The process of burying a capsule filled with a logbook and various other items, recording the location with a GPS receiver and then publishing that location on the web. Other people can then find that location using their own GPS receivers and make a note of their find in the logbook. They can also take one of the items in the capsule and leave one of their own. Its kinda a new tech adventure game/treasure hunt.
The first geocache was set on May 3, 2000 outside of Portland, Oregon at
N 45°17.459'
W 122°24.800'
As of this date, there are caches in 20 US states and 11 different countries.
More information, including a database of currently known geocaches can be found at
Contrary to what Inkoate said in his writeup, the Geocaching community frowns on buried caches, and tries strongly to discourage people from disturbing nature. Burying things involves digging holes, potentially killing local plant life or disturbing local ecosystems (beaches, believe it or not, have very intricate ecosystems that are easily disturbed by digging in the sand). Furthermore, many caches are placed in state parks, where it would be illegal to bury them.

The most common form of geocache is a Tupperware or Rubbermaid plastic water-tight container holding various items. It's usually a good idea to write the name and coordinates of the cache on the outside of the container in permanent marker. It's also a good idea to enclose the items inside the cache in Zip-loc bags in case water gets inside the container.

Caches should be hidden in places away from well-used paths or parks. The last thing you want is for a non-geocacher to stumble across your cache and plunder it. Even so, you want to avoid putting your cache in a "No Trespassing" area, or else the locals will become angry and the unfortunate geocachers who try to find your cache may inadvertently get in trouble.

Many geocaches require you to solve puzzles or complete treasure hunts before finding the final cache. Some caches are "virtual caches", meaning there is no actual cache, but instead the coordinates lead you to a nice place to watch the stars, a hilltop with a good view, a good bird-watching area, etc.

There are special items called travel bugs which are intended to be transported between caches. When a geocacher finds a travel bug (which can be any item with a small travel bug tag attached to it), the cacher enters the unique number on the tag into the geocaching website and logs that it was picked up. That cacher then leaves the bug at another cache and logs where he left it, and the site tracks the bug's progress. Many travel bugs have goals, such as getting from the East Coast of the U.S. to the West Coast, or being placed in the cache at the highest altitude.

Geocaching is so popular now that some participants don't even use GPS devices to find the caches. It's entirely possible to use a good map to locate the cache coordinates, and then find the cache via careful searching of the area.

I highly recommend geocaching; it's like finding pirate treasure without having to deal with pirates. It's also an excellent way to find cool new hiking trails and get some exercise after a week of sitting in front of a computer.

My friends and I recently began geocaching and it really is more fun than it sounded when I first heard of it. Maybe it's the techie-geek gadget-lover in me who likes the GPS device. Or maybe it's the simple residual childhood love of hunting down buried treasure. Arrrr! (Though, as mentioned above, caches aren't actually buried).

We've found caches full of junk, one or two interesting items including travel bugs, caches containing almost nothing, and unfortunately one cache we tried to find had been plundered and left for dead. If you're in it for the loot, you're in the wrong hobby.

The coolest cache we've found so far was one near Arches National Park in southern Utah. It was hidden a few yards away from a nice set of dinosaur footprints.

The great thing about geocaching is that it's a hobby you can adapt to your personal level of adventurousness. Suicidal rock-climber? There are caches just for you (and only you). Sixty-year-old retiree in plaid pants? Never fear, other like-minded people have established caches within your reach!

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