Geocaching and GPS

Navigation Updates GPSWhat is Geocaching?

Geocaching is the modern version of treasure hunting game that uses GPS for finding hidden objects or cache. With the help of GPS coordinates, the participants have to locate the geocache hidden somewhere in the vicinity. Dave Ulmer came up with the concept for the activity in the year 2000 where players use a handheld GPS tracking device to search for hidden objects. Geocaching is an excellent combination of technology, nature, and adventure.

Geocaching Tools

Usually, a geocache is a container with a logbook and may contain items for trading as well.  The geocacher who finds a geocache signs the logbook to prove that he/she did find it and may exchange the items from the box.  These items are inexpensive but have high sentimental value.

Geocachers only need a device such as smart devices which use Global Positioning System and a list of sites where they can find the geocache.  Many websites host free lists while others have premium lists or premium features for their members.  Some apps allow you to download the lists along with the navigation coordinates.  These apps can also calculate the distances to the midpoints and can make intersection calculations.

How to Play Geocaching?

To play this engaging game, the player has to register for free membership on one of the listing websites. Enter a postal code and hit the search button to find the list of all the geocaches near that location. Choose a geocache and enter related coordinates on GPS device. The GPS will help you in finding the hidden geocache. Once you locate the cache, you should sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original position. You can take photos and share related stories online.

How are Geocaches Connected with GPS?

The geocacher needs to download Geocaches on his GPS device. He can download them from cache pages, or get from LOC waypoint file that is available for both basic and premium members. GPX file is another format that is available for premium members only. It contains the description of the geocache, additional hints as well as 20 extra logs. The members who have compatible software can send coordinates directly to the GPS device.  There are many applications available for geocache data management that help in file translation as well as personalization. These apps use 3G or GPS enabled devices for searching and downloading new caches.

How GPS with up-to-date maps help find a geocache location?

While you plan and input a location on your GPS, you need an updated map to help you find the right path.  If the information on the map is outdated, you may start following a route that is blocked or no longer available.

Geocaching is an exciting game, and since geocaches are stashed all over the world, you can play it wherever you are.  Some geocaches follow a particular theme or include challenges to make the game even more enjoyable.

Check out Navigation Updates for mapping updates to most navigation systems.

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