Geocaching is like a modern day treasure hunt
Geocaching is a high-tech hobby, which allows members of the public to discover new and interesting places by using a GPS (Global Positioning System) device to look for a hidden item.
It's a modern day treasure hunt and has become so popular since its humble beginnings in 2000 that there are now literally hundreds of thousands of geocaching sites across the world.
York and North Yorkshire is no exception, with almost 1000 geocaches hidden right across the county including the Yorkshire Dales, the East Coast, and even the Bar Walls in York.
History of Geocaching
It all began back in 2000 when the US military released information on the accuracy of their navigation satellite systems. It was said their satellites were accurate to within one or two feet of the specified destination.
One American decided to test this out. On 3 May 2000, Dave Ulmer buried a five gallon plastic bucket in Viola, Oregon - the first recorded geocache. Inside the bucket he placed a DVD, two CD-ROMs, a cassette recorder, a 'George of the Jungle' VHS tape, a book, four one dollar bills, a slingshot handle, a can of beans and a log book.
Caches include everyday objects of little or no value
Dave then posted the co-ordinates of his bucket on the internet. By 6 May 2000 the bucket had been logged by Mike Teague from Vancouver in Washington. Mike took the money and left some cigarettes, a cassette tape and a pen.
The original bucket was damaged and is no longer around, however in 2003 a plaque marking the original geocache was placed on the site. In keeping with geocaching tradition, there is still a logbook to sign at the location. .
The basics of geocaching haven't changed. A cache is, at its simplest, a plastic container, which contains a log book and a few items to swap. The size of caches can vary in size, from a two litre plastic lunchbox to a camera film canister or something even smaller. The cache is hidden and co-ordinates are published on the
To find the objects, you must register with a geocaching website. It's free and, once you've registered, you potentially have access to geocaches across the world. Enter the object's co-ordinates into a GPS device and off you go. When you find the cache, you enter your details in the logbook. Usually, if the container is big enough, one item is taken from the geocache and another object is added.
The landowner's permission must be sought before a cache is hidden
Each cache is rated for difficulty and terrain. A one-star difficulty cache should be pretty easy to find on your first visit and is easy to get to with disabled access. Whereas a five-star geocache may need a few more visits to find the cache and, in terrain terms, you may need climbing or specialist equipment!
Once you've mastered the basic geocache, you can move on to more ambitious finds, such as the mystery or puzzle cache or the multi-cache. A mystery cache can require a puzzle to be solved in order to find the coordinates of the cache, whereas a multi-cache involves two or more locations. Once you find the first geocache, this will then lead you to your next location and so on.
Anyone can plant a geocache, but it's not recommended to plant one straightaway. You should wait until you have found around 10 or 15 first. That way, you know the perfect places to hide them.
One of the most important things to remember is that caches should only be found by those looking for them, they don't want the general public tripping over them.
Like most things, there are rules when it comes to planting a cache:
- You can't place a cache more than 50 miles from your home address
- The cache must be authorised by the administrators of the geocaching website
- The landowner's permission must be sought before planting a cache
For more on the etiquette of geocaching, for both hiding and searching for a cache, visit the
Geocaching Association of Great Britain's