Geocaching

Geocaching is a fun, active hobby. It gets you outdoors, exploring and moving! It presents a challenge which can vary to suit your abilities. You can choose which cache to search for. So it is suitable for anyone.

We've had an interest in it for quite a while. Let's see more...

Geocaching - History/Explanation

It all started in the Pacific Northwest. GPS technology was created and became available to the public in 2000. Dave Ulmer decided to test it all out. He placed a container with some goodies inside in a rural area outside Portland OR.

He posted the GPS coordinates online. He said if anyone located the "stash" - then take an item from it & leave an item in it. Others saw this, and thought it was a cool idea. They also started stashing containers with items in various areas all over the world.


GeocachingThe cache container has swag for exchanging. Cell phones have GPS APPs!

In less than a month the original stash was located by Mike Teague. He began documenting all stashes he heard about, with an online website. A professional web developer, Jeremy Irish happened upon the website. He searched for a stash, found it and had a great time. He started his own site. Eventually all interested guys got together on this project.

The guys involved decided the term stash had undesirable connections. They wanted to come up with a new term. That's when Geocaching was originated by Matt Stum. Geo for earth, and cache for storage or hidden stores.

As it grew, a few more people came on with Jeremy. He developed it as a business, Groundspeak Inc. Many volunteers also regularly contribute. There are now many, many more caches hidden, as well as varied types of caches throughout the world! Arizona has over 30,000!                                       [geocaching.com/about/history.aspx]


Build Your Own Website - Just Like This! Try It Out For Free.
Watch for Details...

Getting started is pretty easy. You need some type of GPS. Many are available as APPs for your cell phone. [More Info Here!] Here's the basic steps:

  1. Sign up for free by starting your Basic Account - Click Above Trail Photo
  2. Go to the Geocaching Hide & Seek a Cache page
  3. Put in your zip code or postal code
  4. Look at the listing and choose one of the Geocaches there by clicking on it
  5. Note its location, so you can enter the coordinates into your GPS
  6. Using your GPS, track down the cache, carefully locate it and open it
  7. Sign the log book, and return it exactly as it was to its specific spot
  8. Share your adventures with other enthusiasts - your photos, difficulties, fun, etc. in finding it!

Safe Geocaching

Especially in recent years, with worries about terrorism - it's important to be aware of appearances. Not only how you might look when you're placing a cache. But also when you're out there, and you're thinking about others you believe are participating.

Also remember the laws that apply when participating. Here's advice to always keep in mind...

Cows can Charge HikersUse Caution Around Cattle
  • Have a partner when you go out with your GPS to locate a cache. Be sure to let others know the area where you'll be
  • If you encounter a herd of cows - be aware on occasion they can get spooked & could "attack" - so... 
  1. If you have a dog along, take a different route around
  2. Don't make sudden movements
  3. Be sure your phone is silenced
  4. Follow any path through the cow pasture at a regular & steady pace
  5. If one does start to charge you, run fast away at a 90 degree angle as they can't make a sharp turn easily!
Bear Caution when Geocache HikingBe aware when in Bear Areas
  • If you're in a bear area, be sure to make noise as you're walking. It's good to know if there's been recent bears in the area (don't go then!)
  • Police may notice you - if you're carrying a cache to place, it may look suspicious! Just politely be ready to explain thoroughly.
  • On the other hand if you see someone with a container - be aware! It's not always someone Geocaching - think about it! Do you need to report it? Better safe, than sorry...
  • Bring a day-pack with appropriate equipment: first aid kit, extra batteries, flashlight or headlamp, sunscreen, bug repellent, hat, work gloves, enough water
  • Be terrain aware - know the area, and whether you can handle it. Don't go beyond your limits!
  • In some areas, a terrain map will be helpful. GPS APPs are available on cell phones - some suggestions here>

Rules/Ethics

Geocaching search along a dirt roadGeocaching will take you along dirt roads into the mountains!

It's important to have proper conduct while participating. The value of maintaining a good reputation for the sport, and good will is essential. Please remember these important principles...

  • Be sure to take care, causing no damage or vandalism to natural resources
  • Keep natural impact to an absolute minimum by using the lift, look, replace system. When you see a rock you want to investigate: lift it gently and then put it back exactly as it was.
  • Show that this is a responsible sport by taking a trash bag along & carrying out any garbage you find
  • Only leave family friendly items in a cache, since this is a family sport & kids often come along
  • It's recommended when starting out that you first locate 50 caches before placing your own Cache - this gives you a good background of experience
  • The BLM allows placing and locating a cache on their lands - keep their advisements. More Here >
  • The AZ State Trust Land Department had been disallowing placement of any caches on Arizona State Trust Properties. The reasoning: Trust lands are to generate revenue, visitors are not to go off trails or walk-ways, and refuse or foreign objects cannot be deposited. However, a change was announced on 2/7/16 and then published by our Twitter account - see below: