So you’ve read ‘Intro to Geocaching 1: An Overview’ and are ready to start geocaching! How do you begin? You need to log on to Geocaching.com to find your clues. The easiest way to find a clue near you is to use the website’s search function.
The Search: Once you bring up the geocaching.com website, click on “Hide and Seek a Cache” and search by zip code for those that are closest to you. The results of your search will show a listing of caches hidden with a variety of symbols and keys you will learn as you go along. Here is the basic rundown:
Distance: The first column of your search results will show the distances from your zipcode that the cache is located.
Type: The second column shows the type of cache. There are several types of caches but the most common two types will be either a green single box or two yellow boxes. The green box icon means that it is a single cache. The yellow box icons mean it is a more “scavenger hunt” style cache – called a multicache. You find one box which contains a hint to another box, etc. Multicaches obviously take longer and can be more difficult but are a lot of fun.
Difficulty/Terrain Rating: The third column gives the rating assigned to the cache for both difficulty and terrain. Those new to geocaching should begin with caches that are rated 1 for difficulty and 1 for terrain. It is more fun, at the beginning, if you can increase your odds of a successful find. As you gain some experience, you might want to increase both difficulty and terrain. Those geocaching with children may want to continue only seeking caches with lower terrain ratings as crossing rivers on logs may not be very child or baby-friendly!
Date Placed and Last Found: The next column is the date the cache was originally placed by its owner. Once you find a lot of your local caches, you will want to keep an eye on this column so you can seek out only new caches. Two more columns over is the Date Last Found column. You will want to seek out a cache that has been found recently, particularly in the beginning. The longer a cache “stands still”, the higher the likelihood that it will be disturbed, destroyed or stolen.
Description: The only other column left is the description column. Click on the description of the cache you are most interested in and you will access the page with all the details you will need to find the cache.
Next up in our series: Intro to Geocaching 3: The Clue