to set for for the new year. Go get that 5/5 geocache.
Discover a Geocache Low on the Beach
To be able to accomplish this geocaching resolution you will need to head to the beach. On a beach you might be able to find an actual cache container or an EarthCache, which helps to explain the science behind the beaches.
Heading to a beach in search of a Geocache may take you off the beaten path, and to some beautiful hidden beaches around the world that you may never have known about. We once found a geocache on a secret Red Sands Beach in Hawaii. No signs, no directions other than our Garmin leading the way for us. And it was a truly beautiful and unique beach!
Don’t keep this awesome geocaching hobby to yourself, share it with friends and family. This can include a co-worker, a relative, or a close friend. We all know that Geocaching is a fun adventure, and it is even more fun if you are able to share it with someone.
When introducing geocaching to someone new, start off with something easy. A simple 1/1 geocache is a great way to show someone what a geocache looks like, and help you to explain the game. Then take them on a hike or to a really cool and cleverly hidden geocache...then you will have them hooked.
Another great geocaching resolution is to make a creative geocache that you can share with your local geocaching community. If you are a creative person, and enjoy making things (or enjoy stumping other people), you can let your imagination run wild with the many unique ways to make, and hide a geocache.
Most caching veterans recommend that you find at least 100 caches before attempting to hide a cache. This will help you get ideas on various creative techniques. Another way to get creative ideas for caches is searching on YouTube and by following a couple of geocaching boards on Pinterest.
Help a Trackable Reach its Goal
Some people may not be able to travel and see some of these iconic or off the beaten path destinations around the USA (or the world). So a fun aspect to the Geocaching game is to release a trackable with a specific destination goal. This let's them feel like they are going on the journey too -- especially when people share fun pictures of the trackable in all these locations.
As travelers, we find it SO rewarding to be able to help others reach their goals through geocaching. **Make sure to read the profiles of trackables to help them reach their goals.**
If you are like us, then you love to see new souvenirs in your geocaching.com profile. Another great geocaching resolution is to set a goal of collecting 10 new souvenirs. You can get a new souvenir by attending a Mega Event or Giga Event.
You can also get a new souvenir by discovering a geocache in a new US state, which you have not found a cache in previously. Also keep an eye out for geocaching.com summer souvenir challenges. That's a great way to get some souvenirs added to your profile.
Host Your Own Event With a Twist
Do you attend geocaching events in your community? Did you know you can create and host your own event in your community? But not just a normal event...make it unique, interesting...and fun!!!
Hosting a fun Geocaching event with a special twist is another great Geocaching Resolution for the new year. You can create a geocaching event during your travels, or host a lunchtime meet and greet. Have a pot luck and get to know your local geocachers (and their cooking skills).
How about hosting a water balloon fight to cool off in the summer, a cookie cook off, potluck, Christmas gift exchange, etc.
The possibilities are endless with a little creativity!
Discover the Oldest Cache in Your State
There is something cool about holding a piece of geocaching history in your hands. Geocaching has been around for over 15 years now and there are caches hidden around the country that are still active from when geocaching went live.
A cool geocaching resolution is discovering your state's oldest cache. If you have already done this then find the 10 oldest caches in your state. If you have already done this, then search for the oldest in another state.
Completing a GeoTour or GeoTrail is no easy feat, so adding this to your geocaching resolutions is a must. There are so many great GeoTours all around the world. From Washington, Italy, Peru, and Australia, there are GeoTours and GeoTrails for everyone.
GeoTours are a great way to get to know the history of an area better while also discovering new off the beaten path destinations as well. Another bonus is that most GeoTours have an award for completing the tour. So it's a really fun way to explore a destination while on vacation, during a short getaway, or if you are just passing through.
Make a New Year Resolution to Accomplish a Personal Geocaching Goal
So as you think about the past year and all you accomplished, take some time to consider the upcoming year and all the the things you want to accomplish. The best way to accomplish something new is to set a goal and go for it. That's why Geocaching Resolutions for the new year are great!
