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Geocaching 101

Geocaching-101 is a site dedicated to providing helpful resources for novice and expert geocachers. Inside you will find how-to guides, discussions about various aspects of geocaching, reviews of geocaching-related products, and more!

We’re still adding content. If you have anything you’d like to see here, please let us know!

If you are new to geocaching these posts will get you started:

Each week a new post will be published, covering some geocaching topic.

Contributions are welcome! If there is something you’d like to contribute to the site, or something you’d like to see covered, please email us at feedback@geocaching-101.com.

Geocaching With Young Kids

Geocaching with young kids

A while ago, I put up a post about geocaching with a toddler. Well, now we have a toddler (GC handle: Q-Bit) and a 6yr old (GC handle: (:TheBoy:) ). We’ve logged quite a few more finds since that post and we’ve introduced quite a few other families to the hobby!

Geocaching remains a favourite activity of our now 6yr old. He loves getting out, exploring new parts of the city, the province, other provinces, and indeed other countries! The treasure-hunting aspect of it is fun, but he enjoys the technological aspect (he’s a gadget geek just like his parents) and the SOCIAL aspect too.

We often go out caching with other cachers. Sometimes they have kids too, and it’s this shared experience that really appeals to (:TheBoy:). He has kids to talk with, to explore with, and to treasure-hunt with. To be sure, it gets a bit competitive sometimes, but generally speaking good fun is had by all.

Our youngest has never known weekends without geocaching! He seems to be taking after his brother, having claimed our older eTrex as his own, and participating in the hunts. He loves tromping through the woods, bush-wacking through the scrub, and finding the next cache in “just a few metres” — which is always his response to “how far to the next cache?”

With almost 800 cache finds, about 400 of those with one kid, and another 300 with both kids, we think we have some perspective on how to have fun as a family geocaching.

  • Caching as a family is fun. Two families caching is more than twice as fun. Geocaching is also an all-ages hobby. Geocaching with grandparents is a great way to spend a day!
  • Keep spirits up by bringing lots of food and drinks. Snacks along the trail are important to keep everybody’s energy level up and spirits high. Don’t forget about snacks and drinks for you too!
  • Patience is key. If it’s taking too long to find a cache, the kids will get bored and distracted and morale will fall. Be willing to accept DNFs!
  • The kids set the pace. They’ll let you know when enough is enough, so resist the urge for “one last cache” — you’ll end up paying for it in the end!
  • Pay attention to the terrain and difficulty ratings. Don’t tackle caches that will be too difficult to find, or be too hard to get to with the kids. We sometimes have the toddler walking on his own, sometimes in a backpack, and sometimes in a stroller. The terrain has to be appropriate!
  • As a practical matter, kids under 5 can handle a few kilometres’ walking, but if you’re doing more than 5 kms (3 mi) return then you’re starting to push things.
  • It’s not just about the hunt! Through the course of your adventures, you will discover parts of your region you never knew existed. Take some time to explore them, and enjoy them. You’ll come across countless new playgrounds, and your kids will love that.

Do you go caching with your family? Do you have any tips or tricks to share?

Garmin Map Alternatives

Geocaching 101“The maps my Garmin GPS came with are awful! Now what?

So you bought a fancy new Garmin GPS to go geocaching, you fire it up, and you discover that there are a grand total of 4 roads in your huge metropolis, at least according to the base map.

This is, unfortunately, a common complaint about Garmin GPSs. The “basemap” that they come with contains very little detail.

Fortunately you have options.

Continue reading Maps for your Garmin GPS

What kind of GPS should I get?

I often get asked this question. Certainly, I’m not an expert, but I do have opinions. For starters, I’m most familiar with Garmin GPSrs, so that’s all I’ll talk about here. There are also units from Magellan and Delorme.

Continue reading What kind of GPS should I get?

What is Geocaching

The fine folks at Groundspeak have put together a video explaining geocaching to newcomers:

Geocaching with a toddler

Geocaching 101[This was written in 2007 after we'd been caching with our 2 yr old for a little over a year]

We’ve been caching since April, just after our son turned two.

Now, with 200+ finds, only 40-ish of those were without the toddler.

The biggest thing we’ve learned is that the boy is boss. When he’s hungry, eat. When he’s tired, let him sleep. If he’s done, we’re done. Bring lots of snacks and drinks. Don’t fall into the “one last cache” trap and stay out too long.

Continue reading Geocaching with a toddler

The Basics

Geocaching 101What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a treasure hunting game that uses GPS technology to hide and locate geocaches. It can be a casual pastime, or highly competitive. It can be as easy as a walk in the park, or as hard as climbing a mountain. It can be a solitary experience, or very social. Geocaching can be done by the very young or the aged, the very fit or people with disabilities. Geocaching is an activity that you can modify to suit YOU.

Continue reading The Basics

Geomate.jr

Geomate.jr

Geomate.jr front face

In January 2010, we put on a “Geocaching 101″ event for some people we’ve met through Twitter. You can read an awesome summary of the day on the Outdoor Vancouver blog.

As part of that event, the fine folks (Helen and Chris) at Landsharkz loaned us a Geomate.jr GPSr.

The Geomate.jr is a “family-friendly” GPSr. It’s intended to be simple to use so that kids can just pick it up and start geocaching. You don’t have to worry about downloading caches from it … it comes with 250,000 caches already installed. It promises to be quick, easy, and uncomplicated.

Continue reading Geomate.jr