Geocaching 101 - A Place with info. for all our GEOCACHING NEWBIES!
A bit of a summarised background about Geocaching:
The concept of Geocaching started in the USA in May 2000. The first breakthrough was when satellite technology rules were relaxed and suddently ones GPSr became much more accurate. Then an individual
name of Dave Ulmer decided to test the accuracy of his GPS with the increase of available satellites by hiding a container in the bush and asking his friends to find it using their GPSr. More details can be read on the Geocaching.com website.
This fun yet humble idea which started more than ten years ago, grew and became a great pasttime or hobby or sport (whichever way you would like to look at it) all over the world.
In South Africa, geocaching started on 14 January 2001, when a cacher by the name of GPSFrodo hid a container in the Magaliesburg GCZA01 (GC163). It was found by Jors on 17 January 2001 and then two weeks later it was muggled and then archived. Jors still has the watch that he took out from this original cache. It is now a trackable item, and goes to all the Events that Jors attends. Jors has now placed a cache called GCZA01.2 (GC1RNAY) in honour of this first geocache in South Africa. It was not hidden in the exact same spot, but it is as close as possible to the original cache and is accessible to all geocachers.
The oldest, still active cache in South Africa is Signal Hill (GC9CC4) in Cape Town.
There are approximately 850 active geocachers in South Africa and this number grows on a daily basis. In terms of hidden geocaches which are active - there are approximately 6415 hidden across South Africa.
Geocaches have many different types. These include the Traditional, Mystery (Puzzle), Multi, Earthcache, Letterbox, Wherigo, Event, Mega Event, and CITO Event. Some other types still exist from the past, but are no longer hidden in this type (called "Grandfathered") including Webcam, Virtual, Locationless, etc. Recently, a new type of cache called the "Challenge" cache has been created.
Geocaching is administered by Groundspeak, whose headquarters are located in the USA. There are basic Rules and Guidelines for both finding and hiding caches. It is highly recommended that you read through the "Guide" on www.geocaching.com. They are basic but they give you an idea of what to do, and what you should not do.
Geocaching is about so many things - having fun, meeting awesome people, discovering unbelieveable places, learning about your heritage and about the earth, sharing your thoughts and getting in touch with technology.