I thought that seeing as I was attracting a few who were interested in Geocaching but had not actually tried it yet that now would be a good time to give a step-by-step guide to finding a cache.
Of course the obvious place to start is by signing up to the site Geocaching.com. This is were you will find all you need to know about geocaches. It's free to sign up and use but memberships are also very cheap and give you those extra little bonus'
So first you need to decide on where you are going to go looking. This might be close to home or maybe somewhere you want to go and visit, or if you really don't know you can just browse the geomaps.
I'm going to take our trip to Stourport as an example. I'd decided that's where I was going so I took a look on the geomaps to see what caches where hidden there.
It's not too clear on this map but you can see some markings on the river near the top
which look like boxes - these are geocaches. There is also one on the yellow road in the middle and one on a white road right to the left (this one has a smiley face on it as we already found it.) If you would like to see the map in more detail click here.
When you see a cache you might like to try you can click on the map and a box will pop up with some details.You get the name of the cache and it's number, the name of the person who hid it, how difficult it is to find in star ratings, the date it was hidden and it's size.
You can then click the name of the box and you will get a page of details about the cache and some further clues on how to find it. You also get some links that will help you download the information to your GPS or mobile phone if you have the right equipment and software. You will also get at the bottom of the page a list of logs created by all the geocachers who have previously found the cache.
From this page you gleam all the information you need to find your cache including the most important co-ordinates for your GPS. The co-ordinates for this particular one are
N 52° 20.415
W 002° 17.359
Before setting off I like to take a look at the co-ordinates on Google maps, there is a link on the information page that will take you straight there.
From this you can get some idea of what the location looks like and look for landmarks that will help know you are in the right place. Even with your GPS and all this information you are still left with some hunting to find the hiding place. This one, for example was hidden in a small hollow in a tree trunk and had been covered with a stone.
Most descriptions let you know what you are looking for, in this case a small plastic box, and what is in the cache i.e. log book, geocoins, swaps etc. But as we've already noticed caches can be very different, from teeny tiny little magnetic capsules with just a log book which a rolled up tiny piece of paper, 35ml camera film containers with little coins/swaps, magnetic key hiding boxes to a range of sizes of plastic boxes (tupperware).