By Sue Rodman
Solve the puzzle to unlock the treasure. Use what you find to search for more. Unlock three boxes to move on to the next level.
That may sound like the instructions for a popular video game, but although this game requires high tech devices like a smartphone or GPS system, Geocaching in Georgia is more about exploring the real world around you than a virtual realm. Some people call it a high tech treasure or Easter Egg hunt.
Geocaching in Georgia is a great inexpensive way to get outdoors and explore – both in your own backyard, or while on vacation. There are close to two million active caches in the world and chances are several near your home or favorite vacation spot. Caches can be in the middle of the woods, or the middle of a busy city block and can be anything from an easily spied green ammo box to a container that looks remarkably like chewed gum (check out all the different types of caches at Space Coast GeoCaching). Every cache has a logbook, but other than that, it can contain any number of items to be traded or collected.
Getting Started: Geocaching 101
I could write several blog posts about how to get started in Geocaching in Georgia, but my friends Josh and Liz from Peanuts or Pretzels have already done it much better than I could, so make sure to check out their Geocaching 101 Guide. It has all the details to get you started.
I’ll let Josh and Liz give you the nitty-gritty on process, we’ll move on here to something more fun, swag.
Common Swag: Geocache logbooks are always fun to read. I love to see where folks are from, but kids love getting something a little more. The person or organization that creates the cache usually seed it with small items or nick-nacks. Those who find the cache are welcome to trade an item of equal value for an item in the cache. So make sure when you Geocache to bring something cool to trade.
Ultra Cool Swag: The Georgia State Parks has an incredible Geocaching Program in Georgia. The GeoCoins and History Trail GeoTour take the common swag caches to a new level by offering collectibles for those who solve multiple caches.
Georgia State Park Geo Coins: Every state park has a cache. Visit them all and have your Geo-Tour passport stamped with the letter stamps you find in the caches. Trade them in for impressive collectable Geo Coins. 15 completed caches gets a bronze coin. 30 a silver. 40 a gold.
History Trail Geo Tour: 14 State Historic Sites have special caches that make up the History Trail GeoChallenge. Answer questions related to each site. Solve a padlock code and open the cache. Inside each cache are collector cards. Collect the cards and trade them in for collectible pathtags (penny sized coins that can be worn on a chain). If you like the idea of taking a GeoTour, the city of Blackshear in Southeast Georgia has their very own GeoTour.
Grab the Extension Pack
As with any popular videogame, there are always extensions. Geocaching in Georgia is no different. Here’s how to trick out your cache.
Trackables: Trackables are a special type of object found within geocaches that contain a unique tracking code.
Travel Bugs: Travel Bugs are a type of trackable, similar to a dog tag and attached to objects. When you find one, go online and see where it’s been, and track where it’s going. It’s like a hitchhiker taking a ride with you to your next cache.
Travel Fleas – Travel Fleas attach to the Travel Bugs and are personalized – It’s like leaving your business card to go along for the ride.
If all of this is just too much, try other ways to explore like the very low tech ClueTown Books or apps like Strayboots City Tours and History Heroes, a kid-friendly video game for touring historic landmarks. Here’s a great review of History Heroes from from Tough Cookie Mommy.