5 Tips for Planning Your Next Vacation with Geocaching

 

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Go Geocaching Around the World

 

Geocachers love showing off their locations—that’s why geocaching is one of the best ways to discover new places. The next time you’re on a trip, try using one of these 5 tips to explore a destination through geocaching:

GeoTours – These are groups of geocaches that are curated by local organizations and Geocaching HQ. They’ll guide you through some of the best local spots, teach you about the area’s history and—of course—increase your find count! (Pro tip: With some GeoTours, you can even earn free prizes!)

Pocket Queries – Headed somewhere that doesn’t have cell signal? Geocaching Premium members can create downloadable lists of geocaches for offline use.

Multi-Caches – These multi-stage geocaches are often perfect methods for getting a short tour of a city.

Sort by Favorite Points — Geocaching Premium members can find the best geocaches in an area by using the new search and sort tools. Just search for geocaches in an area, then click on the “Favorites” column.

Meet the locals – Who better to show you local flavor than the geocachers who live there? Creating or attending an event in your destination is a perfect way to meet local geocachers. Use the geocache search to find events in your vacation destination.
What are your favorite tips for geocaching while on vacation? Leave us a comment below!

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geotours map

Send in Your Films for GIFF 2015

GIFF banner

Get your cameras rolling—the Geocaching International Film Festival is back for its third and final year. Over the past two years, geocachers have sent in films telling stories of adventure, love, FTFs, DNFs and things we can’t even begin to describe. So what’s next? That’s up to you. Help us send off GIFF with a bang by submitting the most creative video ever.

Submit your film by July 1 for the chance to have it screen at the final GIFF in Seattle, WA on August 14. Learn more about submitting a film here.

Not a filmmaker? Learn more about GIFF and log your Will Attend here.

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The Search for the Lost Sin of Greed – A Trackable Tale

jeremy devil duck
Original geocachers Scott Martin (left) and Geocaching Co-Founder Jeremy Irish hiding the ill-fated Greed Devil Duck

It starts like this a couple of weeks ago. People at Geocaching HQ had been sharing stories about some of their personal highlights of celebrating 15 years of geocaching. Jeremy Irish, the CEO of Geocaching and one of the founders who launched Geocaching.com in 2000 said, “So, I have a mystery story to share…”

This mystery dates back to the beginning of geocaching. It was 2001. A new game piece called a Travel Bug® had recently been introduced into the geocaching. Although most players had not yet heard of Travel Bugs many players, including Jeremy were sending out the trackable tags attached to items.

Geocaching.com homepage  circa early 2002
Geocaching.com homepage circa early 2002

Jeremy says, “When we first started Travel Bugs, I released 7 Deadly Ducks in the wild.” Each of the new trackables were based on one of the deadly sins. Devil ducks with the names of Sloth, Envy, Pride, Gluttony, Lust and Anger head out into the world to travel geocache to geocache. Did you catch that? Only six of the deadly sins were listed.

Jeremy says, “Well, I actually only released six, since the Greed Devil Duck, conveniently enough, was placed in a geocache that was never listed on Geocaching.com and may still be hidden in Virginia.”

 

Get your detective hats fitted.

Here’s The Search for the Lost Sin of Greed – A Trackable Tale.

 

Jeremy went on to say:

On December 16, 2001 I was visiting Scott Martin, a longtime friend who lived in Franklin County, Virginia and we decided to place a geocache there together. He had an old decoy duck and I put my Devil Duck in there along with some trade items and a logbook. We then headed over to either Waid Park or Franklin County Recreation Park – we’re not quite sure. I remember hiking on a short loop trail and going down a hill next to a small pond to place it. Sadly, the coordinates were lost before I was able to list it as a geocache. It may still be there today.

Currently Franklin County Virginia offers fewer than than 100 active geocaches to try to find. Geocaches are also located in both Waid Park and Franklin County Recreation Park, locations where Jeremy believes he may have hid the lost devil duck. So maybe the most difficult geocache find in Franklin county is a geocache that’s never been active. If you lived near Franklin County Virginia, would you search for The Lost Sin of Greed?

So, do you think you know the history of geocaching? Check out the 15 Years of Geocaching quiz.

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Geocaching HQ Says Geocaching without Speaking a Word

Editor’s Note: What you’re seeing above is a word that sparks the imagination and inspires exploration. The ingredients a person must possess to go geocaching include only a spirit for adventure. It’s not bound by any particular facilities and especially not bound by hearing. The blog post you’re about to read is from Holly Walker. She’s the guest experience coordinator at Geocaching HQ who hosted our first visit with an American Sign Language interpreter for deaf geocachers. 

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Geocaching HQ Lobby
Geocaching For All!
At Geocaching Headquarters (HQ), our goal is to make everyone an explorer and make every location an adventure. One of the most fun adventures for us is hosting guests from around the world here in our awesome lobby! Each week, Geocaching HQ schedules a limited number of Hosted Visits for the Geocaching community. It’s a great way to see a behind-the-scenes look at what happens here at HQ, meet the lackeys and hear about new things we are working on, and get the opportunity to log the official Geocaching HQ geocache. We literally get people from all over the world who travel to our headquarters here in Seattle, WA. Recently we realized that we might be missing an important opportunity to meet and engage with a large number of our worldwide geocachers, in particular, our deaf community!
 
