Monday, September 12, 2011

Varsity Huddle - Geocaching

Varsity/Venturing Roundtable

Geocaching Helps:

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. Search for a geocache below or learn more about getting started.

What do you need?
·        GPS or iPhone application
·        Computer
·        Free account on
·        Lots and lots of batteries
·        Eagle eyes

Terms you need to know:
·        Micro, small, regular, large or “other” caches (there sizes are subjective to cacher).  “Other” usually means you need to read the description of cache to see what it is.  Some caches make containers that are very “unique”.
·        LPC – lamp post cache
·        TFTC – thanks for the cache
·        SL – signed logs
·        Muggle – someone who does not geocache (stolen from Harry Potter)
·        CITO – cache in trash out
·        FTF – First to find (this is an “honor” for most geocachers)
·        DNF – did not find
·        Geocoin – trackable coin
·        Travel bug – trackable dog tag
·        Pathtag – similar to geocoin but does not have a unique trackable code
·        Types of caches:
o       Traditional
o       Multi-cache
o       Puzzle
o       Virtual
o       Event
o       CITO Event
o       Webcam
o       Benchmark - A benchmark is a point whose position is known to a high degree of accuracy and is normally marked in some way. The marker is often a metal disk made for this purpose, but it can also be a church spire, a radio tower, a mark chiseled into stone, or a metal rod driven into the ground. Over two centuries or so, many other objects of greater or lesser permanence have been used. Benchmarks can be found at various locations all over the United States. They are used by land surveyors, builders and engineers, map makers, and other professionals who need an accurate answer to the question, "Where?" Many of these markers are part of the geodetic control network (technically known as the National Spatial Reference System, or NSRS) created and maintained by NOAA's National Geodetic Survey (NGS).
·        SWAG – trinkets placed in a cache
·        TNLN – took nothing left nothing

Terrain and Difficulty
·        Terrain is rated on a * to ***** rating with one star being easy and five being bushwacking.
·        Difficult is also rated on a * to ***** rating with one star being easy and five being very difficult.

Things to remember:
·        It is OK not to find it.  GeoDee (local cacher) has almost 25,000 finds and almost as many DNF.
·        Read the previous logs because they might give you hints as to where it is at (it may be missing!).
·        Don’t be seen.  You gotta be stealthy.
·        Leave no trace behind.  Cache in trash out.
·        Make sure the caches are Scout appropriate.  Make sure it is safe for your Scouts.
·        Make sure you are dressed for the terrain.
·        Make sure you have supplies in case things go wrong (cell phone, water, snacks, etc.)
·        Know the weather.
·        Do not go onto private property unless the cache listing says cachers have permission to go.
·        If asked to leave, do it.  Try to explain geocaching but in the end you are an ambassador for geocaching and more importantly Scouting.

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