For many people, using a treasure map to locate a hidden treasure is one of their favourite dreams. Geocaching can make this dream come true. The difference is that a GPS receiver is used instead of the traditional map. And rather than a ‘treasure’, there is a ‘cache’ – a small container containing a logbook and a trade item. Give it a try – it is guaranteed fun: 10 tips to get you started with geocaching…
Tip 1: How to find a suitable cache
It’s simple: Google ‘geocaching’ and take a look at one of the many caching websites. Because the hidden items, known as caches, are published online with their geographic data, and your task is to use aGPS receiver to ‘discover’ them.
Tip 2: What equipment is required?
The basic equipment that is recommended is a GPS receiver or GPS-compatible smartphone. But you can start searching without the GPS receiver if you have very detailed maps. The important thing is to ensure that your equipment meets the degree of difficulty of the cache you are hunting: you should really always take a UV torch with you, such as our Torchlight 5F, but climbing and/or diving equipment can sometimes come in handy.
Tip 3: How are the logbook and trade items used?
The geocache is usually a waterproof container containing the logbook and, often, a number of small trade items. As the finder you enter, for example, your nickname, the date and the time in the logbook to prove that your search was successful. You then conceal the geocache again at the spot where you found it.
Many caches hold trade items and you are welcome to take something if you want to put something in yourself. Children love treasure hunts, too, so your trade items should be suitable for any age. Important: don’t leave food or any items which might attract animals.
Tip 4: Watch out for geomuggles
Part of the fun, of course, is making sure that the whole search and trade process remains hidden from non-geocachers, known as geomuggles. This is a term taken from the Harry Potter series, referring to people with no magical powers, and it is what geocachers call people who just happen to come by. So try to make sure that nobody is watching before you retrieve the treasure.
Tip 5: Follow the guidelines
There are rules involved in geocaching. For example, caches should never be buried. So before you head off on your first geocaching expedition, make sure you read the guidelines on the relevant caching websites.
Tip 6: Learn the main abbreviations
For example, the way to announce your visit in the logbook is by “TFTC”, meaning “Thanks for the cache”. DNF means that the hunt was unsuccessful, as it stands for “did not find”. A great many abbreviations are used in geocaching, just as with text messages. So find out beforehand what the main abbreviations are and the most commonly used terms.
Tip 7: Team up with like-minded people
Another way to hugely increase the fun factor is by teaming up with friends and acquaintances when you’re going treasure hunting. Or you can look for like-minded people on forums and caching websites.
Tip 8: Let someone know you are off on a hunt
Even experienced ramblers can sometimes get lost in the woods. And who knows what dark corners your quest may take you to? So it’s a good idea to tell a friend or a family member that you’re going on a treasure hunt and how long it’s likely to take.
Tip 9: How can I get involved without a GPS?
Apps like “c:geo” and “geocaching” enable you to go caching using a smartphone. Check out the app store to find out what the options are, including those available to buy.
Tip 10: Bring light to the darkness – with the UV Torchlight 5F
Whether you are attempting to retrieve the cache from dense undergrowth, some dark grotto, or during the night, our ultra-compact torch is an essential piece of kit. This is because the torch comes with a 1 watt, high power UV blacklight LED that throws out an extremely intense UV light. And the housing is titanium black, splash-proof and made from a very hard, scratch-resistant aluminium alloy, so it is the ideal piece of kit not just for looking for treasure but for finding it!
Take advantage of our latest offer: Order the UV Torchlight 5F for just £ 12.25 instead of £ 15.32 incl. VAT– in the Trotec shop now!