On March 25th, it was our pleasure to invite two ASL interpreters to our Geocaching HQ Hosted Visit for the first time! The hour long visit provided the opportunity for deaf geocachers to come to HQ and get the same experience as any of our other guests. It was an awesome experience for guests and staff. We covered Geocaching history and the growth of our company from 3 employees to now just under 80, swapped geocaching stories from back home, and traded a few trackables, too. The hour flew by too quickly but we already have plans to invite the interpreters back another time! 
 
Moving forward, we hope to offer more Hosted Visits with ASL Interpretation as well as find ways to improve and increase accessibility to the sport of Geocaching for all people. We’d love to know your thoughts, ideas and stories below.
How can we make Geocaching available to everyone who wants to play? What great ideas have you seen to ensure there are variety in geocaches and accessibility for all? 
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Geocaching HQ Hosted Visit

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What do Geocaching and benchmarking have in common? They are everywhere!

Benchmark in Marion County, Indiana
Benchmark in Marion County, Indiana

When you go to find your next geocache it’s not uncommon that you’ll step on, over or near a benchmark. There are over 700,000 benchmarks in the United States alone. And you know what? You can log them on Geocaching.com.

Benchmarking, also known as benchmark hunting, is a hobby in which explorers find benchmarks aka survey markers or geodetic control points. Hunting for geodetic markers is a fun and challenging activity just like geocaching. If you haven’t tried benchmarking, now is your chance! The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) is hosting a contest encouraging geocachers in the United States to take a photo with the official NCEES Trackable at a benchmark and upload it to social media using the hashtag #PSnoboundaries. Photo submissions will be automatically entered to win a trip to the 2015 Geocaching Block Party in Seattle, Washington. Official contest rules can be found here.

Benchmarks can be found at the top of peaks or in a village square, and you’ve probably walked by at least one without even knowing it! The most common survey marks are cast metal disks with a stamped legend on their face, set in rock ledges, sunken into the tops of concrete pillars, or affixed on the tops of pipes that have been sunk into the ground.

Long time geocacher and new benchmark enthusiast Cammy aka “Cammy7” tells her story of hunting for one of her first benchmark finds, KW0802.

I took the trackable to KW0802, Columbia E. Base located on the Wrightsville Bridge in Columbia, Pa. While photographing this benchmark, a man was walking across the bridge and asked what we were doing. I explained benchmarking and the contest to him. He then told me he had something I needed to see at his bookstore. The bookstore is located within walking distance just off the bridge on the Columbia side of the river. My mom and I followed him to his bookstore where he showed me a spot on the front step where a benchmark was located.   He explained how he found the benchmark inside the store when he bought the old building. He called NGS and got information about the disk. It was reported missing in 1956. The bookstore was originally a general store.

KW0802 on the Wrightsville bridge is a triangulation station disk and a reference point is JV4845, Susquehannock. JV4845 is located at the top of the Turkey Hill Nature Preserve Trail along the Susquehannock river. Geocache GC1QAP3 “TAKE A HIKE!~Look-out Turkeys!” is located at the benchmark. The benchmark is a concrete marker with a brass cap used to attach survey  equipment.  The view of the Susquehanna river is beautiful with the Wrightsville bridge in view.” – Cammy7

Geocachers across the United States are embracing the challenge to hunt down a benchmark and upload a photo to win the ultimate prize, even if that means running away from bears in Alaska!

SCARLY <3Rellimer13 shared her story with us: “Finding benchmarks was new for me.  If it weren’t for the contest I might not have even discovered that I could log benchmark finds on the website! Just like before I went geocaching for the first time, I did as much online research online the night before as my eyes could tolerate. The different types of markers/way points, how to look for them.. I was nervous to go out and look without coords, I didn’t want to come up empty handed before releasing the traveler again. Each benchmark on the geocaching website was spot on though, and I had a really successful 24 hours of hunting before handing over the tag to a fellow cacher! It’s cool how old some of those NGS descriptions are, and they are still relevant! Amazing. The first one I found at night because usually I prefer caching in the cover of darkness anyway!  But I completely spaced out what time of year it was, and when I found the cache that was near the benchmark I was searching for, it had been chomped on by a very hungry bear that must have just come out of hibernation. I was very spooked (I had no form of protection! I didn’t think they were awake yet..) I got out of the woods ASAP! And continued my benchmark quest the next day, in broad day light 🙂” –SCARLY<3Rellimer13

Whether it’s in the woods, near a monument, or on the sidewalk near your home, there is a benchmark waiting to be found….and potentially a prize to be won!

Jason Meggs #PSnoboundaries Twitter picture
Jason Meggs #PSnoboundaries Twitter picture