Updated February 2015: new pictures of recent caching (scroll down)!

GEOCACHING is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.

The caches are placed by other players, who will typically use a container large enough for a log sheet (to sign that you found it), and a few small trinkets, to make it feel like finding a hidden treasure. The cache owner will use their GPS to note the exact coordinates of the cache (latitude and longitude)

They'll post the coordinates on-line, with other information about the cache, and maybe some hints to help find it. Then others can load the coordinates into their own GPS units, and try to find the cache! The normal protocol upon finding it is to sign the log, take one of the trinkets, and then to leave a different trinket of similar value.

Anyone can play...all you need is a way to locate lat/long coordinates. Typically people will use a real GPS receiver, though recently it's become possible to use a smart phone. Gaye's iPhone has a $10 application on it that lets it act as if it's a GPS, and it points us to locations just fine. How does it do that, without really receiving GPS satellite signals? It actually triangulates its position from nearby cell phone towers!

Gaye got turned on to geocaching by a friend, and then took Dan on a hunt, and he got hooked, too. Now we try to go find a geocache or two every time we go somewhere new!

Dan & Gaye found this cache together in May 2011 (it was Dan's first find)...the container is just a mason jar, and we displayed the little prizes from the cache.

This is a little cache (called a "micro-cache", that was creatively hidden on the grounds of Central Baptist Church by members of the congregation!

Here Dan holds a cache he found, that's in a tupperware-type box. (Photo by Gaye)

Gaye signing the log of a cache we found – in the base of that lamp post! People find some very creative locations to hide them, though most are in the woods.

Gaye with another cache that she found.

Sometimes people will use very unusual containers...this electrical box was installed on the tree, and was itself the container! (Photo by Gaye)

Anne likes playing, too – here she is with a cache she found, on an outing with Mom & Jenny. (It's late June 2011 in this photo...she's probably hot and sweaty...) (Photo by Gaye)

This is a popular type of container to use for a geocache: a military surplus ammunition can. They're a good size, and are waterproof. Gaye is holding her iPhone, which is our virtual GPS.

Dan, happily showing off another find, in July 2011. (Photo by Gaye)

Dan, with yet another find, this time in October 2014. (Photo by Gaye)

We had to take a break for geo-caching for a couple of years, because Gaye had destroyed her iPhone that we used as a virtual GPS unit. Finally, though, we decided to get her another one, so now we've started caching again! (We even took Hugo, once, but he was unimpressed...!)

Gaye shows a cache she found in Little Ocmulgee State Park, at the end of October 2014.

all images © 2011, 2014 dan bullock except as noted
permission granted for non-commercial use