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Written by Chuck   

Yes — Geocaching! 

What IS Geocaching, anyway?

Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is try to leave something for the cache if they take something from it.

How Do You Pronounce Geocaching?

You pronounce it Geo-cashing, like cashing a check.

What Is A "GPS Unit" Or "GPS Device?"

A GPS device is an electronic unit that can determine your approximate location (within around 6-20 feet) on the planet. Coordinates are normally given in Longitude and Latitude. You can use the unit to navigate from your current location to another location. Some units have their own maps, built-in electronic compasses, voice navigation, depending on the complexity of the device. You don't need to know all the technical mumbo jumbo about GPS units to play Geocaching. All you need to do is be able to enter what is called a "waypoint" that tells where the geocache is hidden.

Our Own Experiences With Geocaching

Chuck was the first kid on his block to have a GPS receiver (now we have 4) and from the moment he heard about this new sport ("The Sport Where YOU Are The Search Engine") he was hooked. Now we don't travel anywhere without our cache bag, consisting of our GPS receivers, a compass (comes in handy sometimes), and a variety of small toys and gagets for putting in caches. Chuck has even hidden a cache of his own near Decatur, IL (now archived — "put to sleep" — because someone stole it; sad, but it does happen) and one in Lombard. It's a great way to get in some outdoor time and besides the initial expense of the GPS receiver there is very little expense involved. We frequently see entire families including pretty young children out caching. 

Now that Tim is away at college, he's keeping up the tradition by getting his own geocaching identity and having hidden a micro cache on the campus of the University of Illinois. 

Our Urban Caching Weekend

On Saturday, January 26, 2008 Hop2it and Mrs. Hop2it went with CynTim, good friends, on a short afternoon caching excursion to a cold, snowy, and wet area just west of downtown Chicago. See a Google map of our adventures. 

Profile for Hop2it


Last Updated ( Saturday, 26 January 2008 )
Written by Chuck   

Member of GONIL GONIL stands for the "Geocachers Of Northeastern ILlinois." The purpose of GONIL, as stated in its bylaws, is to"...exist as a not-for-profit recreational organization, formed to promote and protect the family-oriented activity of geocaching in Northeastern Illinois, through education, cooperation between geocachers and land managers, and FUN!"

That pretty well says it all. The GONIL forums are very active and, in our opinion, more helpful to a cacher in the northeastern IL area than are the forums on Groundspeak.  

You can find the GONIL website HERE , and you can jump straight to their forum page HERE

Last Updated ( Monday, 02 October 2006 )
Geocaching.com (Groundspeak)
Written by Chuck   

Premium Member of Geocaching.com The website at www.geocaching.com is the heart of geocaching. Here you can find out where caches are located, link to the individual pages for each of the thousands and thousands of caches worldwide, and (once you become a member) log your finds for all to see.

Membership is free for the basic level, which is all most cachers need as they are getting started; in fact, many never go beyond this level. For the relatively low cost of $30 per year, Premium members get quite a few extra benefits:

  • Pocket Queries
    Hand-entering geocache coordinates is tedious, and you run the risk of developing repetitive motion injuries if you hunt more than a few caches in a day. With a Pocket Query you can download up to 500 specifically defined geocache waypoints directly to your GPS in a flash!
  • Caches along a Route
    Caches Along A Route Your GPS will tell you the direction of a cache as the crow flies, which is great, if you're a crow. The rest of us, however, are hopelessly bound to the roads. The Caches Along a Route feature allows you to find caches on either side of specified route for a quick and easy geocaching diversion on your next road trip.
  • Google Maps
    If you have a few finds under your belt, chances are you've made good use of Google's superior maps to plan your geocaching expeditions. Premium Membership greatly enhances this tool by showing which caches have already been found by you, as well as allowing you to add caches to a bookmark list on the fly for later download as a Pocket Query.
  • Paperless Caching
    Printer ink is more expensive than Chanel No. 5. If you have a Palm or Pocket PC handheld device you will never have to print another cache page again! You can download the cache coordinates, full description, hint, and the last 5 logs posted to the cache page using one of the many available free applications and your handheld device. Also known as “paperless geocaching”, this Premium Member feature saves you time, money, and effort in your caching preparations. With your GPS, handheld device, and the latest Pocket Query you’ll be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • Instant Log Notifications
    For some geocachers, the weekly cache notification email is just not enough. If you absolutely must be the first to find a newly published geocache, you cannot do better than to be instantly notified by email when a new cache becomes available. You can choose to have the notification sent to any email address you like, or even your email-enabled mobile phone! With several log options to choose from, including “Found it”, “Didn’t Find It”, and “Enabled” you’ll be constantly updated on geocache happenings in any area you choose.
  • Unlimited (well, 5000) Watchlist items
    Basic members are limited in the number of items they can have on their watchlist. With a Premium Membership you’ll be instantly updated on up to 5000 caches and/or Travel Bugs.
  • Bookmark and Ignore Lists
    Bookmark lists can be used to group cache listings in whatever way you like. You may want a bookmark list of caches you intend to hunt, or perhaps an “all-time greatest hits” list you can share with friends. A “first to find” list is an excellent opportunity to brag about your achievements as well.
    The Ignore List is a great way to personalize the Geocaching.com website. Are you sick of seeing that impossible puzzle cache in your search results? You can “Ignore” the listing and poof!, it’s gone.
  • Geocaching Maps
    With the ability to pan, zoom, and identify caches on a map you can quickly pinpoint an area of interest and visualize your caching route. In addition, caches you have already found will appear with a checkmark, and the Travel Bug icon will display for any caches containing a hitchhiker.
  • Member Only Caches
    Some caches are only available to Premium Members. This has been a request of many geocachers who want to put more energy into designing a cache for dedicated geocachers. As the cache owner, you can make any of your caches "subscriber only" so folks will need a subscription to seek it out. (Note: Member Only caches may not be any better than public geocaches. Each cache is managed by its cache owner.)


Last Updated ( Tuesday, 24 April 2007 )