Have you thought of taking up Geocaching as a new hobby? It’s a great way to explore locations near (or far) while enjoying the outdoors with friends or family.
In our blog from a couple of weeks ago, we shared information on the Cannery’s geocaches. If you haven’t already taken up this hobby, and our previous blog piqued your interest, check out this video called “What is Geocaching” and read this Geocaching 101 guide to find out more.
Now, if you are ready to give it a go, sign up for a free account at Geocaching.com (a paid upgrade to a Premium account will give you access to more geocaches) and get ready to find your first cache!
- Some geocachers use a handheld GPS unit like the one pictured to enter in the coordinates. Your unit will tell you how close you are to the coordinates, but it will not tell you if there is an obstacle (like a stream or a dense forest) between you and your destination!
- Other geocachers download the Geocaching App to their smartphone, which shows various Google Map options and map features that can be used to navigate to the coordinates. Note that buildings and forests may distort your GPS reading
- Make a little “geo-kit” to take with you: extra paper (in case there is no logbook); tweezers (for those teeny micro logsheets); and pens or pencils if the cache says to BYOP – or Bring Your Own Pen/Pencil (see the glossary for more geocaching terms).
- If you include trinkets for trading, be sure to trade fairly.
Before you go:
Before you head out the door, select the cache you want to find and read the information that is available to you – this includes general cache information, hints, parking info and difficulty rating. Reading past logs on the app may provide you with additional info to help you with a successful find, but be aware that although they aren’t supposed to; they may contain spoilers that could take the fun out of your search.
Once you find a geocache:
- Date and sign the logbook
- Log your find on the website or App. When you look at the map showing the cache you just found, you will see a happy face icon.
If you can’t find the geocache, don’t worry. It happens. Sometimes it happens because caches simply go missing, but it is still important to log it as a DNF(did not find) sad face icon as it helps alert cache owners if their cache needs maintenance.
The two geocaches at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site are visible on this map above – Monster Cannery Cache & The “Cool” Cannery Cache (shown just above the Monster Cannery Cache) – as are the other geocaches in the Steveston area. Some of the geocaches along Cannery Channel are part of the City of Richmond’s GeoTour, a collection of geocaches that will take you all around the city. Southern Vista, Waterfront Wanderer and Britannia Shipyards will also give you some insight into the Steveston’s maritime history.
Geocaching is a safe and fun outdoor activity for people of all ages, but always use caution and be safe. Respect nature and consider practicing “Cache In Trash Out”. Oh and shhhh….don’t let any Muggles (non-geocachers) see what you are up to!