Give the Gift of Geocaching

Give the gift of geocaching

Lots of ways to tell your fellow geocachers you care

Share your love of geocaching with friends and family this holiday season. Finding the perfect gifts for the geocachers in your life is kind of like finding a geocache — you earn a smiley for both.

There are multiple ways to give the gift of geocaching:

Let Shop Geocaching and our international retailers guide you to the perfect holiday gift!

Shop for tools of the trade, apparel, and geoswag in the US and Canada through Shop Geocaching and globally via our international retailers.

Shop our Happy Holidays Collection! Featuring a Signal Holiday Geocoin, Ugly Sweater Travel Tag, a Trackable Snowflake Ornament Set, a Holiday Greeting Card with Geocoin, and more!

For a limited time, when you make a qualified minimum purchase from Shop Geocaching or one of the participating retailers, you will receive Free Limited Edition Holiday Travel Tag. The more you spend, the more free trackables you will earn (while supplies last)!

Give the gift of geocaching

You can give the gift of Premium membership easily online. With a gift membership, your friend will enjoy all the perks of Premium membership, including custom search capability, instant cache notifications, and access to Premium-only caches. Your gift also supports the game by helping to maintain the website, upgrade the mobile app, and provide community support. You can purchase a physical gift card from the Shop Geocaching, or a digital membership directly online from Geocaching.com.

Share good wishes via the Message Center

Let your fellow cachers know you’re thinking about them by sending a message via the Geocaching Message Center. Share your latest find, lay down a challenge, or, better yet, ask them out to go caching!

Part of the "thrill" of diving in Horka is encountering the wildlife.

Horka Pumpenhaus — Geocache of the Week

Virtual Cache
GCNQ40
by Horka – Pumpenhaus
Difficulty:
5
Terrain:
5
Location:
Horka, Germany
N 51° 15.817 E 014° 14.897

Geocaching is an emotional game. There’s the elation of finding a cache after a prolonged search. The frustration of searching and searching for a cache that never turns up. The surprise of a cleverly disguised container, the anticipation of a highly-favorited gadget cache. The despair of losing a trackable…the guilt of losing a trackable. The pleasure of a good conservation with fellow cachers, the anticipation of hiding a new cache, the thrill of racing for the FTF, and of course, the terror and bewilderment of encountering a shark in the middle of a lake in Germany.

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Wait…what?

Yes, bewilderment and terror are commonly experienced emotions when searching for GCNQ40. This Virtual Cache is under murky waters in Horka Lake, which was once an old mining quarry. Now filled with water, the former quarry is a popular spot for scuba divers because of its unusually high visibility.

The old quarry that is now Horka Lake.
The old quarry that is now Horka Lake.
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If a tree falls in a forest, and the forest is underwater, will it make a sound?

In addition to the many natural elements that make for an interesting dive—the underwater forest, for example—the lake abounds with strange objects that were either placed there by divers over the years or are remnants of days when the lake bottom was a quarry bottom.

Someone took a long detour on their ride to work today...
Someone took a long detour on their ride to work today…
An old old pumphouse that was once party of the working quarry.
The old pump house that was once party of the working quarry.
An old wetsuit?
An old wetsuit?

Virtual Caches are a grandfathered cache type, which means no new Virtual Caches can be created anymore. A Virtual Cache is about discovering a location rather than a container. The requirements for logging a Virtual Cache vary—you may be required to answer a question about the location, take a picture, complete a task, etc.

In order to claim the find on Horka – Pumpenhaus, you’ll need to swim to the posted coordinates, then dive 30m down. At that location you’ll find a white object inside the old quarry pump house. Describe the object or take a location of the pump house to prove you were there.

Rocky1210 on the dive.
Rocky1210 on the dive.

When the Cache Owner, Laird McKai, first placed this cache in 2005, it was probably the first underwater cache in Germany. The CO was a Master Scuba Diver, for whom geocaching had a familiar appeal.

After every dive, you write a log and keep a record. Under water you have to find your way using a compass and sometimes you might try to find some sunken boats, such as the Coreolanus, which I dived to in Croatia. So diving is not to different to geocaching. Why not combine both?

The Cache Owner, Laird McKai, in an old diving helmet.
The Cache Owner, Laird McKai, in an old diving helmet.

So… what about those sharks from earlier? Fortunately for geocachers and divers, the sharks aren’t real (though they look realistic from afar). They were placed in the lake by the nearby dive school. The cache gallery abounds with diver/shark selfies.