The great thing about geocaching is that you can do it however you like, and it has a little something to fit everyone's interests. And surely there are some things you would like to see and do through geocaching that you haven't yet accomplished. So we hope these Geocaching resolutions have inspired you to come up with your own Geocaching goals for next year.
Happy New Year & Happy Caching!
We're Josh & Liz, expert travelers who love a good Geocaching adventure. Visit our website Peanuts or Pretzels to find out how we can help make your trip planning easier and more fun...as well as incorporating Geocaching into your next vacation!
Here's a breakdown of the items inside the November Cache Crate:
Magnigrip Tweezer Magnifier Combo
The OD-55 MagniGrip™ is a classic style magnifier with that comes with attached fine-point tweezers. The MagniGrip™ has a lightweight frame that houses a 4.5x acrylic magnifier that gives a clear magnification of the subject. With the attached fine-point tweezers, the user can easily work on small items and always have great visibility. It is a great tool for a multitude of activities, be it hobbies and modeling, tying the perfect fly fishing knot or removing splinters.
RŌP™ Wire Tie, 6in, 2-Pack, Red
These RŌP utility ties are so versatile that you can use them for virtually everything. Whether you want to organize small accessories like earphone cords, wires, and keys, or tie bags, bundle flowers, or make a hook, you'll wonder how you managed without these utility ties for so long.
• Silicone-encased stainless steel wire
• Reusable, durable design
• Textured surface provides non-slip grip
• Will not scratch or mark surfaces
• Weather-resistant – for indoor or outdoor use
• Bends into any shape, such as a hook
• Manages cords and cables, ties bags, bundles flowers, etc.
• Ideal for camping, backpacking, and more
Make Your Own Wristband Kit -Blue Spec Camo
All the supplies you'll need to create your own paracord wristband! This makes a fun project for kids and grownups alike, a great FTF gift for your new cache, or a unique event prize item that everyone will enjoy.
Yellow Smiley Face Rubber Luggage Tag
Just in time for holiday travel, or for your geo-bag! These neon smiley face luggage tags will bring a smile to your face when you're one of the first to find your luggage on the conveyor belt.
Often the Holiday Season brings with it an influx of family members from out of town. They arrive in your city expecting you to show them the sights and take them to some of your favorite places ... And how better to do that than to take them on a fun (and Holiday treat calorie burning) Cache Run!
But before you go, keep some of these fun-enhancing tips in mind:
Make sure you have a GPS unit you know well and plenty of extra batteries.
You don’t want your GPS to die in the middle of the search. And bring along one for the kids! The youngsters love to be in on the hunt!
Consider the activity/energy level of your caching buddies.
Although you may be an experienced cacher those with you may be new to the game or have never cached before. If this is the case plan a cache route that will be appropriate for them. Also keep in mind that if you have an older family member along they may not have the mobility or stamina that you’re used to.
When caching with Newbies we recommend avoiding Micro and Small caches.
Caches with larger containers are easier to find and usually have fun trade items for the kiddos. Also try to steer clear of caches with high terrain and difficulty levels.
Have a clear idea of the route you want to take and it’s great if it includes cool landmarks or points of interest.
Don’t plan a full-day, not everyone has the caching stamina you do! And don’t forget to pack snacks!
Remember, this is your opportunity to show your family some of your favorite local spots and also share your love of the game. With a well-planned, thoughtful route, a fully charged familiar GPS, and the right supplies, you and your family will be headed for a fun-filled caching adventure.
What tips can you add? Please share your comments below!
Hey cachers this is Lookout Lisa from Cache Advance, and I’m your host for the Geocaching Question of the Day.
Cache Advance is your geocaching hub for all of your caching needs, including the Cache Crate, a monthly subscription box of geocaching and outdoor gear.
Monday through Thursdays, we ask our followers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ a question about geocaching.
We recently asked: Do you prefer geocaching with a handheld GPS or Smartphone?
After tallying all the answers, we found it was pretty much 50/50, and most cachers actually use both.
So here’s what we heard:
Dave on G+ Shared: GPS, tho my resistance to smartphone caching is getting less now that batteries are better, USB power packs are decent, and the tech on the phone isn't nearly so annoying.
