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What Is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt where participants use hand held Global Positioning Systems receivers (GPSr) to search for cleverly hidden containers (caches) that contain a log book and often a variety of trading items. Locations, or GPS coordinates, for the caches are obtained from a growing number of websites devoted to the activity, including www.geocaching.com.
These caches are located all over the world, mostly outdoors in public spaces, and are placed by other geocachers. Some are even located right in our Rock Hill parks! Residents and visitors to our parks enjoy the fun of locating the caches, signing the log book, swapping trade items, and then replacing the cache in its hiding place to be found by someone else. To complete the adventure, participants log their finds on an internet website.
Because some caches have been placed in our local parks, guidelines and procedures for the management of geocaching activities in City of Rock Hill parks have been established to ensure resource protection and visitor safety, while encouraging responsible recreational activity. All caches hidden in City of Rock Hill parks must be approved by PRT staff.
Participants in this modern day scavenger hunt are driven to the sport for a variety of reasons. Some enjoy the challenge and mental stimulation of searching for new caches while others relish the act of hiding the cache containers. Many enjoy being outdoors and walking the trails or visiting the urban spaces where the caches are located. Others enjoy using technology, software and gadgets in the adventure. Traveling takes on a whole new dimension with the opportunity to seek caches away from home. Best of all, geocaching can take you off the beaten path to places you’ve never been before.
Geocaching can be enjoyed by individuals or small groups. But the idea is to use stealth when finally locating the cache and replacing it. You don’t want to ruin the fun for another cacher who may be nearby. Participants of all ages enjoy the activity. Even the youngest child in the group will enjoy finding a small toy or trinket in the cache container. But if you take something, you should leave something behind!
Care should be taken to preserve the environment surrounding the cache. Creating a path to the cache or bushwhacking would not only alter the natural environment, but it could also reveal the cache location to others. Besides, most caches are just off of established trails or in fairly easily accessible locations. But don’t be fooled, they can be quite cleverly concealed.
To learn more about this rapidly growing adventure game, visit a geocaching website such as www.geocaching.com and look for the “Getting Started” or “Frequently Asked Questions” section of the website.
Geocache Procedures & Guidelines for City of Rock Hill Parks (PDF)