Geocacher $miley is a bit too close for comfort.
Geocacher $miley is a bit too close for comfort.
Michao Team goes in for a close-up.
Michao Team goes in for a close-up examination of the shark’s dental situation.
Imagine seeing this from afar.
Imagine seeing this image from afar.

After eleven years, this Virtual Cache is still bringing joy (and fright!) to geocachers with the necessary scuba certifications and gear. And the Cache Owner is happy to still have it around. His advice for other cachers? “Enjoy your hobby, enjoy good quality caches and try to make others enjoy as well your cache you place by trying to make your caches special and memorable!”

Which begs the question, what’s the on-land equivalent of a full-size rubber shark?

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.
Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

heroic
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Geocachers Save A Woman’s Life

Geocaching can lead you in many directions, and is always an adventure. You never know what you’ll find.

On Sunday, October 30th 2016, Tim Turner (Blue Meanies), Trevor Bland (Trevor and Kate), Leland Smith (swiss cheese brain), and Derek Fisher (CacheDFish), left their hotel at 8 AM to start a power trail near Benton, Washington, USA. A Power Trail is a set of consecutive caches along a route that allows cachers to find a large number of caches in a small amount of time and distance. They are usually placed right at or just over the 528 feet limitation from the previous and next cache. The difficulty and terrain levels are kept low to increase the ease of finding the containers.

What began as a routine weekend geocaching outing became an unforgettable high-stakes rescue.

snake-river

It was a foggier than usual that morning. Visibility was limited to 50 feet in any direction. However, the team of cachers were not deterred away from their goal of hunting down the high elevation power trail. After signing their last log the fog broke and the team proceeded back home. This is when they saw something unusual.

“In one of the clear spots (in the fog), our driver, Tim, saw a wrecked car about 200 feet down a ravine. He pulled over and we all got out to look at it,” Bland said.

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The car, a blue Ford Escape, was surrounded by paper and other debris, all too fresh and clean looking to be old. They realized the accident was recent. As the geocachers neared, they noticed dents and other damage on the sides and roof of the car—it had rolled down the cliff.

Approaching the vehicle the group hoped the car was empty, but prepared for the worst. They were elated that no one was in the front seat. Then a breeze came by and blew one of the drooping side-airbags enough for Turner to see someone’s leg and said, “Someone’s in there!”

The group was shocked. Bland looked inside and saw the woman’s arm move. He asked if she was okay. The woman said she was in a lot of pain, but could not articulate her words well. Leland took down the coordinates of where she was, and ran up to meet with Derek Fisher on top of the ravine to find cell phone coverage.

To calm the woman and keep her from moving, Leland, Turner, and Fisher kept a conversation with her and provided water until help arrived. She’d been stuck in the car for 14 hours before being found, and though the woman had no life-threatening injuries she was lifted via helicopter to the hospital.

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The group’s immediate response and timing could not have been better. The doctors told the family that, had the woman been left alone in the ravine for a couple more hours, she might not have survived.

“It’s really hard to just go about your day and geocache after witnessing something like that,” Bland said. “We tried by staying in the immediate area keeping an eye on the flashing lights up on the hill, and an ear out for the helicopter, but none of us was really into playing our game. Not after witnessing someone’s life on the line. We needed to process and reset ourselves. So we went to lunch at a great Mexican restaurant that Tim knew. We ate, talked about what we had just witnessed and experienced, watched a little bit of a football game, and gave ourselves time to reboot and re-energize. We then proceeded to cache our way back home to Spokane.”

In case you find yourself in a similar situation here is some advice from the cachers:

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Turner: “Assume that anything is possible and always be ready and willing to offer help. Being curious can save lives.”

 

 

 

lelande

 

Leland:  “Always be prepared! Have supplies on-hand whenever you go out; First-aid kit, blankets, water or any survival gear. You never know what kind of situation is right around the next corner. Lend a helping hand if you are not involved.”

 

bland

 

Bland: “Do the right thing. Stay safe, but do the right thing.”

 

 

derek

 

 

Fisher: “Don’t second-guess yourself; your gut instinct is to check out the situation. You may find nothing, but you might change someone’s life.”

 

 

 

 

Thankfully, the woman is in better condition and is recovering from the incident. Those who were involved handled the situation with poise, and without missing a beat. In an interview, the geocachers were asked how it felt to be a part of saving someone and Turner summed it up best:

“It feels very rewarding. Lives are so much more important than hobbies, but this hobby helped save a life.”