Agent Questermark shared: Both! I'll usually start on my phone, but if I need more precision, I like my GPSr. For road trips, I'll load a PQ into the GPSr, but still start with the phone when seeking.
Danno Shared: Smartphone. I like to post logs in the field and manage trackables, especially read their missions online before I take them.
Hotrod205 on Twitter shared: after getting 3 years each out of 2 Garmins, I don't see the point. New phone is so good that I'm not buying another GPSr.
Jessica on Facebook summed it up nicely. She shared: My handheld gps, BUT I geocache 95% of the time with my smartphone because it is always with me
As always we really enjoyed hearing about Geocaching GPS' or Smartphones, and you can too, if you-
Finding GZ (Ground Zero) where a cache is hidden and making the find can be fun, exciting and frustrating. Sometimes just finding your way to GZ is a task in itself, it can involve a hike, a bike ride or just trying to find the entrance to access GZ from a trailhead or opening in a fence.
When looking for GZ, try to do some recon first. If you're using a GPS and using Pocket Queries or GSAK (http://gsak.net/), use some of the filters and keep your selections simpler by excluding Mystery Caches (they generally aren't at the posted coords until you solve the mystery), if you are a beginning geocacher, exclude "Higher difficulty & terrain caches" also be sure to select "Enabled caches" so you aren't searching for a cache that is temporarily missing, run your pocket queries the night before or morning you go caching so your search information is up to date.
Check for parking coordinates or trailhead waypoints
Sometimes you may have to circle around GZ a few times. For example, one side may be a shopping center, another side no trespassing signs, but on the other side, in between those two trees is a neighborhood greenspace trail access. Be sure to park your geo vehicle so you aren't blocking anyone or access lanes.
While walking to GZ you might take a rest break and read up on the hint or description so when you arrive you are ready to look for that cache.
Once at GZ, take a look around, what stands out? Is it flat and barren? Rocky? Trees scattered here and there? Take a quick look around. Where does your GPS or phone show as GZ? Perhaps you'll find GZ and the cache right next to a tree covered with geo sticks (usually a unnatural pile of sticks covering the cache.)
If you come up empty, take a look at the size rating of the cache and the D/T (difficulty/terrain) ratings, a higher difficulty means you might be spending some time here and may even DNF (did not find) it and have to return another time to make the find. That's part of the fun. Most of us still have caches we can't find.
Make sure you're looking at the correct cache on your GPS or phone.
Read the hint and description again and check the logs to see when it was last found and if any clues were left for hints. Just because the last few finders didn't make the find, doesn't mean it is not there; perhaps they had only a few minutes to search or didn't jump the small creek to find the actual GZ and the cache.
It depends on the cache owner too. What type of device did they get their coordinates from? Phones tend to have not as good of coordinates, did they average their readings or take several coordinates and average them to narrow down GZ?
If you're trying for an FTF (First To Find) you may not have a lot to go on - no previous logs and perhaps the description may be missing some info, a parking coordinates or hint.
Usually at FTFs you'll be soon joined by more geocachers to help make the find if you're having difficulties and its a great way to meet fellow geocachers.
Hopefully by now you've made the find and are happily entering "Found" in your device and heading to the next GZ. If not, and you are hopelessly stuck trying to make the find, take a break, sit down, get a drink and refresh yourself and re-read the description, hint, D/T ratings and logs.
Once you are ready, start outside GZ and begin moving towards where you believe GZ is located.
A GPS needs to be moving to get good readings, so don't stand in one spot and spin - move back and forth a few times to get the readings down around 20 feet or less then put your GPS device in your pocket and start looking around. Use your "Geo senses" - what doesn't look natural, what stands out? Is there a fence, large rocks and a tree 50' away? Probably not in the tree, are you on a hillside or are large buildings or trees blocking the satellites? GZ could be further away than you think. Once you find GZ with that large rock with the mysterious crevice, just don't reach in and grab, it might be a home for a critter or nasty insects, try your flashlight or a stick to see what may be inside.
When GZ is in a bush or heavy ground cover, I use my walking stick to probe around the green mass of plants. It saves the plant, doesn't dig up the area and saves your arms. With repeated probes, you may soon hear the clunk or a cache, or an aluminum can that you can CITO (Cache in trash out.)
