Provided By Kevin Ballantine
Types of geocaches
Come on, you didn't think it was that cut and dry did you? There are different geocaches that take the uniqueness to a whole new level. I'm not talking about container types either. These are caches that add a little difficulty, or fun, to finding the cache. Remember #5 of the "get started" section where I said there are special circumstances when coordinates of the cache may not be at their posted coordinates? This is where it applies. I'm going to go over the most common caches. For a list of all the cache types, click here.
- Traditional Cache: Depicted as a green box on the map. It has a physical log. It is at the posted coordinates. These caches show up the most on the map.
- Multi-Cache: Depicted as two yellow boxes on the map. These caches are a bit tricky. Multi-caches require the finder to perform various tasks that eventually end up at the final resting place of the geocache. An example from my own experiences: It can be anything from a pseudo-cache (a cache without a log, but has coordinates to the next stage), to a piece of wood hidden on a trail with a carved set of coordinates on it, to you even having to go to a time capsule at a museum and using info on the capsule's plaque to uncover the coordinates. These caches can be any length apart from each other. Most of the time, the person who hides the cache will tell you how many stages you will need to complete before the final cache will be reached. These are very unique hides, but fun.
- Mystery Cache: The trickiest of caches. Depicted as blue question marks on the map, these are NOT at the posted coordinates most of the time. Basically, these are caches that have one or more puzzles on their cache pages that the cache hider designed. The answers to the puzzle(s) eventually give you the actual posted coordinates. To avoid confusion, Groundspeak made it so the question marks are within two miles of the actual cache coordinates.
- EarthCache: Depicted by an icon that looks like Earth with a chunk taken out of it. These caches are the bread and butter of what geocaching is all about. The cache is at the posted coordinates. However, there is no physical log to sign (online one still needs to be signed), but you have to answer questions about the environment the posted coordinates take you to. In other words, you have to learn about your surroundings in order to get these caches. The cache hider will have you e-mail them your findings. Once this is done, you may sign the online log. Of the EarthCaches I have found, they have all been unique locations that I never even knew were there.
- Virtual Cache: These technically cannot be created anymore through Geocaching.com, but they are still found everywhere on the map. Depicted as a ghost on the map, located at the posted coordinates, but have no physical log. These take you to unique locations that, I have found for the most part, you have to take a photo with the object and send it to the hider for credit, or post it on the online log when permitted. On some occasions, I was asked to answer questions about the area. Of the virtual caches I have found, these have all been unique and fun.
Once a cache is found, the image is replaced by a smiley face to let you know which ones you have found.
So, these are the basics to geocaching. It's a chance to go outdoors and have fun, it's family friendly, and it can get quite competitive. In future articles I will write about travel bugs and trackables as well as go through the benefits of a premium member. I hope you enjoyed this article, and if anything, I hope I helped a few good people get into a new hobby.