What the heck is geocaching?

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GEOCACHING 101 / How to do geocaching / Geocaching for dummies ;-)

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. (Source: Wikipedia)

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. (Source: geocaching.com)

In other words: Someone hides something somewhere, locates the exact coordinates with his GPS device and publishes these coordinates and some information about the location on a geocaching website like geocaching.com (there are several others). Other geocachers enter these coordinates into their own GPS devices and navigate to the hidden location to find the cache, sign the log book, take some “treasure” out of the cache box and put something else back in. Additionally they (can) leave a message to the creator of the cache on the website and log the cache as “found”.

Some caches are easy to find (you just have to enter the final coordinates into your GPS device) and others are much more difficult as you have to solve riddles or navigate to several other places first to find hints about how to get the final coordinates. Often you get just a piece of the puzzle on every location you visit and in the end you have to calculate the final coordinates to find the cache. Every cache is different and it never gets boring.

Karin and Markus are geocaching addicted. They did about 200 caches by now and Karin even created a geocache as a wedding gift. But there are really crazy geocachers who managed to find several thousand caches all over the world by now.

Last year, Karin and Markus invited us to go on a geocaching trip with them to the Zentralfriedhof in Vienna. It was a really funny trip and we decided to try it ourselves some day. This day has now come almost a year later. Today we’ve been geocaching in Hardegg with my “parents-in-law”. There are two very easy caches in Hardegg (you just have to enter the final coordinates). One is actually in Hardegg and the other one we did is in the Czech Republic (Hardegg is situated at the border of Austria).

If you want to do these caches, have your GPS receiver ready and head over to geocaching.com. The two caches we did are GCW9DQ and GCWRYP.

All pictures below are placed on the map at Flickr. Just click on any image and visit the assigned map to see where we’ve been geoaching.

GCW9DQ:

OUT: Tigger (from Winnie-the-Pooh) | IN: a witch

Geocaching CACHE

Geocaching CACHE (IN: a witch)

Our way to GCWRYP:

Geocaching at Ceská republika

Geocaching at Ceská republika (near Hardegg)

There are some bunkers near the border. I’m not sure if these were built because of the Iron Curtain or because they are leftovers from World War II. You can even have a look inside the bunkers which is really interesting. But beware: You need a flashlight as it’s very dark inside.

bunker

look-out over Hardegg

Geocaching CACHE

There was a wooden geocoin from geocaching.cz inside of GCWRYP which we took with us. It’s self-evident that we’ve put something back in (a little plastic soccer player). :-)

Geocaching - wooden geocoin from geocaching.cz

We had a really great view over the valley on the castle and church of Hardegg:

Hardegg (Lower Austria)

Thanks a lot to the creators of these geocaches (Stegi created GCW9DQ and BBBubak created GCWRYP)! :-)

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