If you still can't make the find, know when to give up.
When you get frustrated trying to find the cache, its time to either take another break or move along. Spending 2 hours looking for a cache my be buckets of fun to some but I'd rather keep finding caches and move to the next and return another time with a new clue or maybe the cache is just gone.
After you do find GZ and the cache, leave a good log for the cacher who hid it, a TFTC (Thanks For The Cache) shows you found it, a little longer log of "Great cache and beautiful area, thanks for bringing me here" shows the cache owner they are appreciated for the effort they put out finding GZ and hiding the cache in a fun, find-able way.
Night geocaching opens a whole new world of discovery! Here are a few tips to make your twilight geocaching experience a good one!
While caching for the traditional night cache with reflectors, etc, you may come across traditional caches too that while designed for day finding have the added bonus of difficulty and terrain. Keep watchful for dangers like low branches, trip hazards and watch for those along with you, especially children. Glow sticks around children's arms helps keep everyone together.
Weather and the environment
Know what to expect from the weather, it's not so easy to see clouds rolling in as while day caching. Plan your routes carefully and know what might lay over that hill, it could be a lake or cliff!
Follow the cache owners instructions
Tacks are usually spaced evenly and usually in the same manner, height, etc. If you lose the next waypoint, go back to the last waypoint and look again. It might mean coming back another night if the waypoints are missing or covered by plant growth. Taking shortcuts or pushing beyond just to make a find may have serious results. Sensible geocachers plan their routes thoroughly before leaving the house, especially during darkness. Make sure to mark where you parked your vehicle and marking waypoints at trail junctions is also helpful.
Take waterproof and windproof clothing such as a Gore Tex clothing if it looks like there may be rain, and remember to bring extra clothing. Wear loose and comfortable clothing if hiking on particularly hot and humid evenings, don't underestimate the dehydrating effects of hiking in warm temperatures. Have the proper footwear, a daypack to carry extra items should be sufficient. Reflective clothing will make you look more like you’re supposed to be there and less like some prowler while caching in urban areas.
Hiking around looking for a geocache is often more strenuous than many geocachers may imagine. Have ample amounts of water, electrolyte drinks are a bonus to keep you hydrated through the night.
Keep Charged up
Many geocachers use smartphones to find their way to caches, and a dead battery halfway there can put an end to your night hunt.As well as ensuring that phones and GPS devices have full charges before leaving, remember you should take extra smart phone batteries along.
Nightcaching means bringing extra batteries, consider taking spare flashlights too, because bulbs can die. LED lights use less power, are tougher and provide a great beam of light. Head mounted flashlights are another great addition, they allow hands free movement to hold your GPS device and better balance when navigating in the dark. Some flashlights have a "Red light" feature that keeps light to a minimum and your eyes will be used to the darkness.
When night caching in neighborhoods keep your light beams from piercing homes and windows, bringing attention to yourself may also bring the police with questions about your activities.
Make sure it's ok to go after dark
Some locations like parks, have access rules between sunset and sunrise. Read all posted signs and check rules via park internet sites. Most cemeteries are off limts after dark. Keep your voices lower too, sound travels easily in quiet night surroundings and you could be waking unhappy muggles.
Know the caches you are seeking while night caching
Read the cache descriptions. Be familiar with the difficulty and terrain ratings, size, and what you will be looking for; actual night caches usually involve reflective tacks, etc. sometimes different colors, shapes or placement means you should turn right or left or are about to find the final cache. Check the logs too, has the cache been found lately and what did previous finders encounter. Check the attributes page, is there thorny or poisonous plants, animals? You could encounter animals you might rarely see during the day but are plentiful at night, a surprised porcupine or skunk might shorten your evening adventure.
Let someone know where you are going and when to expect your return
If your GPS fails or you get lost or in case of a trail injury, having someone waiting for you to get home safely is a very valuable resource. Night caching in a group can be safer and more fun as you find your way to nightcaching.
How many times have you been geocaching at night? If you have some tips to share, please do in the comments! Have fun and discover the world around in a new light!!