Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ranger Rick’s Geocaching Tips

Go to the National Wildlife Federation's - Ranger Rick's Geocache Trails program for more fun geocaching information for kids, "hosts", and families.
Pack for a hike. It’s a good idea to bring water, snacks, sunscreen, and clothing to suit the weather. You may want to bring along a notebook, pen or pencil, crayons (for rubbings), and a camera. Most geocaches contain a pen or pencil for signing the log book, but occasionally you will need to have something of your own to write with.
Use your eyes. Follow the GPS coordinates until you are within about 25 ft. of the geocache, then start to use your eyes. Look for signs of something out of place, such as stacked tree limbs, bark, or other materials. A geocache may be hiding there. Use the hints and recent log posts on the geocache’s online listing to help you. The names of geocaches are often clues as well.
Look out for Bugs. Trackables, often referred to as travel bugs or geocoins, are specially tagged items that are being moved from cache to cache, around the world. Keep an eye out for coded tags or coins. If you find one, take it home and enter it’s number on geocaching.com. Many travel bugs have a specific goal. Help it move by placing it in a new cache next time you geocache! Read more on trackables at geocaching.com/track/default.
Take something, leave something. Trading in geocaching is encouraged. The rule is: only take something out of the geocache if you have something of your own to put back in.
Hide it well. Be sure to replace the geocache exactly as you found it. If the geocache was exposed, help the owner by hiding it better. Please don’t bury it.
Stay on the trail! Because GPS displays do not account for roads and paths, the GPS will often point you away from the marked path. Staying on the path until the GPS tells you to make a hard right or left turn is a good rule to follow. Usually the geocache is not hidden more than 50 ft. off of a marked trail. If you’ve left the trail to find a cache, always remember go back to the trail before continuing on to your next geocache.
Leave no trace. Try not to disturb wildlife or their habitats while you geocache. If you are quiet, you might see some really neat things. Never litter—carry out everything you carry in.
Practice CITO! Also known as “Cache In, Trash Out.” It’s always nice to help Mother Earth. Bring some trash bags along and clean up any litter you find as you go.
Find other cachers! There are lots of geocaching organizations, where people get together to enjoy geocaching. Find local groups near you at forums.groundspeak.com/GC.

Ranger Rick’s Geocaching Tips.
Ranger Rick's Geocache Trails™

Want to give geocaching a try? Here are some more tips:

1. Get an adult to visit geocaching.com® online and sign your family up for a free account.
2.Then search the site to find a list of caches near you.
3.Grab your GPS receiver and go hunting!
4.If you're heading out on a warm, summer's day, plan on taking along some water, snacks, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
5.It's always nice to help Mother Earth. Bring some trash bags along and clean up litter as you go.

Ranger Rick’s Geocache Trails™ is a program of the National Wildlife Federation®. RangerRickTrails.com

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