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The Reverse Geocaching Puzzle Box – Geocaching.com’s Lost & Found Video

Inventor Mikal Hart shifts geocaching in reverse.  Hart’s “Reverse Geocaching Puzzle Box” is a locked box that needs you to deliver it to a secret location.  The box won’t unlock until you take it to this pre-programmed destination.

The GPS-enabled box presents users with a deceivingly simple button and a small display.  You press the button and the display reads a distance. Players only have 50 chances to move the box to the correct location before the box locks forever.

There are many more geocaching adventures. Take a look at all the Lost & Found videos here.

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Geocaching: The Best Work Out for Your Hippocampus or is it?

Haven’t you always dreamed of a bulging hippocampus? Another question at this point, might be: what’s a hippocampus?

The hippocampus is the portion of the brain believed to store maps of our surroundings.  It allows us to navigate around this crazy mixed-up world.  It’s your inner GPS.  If you’re going to the grocery store, your parents’ house or the place by that Thai restaurant your friend told you about? Yeah, your hippocampus gets you there.

A famous study into the inner wiring of London taxi drivers’ brains discovered something, well, unexpected.  The late 1990’s  research found the drivers hippocampi were much larger than normal, non-taxi-driver, hippocampi.

Taxi drivers navigating with their hippocampus.

The more the taxi drivers navigated the complex web of London streets, blind alleys and winding lanes, the larger their hippocampi grew.

The oyster-sized and colored portion of our mind also plays a role in long-term memory.  And I believe geocaching flexes your hippocampus.

Now there’s no study for what’s next (yet), but geocaching must be an amazing work out for your hippocampus.  You’re continuously navigating and building maps of your surroundings.  You’re challenging your ability to move from A to B. Finding a geocache pumps up your awareness of your location.  The concept sounds fairly simple.

But some fear we rely on our GPS devices and mapping sites far too much.

Last year a Los Angeles woman, Lauren Rosenberg, was struck by a car while crossing a highway in Utah.  In May, she filed a lawsuit against Google. According to The Washington Post, Rosenberg’s lawyer claims Google Maps provided walking directions that sent Rosenberg into harm’s way.  She ended up on a busy road with no sidewalks. She followed the directions sent to her Blackberry – which Rosenberg claims did not come with a warning about missing sidewalks.

She got hit by a car. She accumulated massive medical bills.  She sued.  There was clearly a loss of “situational awareness.”

So, which is it? Do we rely on maps and GPS devices too much? Or does the act of geocaching and navigating help grow the awareness of our surroundings?

VOTE in the Geocaching.com Poll in the sidebar to your right.

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Geocachers Guard Nature as Citizen Scientists – Geocaching.com’s Lost & Found Video

Your next geocaching adventure can help save the environment from a multi-billion dollar scourge, invasive species.  Scientists at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado created a website called, CitSci.org.  They’re calling all geocachers to help track the spread of species which damage the natural environment. It’s a global project, that begins just outside your front door.

You can find more information on Citizen Science by clicking the image below.

Citsci.org

There are many more geocaching adventures. Take a look at all the Lost & Found videos here.

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“Geocaching Diet” A Geocaching.com Lost & Found Video

Geocaching squares off again the battle of the bulge.  Geocacher Martin Pedersen is on a diet. Martin is determined to lose 100 pounds by the end of the year.  He’s using geocaching to shed the weight.  His aim is to find 1000 geocaches and walk 2500 kilometers.  Root him on by posting a comment and sharing your geocaching weight lose stories here on our blog.  You can also track his progress and send well wishes his way on his must-read family website, http://familynavigation.com

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That’s a Geocache?!? The Unending Evolution of Geocaches

Traditional geocache

For most, the evolution of the geocache container begins with a sturdy great-great-great-grandfather geocache.  It’s the iconic metal ammo can. But in one decade of geocaching, the geocache family tree branched off into dozens of directions.

Each branch embodies the spirit of evolution.  Geocaches now blend more and more into their natural environment.  Say you place a cache on the outskirts of an estuary?  There’s a bird geocache for that.  You’re considering an urban cache on a park bench?  We’ve heard of magnetic microcaches that resemble gum for that.

Take a quick look at the picture below on the left.  Guess how many geocaches are in that picture?  Ok, I know there are a few caveats. There can only be one geocache every tenth of a mile and none of these are activated, but how many possible geocaches do you see? The answer is… six. The bird, those pinecones, that rock, even two of the sticks are actually geocaches.

How many geocaches are hidden in this picture
Just enough room for a log

Geocaches are not the only part of the geocaching equation to evolve.  Geocachers developed a keener “geo-sense” over the past decade.  Say that you placed a corn cob shaped cache in field of corn… the cache will be found.

A cache like this one pictured at the bottom of the page is all in a days work for an average cacher.

I’d love to hear your most difficult find.  How many DNF’s did you log before uncovering the cache?  Let us know, just post a comment to this blog.

Thermometer reveals a geocache