Geocaching: A Beginner's Guide to Treasure Hunting

A free intro course is being held at Sycamore Canyon. Try out the GPS tracking game where you find hidden packages and record your discoveries.

Event: Intro to Geocaching at Sycamore Canyon

Geocaching is a game that allows GPS-equipped treasure hunters to scour the earth for hidden packages and document their discoveries. More than 5 million people have been searching for nearly 2 million geocaches worldwide.

The size, difficulty and surrounding terrain of the caches vary, but the idea is the same: find the cache, sign your name (and possibly trade a treasure), document your success and move on to the next cache.

There are three San Diego County parks that allow geocaching. Click here to learn more about rules for geocaching in these parks.

An Intro to Geocaching ranger led event is happening Saturday, Dec. 7 from 9-11 a.m. at Sycamore Canyon Park

Here's the description of the event:

"This program is aimed at guests who have never played the sport and would like to learn about it.  A slideshow and discussion in the visitor center will be followed by geocaching in the park.  It is recommended that guests bring their own gps units as the number available are limited, but one can still enjoy it without one. Two new geocaches will be placed out for this event."

Most geocachers don't participate because of the treasure you might find, it's about the fun in locating the hidden cache.  Geocaching has been gaining popularity since it began in 2000. Many people go with friends or in groups, and the caches are often hidden in parks, along trails or at other recreational locations - giving you a reason to explore unknown territory.

If you're still unsure about how the game works, watch this explanatory video.

Who can play? Anyone with a sense of adventure can play, all you need is a GPS device or smart phone and a free geocaching account. Searching for geocaches begins with entering the coordinates into your GPS device, or searching them on the geocaching application, which in turn maps a route to the location of the cache.Once the application alerts you that you're close, it's time to ditch technology and let your senses take over.

Anything from a Tupperware container to a fake rock with a compartment can hide the cache, so be creative while you search. Also, it's a fun to bring your kids along so they can help find the treasure.

The size of the cache can be as tiny as a film canister (micro) or as large as an abandoned storage shed.

Here's a list of the size dimensions: Micro - Less than 100ml. Examples: a 35 mm film canister or a tiny storage box typically containing only a logbook or a log-sheet.

A nano cache is a common sub-type of a micro cache that is less than 10ml and can only hold a small log-sheet. Small - 100ml or larger, but less than 1L. Example: A sandwich-sized plastic container or similar.

Regular - 1L or larger, but less than 20L. Examples: a plastic container or ammo can about the size of a shoebox.

Large - 20L or larger. Example: A large bucket. For more information or to start hunting, visit www.geocaching.com.


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