By Nathan Erb on August 18, 2011 at 7:38 AM
Until a few weeks ago, I’d never heard of geocaching. Someone mentioned in a meeting that GEICO was doing a “Find the Gecko” geocaching promotion, and the idea was met with confused stares. Somehow I had never met one of the 5 million people worldwide who already participate. After a little research, I ended up with a new hobby. So, make that 5,000,001 geocachers.
What is Geocaching?
If you’ve been living under a rock since 2000 (Geocaching pun not intended) like me, let’s get you caught up. According to geocaching.com, geocaching is “a high-tech outdoor treasure hunting game that’s a great way to explore the world with friends, family or on your own.”
There are over 1.4 million geocaches hidden worldwide, and most likely there have been several hiding near your home for years. A geocache can be anything from a 35mm film canister to a plastic storage box filled with swag. They will contain a log book for you to sign and sometimes small items for trade—just remember to leave something of equal or greater value!
How to get started.
On my first geocaching excursion, all I needed was the geocaching iPhone app, which uses the phone’s GPS along with a description, hints and recent logs from other geocachers to help you find the location.
It took me to a park only a mile from my house that I never knew existed, and the geocache was hidden in a tree opening.
You can use any GPS enabled device to get there, and then log your visit from your smartphone or from a computer when you get home. Just remember to put the geocache back where you found it!
Still have questions? Check out the official ‘Guide to the Game.’
Gecko Trackables and GEICO’s Find the Gecko Sweepstakes
A “trackable” is a geocaching physical “game piece” that allows you to log its travels across the world with a unique code. While supplies last, GEICO is giving away free Gecko trackables, as long as you agree to place each one in a geocache to help it get started on its journey. You can also follow the Gecko’s movements from cache to cache.
Finally, be sure to enter the sweepstakes to win one of 20 Magellan eXplorist GC GPS units.
Let us know where you drop your Gecko trackable, and share your geocaching adventures in the comments!