A Beginner’s Guide to Geocaching in 3 Steps

A double-whammy, a magnetic and camouflaged
A double-whammy: a magnetic and camouflaged geocache

Geocaching Back to Basics

Geocaching is actually pretty basic when you write it out—someone hides a geocache and challenges anyone to try to find it. Whether you’re new or a geocaching veteran, it’s good to renew some of the other basics. It makes geocaching an adventure worth sharing.

1)      Warm up: Brush up on your geocaching knowledge with the new What is Geocaching? video. Be a pal and share it with your fellow geocachers to start them on the right path.

2)      Finding basics: This is a big one, ready? Magnets exist. We even know how they work. Geocache hiders love to use magnets to secure a geocache under or on a metal object. They have also mastered all sorts of camouflage. See the image in the newsletter? It’s a double-whammy: a magnetic geocache that looks like a bolt. It’s easy to learn even more tips and tricks from friendly geocaching veterans, just attend a local Geocaching Event.

3)      Logging basics: BYOP. It means Bring Your Own Pen. When you finally track down the geocache, sign it with your username, the date and, if there’s room, some details about your adventure. Then, log your experience online or through the Geocaching App, maybe add a photo and BOOM—you’ve earned a smiley for your Geocaching profile.

There’s more to know and more to uncover (even for the experts). Stumped on something? Have a question about what TOTT* means? Chime in here in comments or on the Geocaching Facebook page for answers and advice.

*Tool of the Trade

  • TEAM US2

    What common geo-tools should we have readily available in our geocaching to-go bag?

  • kthoms0319

    Tweezers, a flashlight, a pen…. actually a BUNCH of pens.

  • MommyMonkey

    I carry a flashlight, tweezers, multi-tool, pocket knife, a few new ziplock baggies, swag to trade, a sharpie marker, a couple of ink pens, notepad to write things down or to rip out a few pages to leave behind if the log is super soggy, spare batteries… just to name a few. I also like to carry a container with me prepped with log in case I find a great place to hide a cache.

  • Ajiok Asher

    A non-bleeding pen, bug spray, snake bite kit (regional), flashlight or headlamp, a travel toothpick (typically made of metal) is great for extracting tiny logs…

  • Fourbin Labs

    x2 on the BUNCH of pens. I lost 3 in one day of geocaching. I bring gloves with me in case i need to find the cache by feeling around. I had a close call with a yellowjackets’ nest and have been feeling around in areas where you may find a spider.

  • Great question! … In some parts of the world a UV flashlight is mandatory, in others definitely bring a stick (to rattle in holes and make sure there aren’t critters waiting for hands to bite). Happy geocaching!

  • Bigguy In Texas

    Dear Eric,
    Thank you for your fun and informative blog. I love all the great ideas and caches that you write about. Also thank you for the recap of all things “Block Party” as I was unable to attend this year.
    I have a rant. There is no souvenir for finding a cache in Mexico! Mexico is an important neighbor to the South of us and should have a souvenir. Canada to the North has not only one, but three (is it one for each territory?)!
    Can’t Groundspeak see fit to give Mexico at least one!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lego King

    I’m loving big geocaches….can’t get enough. Literally. And nano caches are driving me crazy. Any pointers?
    I can’t STAND not being able to find some of those little buggers.

  • Julie Gaieski

    Added some plastic bags for trash pick up along the way.

  • Andrew T

    Sometimes goecaches are hidden at a high-muggle area, such as a boulevard at a busy intersectiion. I keep a hard hat and high-viz vest to pose as a maintenance worker.

  • Andrew T

    Actually, Canada has one for each province and territory, for a total of 13.

  • Bigguy In Texas

    Thanks Andrew,
    This is even worse than I thought!

    Please do something to fix this gross injustice to everyone who has found a cache in Mexico. Wait, isn’t there a geocaching cruise that will be sailing to Mexico in 2014? And NO souvenir for Mexico!!!!!! This is adding insult to injury, please give Mexico its own souvenir!!!!!!!