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A Peek Inside a Typical Geocache

A Look at the Treasures Inside a Geocaching Box

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A Peek Inside a Typical Geocache

A typical geocaching box

Photo by Jackie Burrell

Geocaching is like a grown-up version of every child's favorite treasure hunt. But finding the GPS coordinates is only half the game. Now you have to find the box.

A geocaching treasure box, or cache, can be anything - but it's usually a small metal or plastic box that can stand up to the elements. It could be a camouflaged Altoids tin, a squat almond or mixed nut can, or an ammo box.

What's inside the cache isn't the point. The point is everything else - the fun of the hunt, the thrill of discovery, and the sheer delight of finding new places with old friends. That said, you'll still open the box with more than a little excitement, jot your name in the log, then take something and leave something. So you'll want to come prepared with a pencil or pen, and a trinket or two to swap.

Occasionally, you'll find a themed cache. The description may ask for something specific, foreign coins, for example, or mini-dinosaurs. Or it may be a multi-part cache, which contains a clue to the next location. But here's what a typical cache contains:

A Typical Cache

  • A Log: A small notebook or rolled up piece of paper, often encased in a zip-style plastic bag for protection from moisture. Finders log their user name, the date and any little comments.

  • A Pencil: Some caches include a pencil, but bring your own, just in case.

  • Inexpensive Treasures: McDonald's Happy Meal toys, plastic dinosaurs, arcade tokens and assorted cheap trinkets. Think Cracker Jack prizes or inexpensive birthday party favors.

  • Found Treasures: Small shells, a pretty rock or feather.

  • Travel Bug: Occasionally, you may find a Groundspeak Travel Bug or Geocoin. These special trinkets are logged in and tracked online, as they move from cache to cache in the real world. The Travel Bug looks like a metal tag, and it's generally attached to an item. Geocoins look like elaborate coins or medallions.
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