Beginner’s Guide to Finding a Geocache

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Geocaches can be of any size and can be hidden in locations from urban streets to vast wilderness areas. The beginner geocaching enthusiast may have trouble finding his or her first caches. This guide to finding a geocache will assist them in their goal.

Step One – Gathering the Information

The first step in locating a geocache is gathering the information from one of the caching websites. Perhaps the most popular is There, you can search a massive database for geocaches in your area.

After finding the caches on the website and picking one to look for, visit its cache page and view its information. Every geocache has a location file that can be loaded onto your GPS receiver. But there is other information on the geocache page that can help you.

The geocache hider often includes clues to the location of the cache. You may also find information or even pictures of the area in the logs left by other geocachers.

Step Two – Using the GPS Receiver

Using the GPS receiver is mostly a matter for the GPS unit instructions. However, the basic idea is to plug the latitude and longitude coordinates into the GPS and follow an electronic compass or mapping program to the geocache site.

Step Three – Finding Ground Zero

After you drive to the general location of the geocache, the next step is to walk to ground zero. Ground zero is the location at which your GPS receiver indicates you are at the right coordinates. Following the map or “Goto” screen on your GPS receiver, walk until the unit zeroes out.

Step Four – Scanning for Hiding Spots

Once you have found a few geocaches, it will be come easier to spot possibly hiding spots. Many geocaches are hidden under fallen logs, in tree stumps, under unusual piles of rocks or sticks. However, some are hidden more effectively. After scanning for possible hiding spots, you may have to do a more thorough search.

Step Five – Search and Find

The final step in looking for a geocache is a step by step search. Return to ground zero and begin searching in an ever widening circle. Look in every possible location, including up in the branches of a tree and inside logs and even rocks.

Finding a geocache can be a challenge to anyone. This beginner’s guide to geocaching gives the rudiments of GPS usage, how to search for the geocache in the field, and tips and tricks to make the search more productive.


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