Prepared by Mario Fares
Geocaching is a worldwide outdoor activity that combines hiking with a treasure hunt. The name derives from a mashup of “geography” and “cache”.
Instead of a map you use an app on a smartphone and your powers of observation to find a cache hidden in an Eco-friendly site above ground.
Go to geocaching.com to check out caches near you, or download the App on your smart phone. You can use any GPS device if you already have the location of the cache, noting that he App and the game are totally free.
Caches are rated with stars based on the level of difficulty and the terrain, so you can start with the easy level, also with the “regular” size caches.
Seeking a Cache:
After you’ve surfed the map and got an idea about the potential caches near you, click on the one you want to find. The cache page offers details and hints to help you to navigate to the exact location. The map shows how close you are to the cache, but you should also take into consideration that you should use your vision to find it at the end. Take your time to find the cache when the GPS alerts that you are so close and try to locate unnatural gadgets.
What to do once You Find a Cache:
There is an “Etiquette” for Cache Finders:
- Remove the cache and then move away to examine its contents without being harmful to the location
- Sign the logbook with your name and the date, and on the App or on the website write a log to let the cache owner know you found it. Don’t spoil it!
- Take one item out from the box, but replace it with a new item of equal or higher value.
- If the item you take is a “trackable”, you have to move that item to a new cache.
- Carefully seal the cache and hide it exactly as you found it, don’t change the location of the cache or try to make it easier or harder.
- Be a good geocacher and “CITO” (cache in, trash out), which means you need to bring along a trash bag so you can pick up any litter you find as you search.
Creating Your Own Cache:
The best way to create your own Cache, is to find lot of them. Don’t try to create one before you find at least 20 caches.
Before creating your own cache, read all the cache guidelines on geocaching.com.
- Avoid making your cache too easy to find to prevent non-geocachers from destroying it.
- Always get permission from the land owner to hide your cache.
- Place the cache where its impact will be negligible. Stay away from sensitive areas like archaeological sites and reserves.
- Make sure your container is durable, so it won’t break.
- Regularly maintain your cache after you place it. You don’t just create it and forget about it.
“When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot.” – Briansnat, Charter Member
One of the Geocaches in Lebanon – The Mountains Magazine Team.