Over 1 Million Geocaches are Hidden Around You

by Daniel Bernzweig

Best Metal Detectors For Locating Geocaches

Do you remember the thrill of childhood treasure hunts? Nothing could be more exciting than following a map and discovering hidden treasure. What's really neat is you can still experience this excitement as an adult by taking up geocaching. Geocaching is the game, or hobby, of hunting for hidden treasure using GPS coordinates. A geocache is defined as a hidden container that includes, at a minimum, a logbook. The real fun is finding the other small treasures hidden inside the geocache, but you don't get to keep them! Instead, the logbook keeps track of each person who has found this geocache. The geocaching game began in May 2000 with only 75 hidden treasures. Now, there are well over 1 million hidden geocaches. Each week, approximately 6,500 new geocaches are hidden, and 1.4 million log entries are filed at the Geocaching website online.

How Do People Start Geocaching?

First, you must decide on the type of geocache you want to search for. There are beginner's geocaches, multi-caches (more than 1 location), advanced-level caches, and everything in between. At one of the geocaching websites, locate the coordinates of a given geocache. Then, you'll need a GPS device to input these coordinates. Upon determination of your geocache location, it's time to set out in search of the treasure. You can get valuable tips and tricks from experienced geocachers and suggested equipment for finding caches. Be sure to read our related blog post entitled "Bring Your Metal Detector Along when Geocaching."

How to Find A Geocache

Beginning geocachers should note GPS that will lead you to your approximate destination. But even the best GPS devices are only accurate to within 10 feet. That's 10 feet in every direction. So, you'll need to count on your instincts and any tips you were given to lead you the rest of the way. Successful geocachers give these tips for zeroing in on your target once you're nearby:

  1. Look for anything out of place. For instance, is there a pile of leaves that is placed perfectly? Is the bark covering a tree stump the wrong color? If the scene doesn't look natural, it probably isn't. Geocache owners factor these clues into their difficulty rankings.
  2. Are there any natural hiding places around? Seek out places that look obvious for hiding a geocache. Fallen trees are a favorite because their roots and trunks present natural crevices. Many caches are covered with camouflage tape, which can really blend into a wooded setting.
  3. Clues from previous visitors. If your cache has been found more than 20-30 times, look for "geopaths," which are tracks created by fellow geocachers. They leave trails while hunting for the same, treasure-especially if there's snow on the ground. Also, look for broken branches and trampled leaves.
  4. Look up & down, not just in front of you. Part of the game includes hanging containers in trees or suspended from light poles. You may see items in branches that don't look right-like a pine cone in an unnatural color. Keep an eye out for the fishing line since this is a trick for hanging geocaches.
  5. Think like the person who hid the geocache. If you were hiding a cache, where would the most obvious place be for you to put it? For difficulty 3 and below, basic hiding places are a good bet: tree trunks, rock piles, hollow stumps, etc. For difficulty 4 and above, the owner has probably gotten more creative. Search for heavily camouflaged items, as false rocks or caches suspended overhead.

Why Metal Detectors Help with Geocaching

First and foremost, geocachers place a strong emphasis on the fact that treasures are not buried. Many hobbyists are worried that if digging and upsetting nature is perceived, this will create a bad reputation for the game. Nevertheless, a metal detector can still be extremely useful for locating various types of geocaches. If you are hunting for a metal trinket buried under snow in winter, a metal detector will definitely speed up the process. Caches with a higher difficulty level may be hidden under thick foliage, making a metal detector very handy. Ammo cans are very popular geocache containers, and they are made of metal. Be sure to read our related blog post entitled "Geocaching with a Metal Detector." Here are some thoughts about the usefulness of a metal detector from an online geocaching forum:

  • Perfect for locating ammo cans under the snow. Ammunition cans (ammo cans) are a very popular geocache container. They are military surplus steel cans that are sturdy and waterproof. Their olive color blends in with the environment, making them difficult to spot. One geocacher mentioned, "We knew the cache was an ammo can full of pennies, so a metal detector would be the perfect tool. We found it with a little searching."
  • One geocacher says he could locate several covered benchmarks with a metal detector. Benchmarks are brass disks embedded in the ground with sequences of letters and numbers. They help land surveyors, builders, and engineers.
  • Many geocaching sites lend themselves to coin and relic hunting. After you've found your geocache, you can do some treasure hunting with a metal detector.
  • A hobbyist who hides geocaches: "I've been thinking about combining the two hobbies. I am considering making a metal detector-necessary cache where waypoints would be nitro tablet containers (metal keychain fob or small metal container) pressed into the dirt or sod."

Best Metal Detectors for Geocaching

A metal detector can help you locate a geocache, but ideally, it will allow you to do some hunting for buried metal treasures, as well. Metal detectorists truly love the thrill of finding historical relics, gold jewelry and watches, antique items, and especially coins. There is a big market for old coins, antiques, and war relics-and we all know how high the price of gold is. Geocoins are custom minted coins or medallions designed to place in geocaches. They are highly sought after and a popular geocache to track down. A coin-hunting metal detector will do easy work of locating a cache with geocoin(s). Be sure to read our related article entitled "Metal Detectors are Useful in Geocaching."

Geocaching Coins Can Enhance Your Fun

Instead of leaving trinkets behind at each geocache site, a geocaching coin can be a great alternative. Geocaching geocoins are special trackable coins geocachers can leave behind at caches to encourage coin collecting or find treasure hunts. Geocoins, for example, can be exciting items to track down on a treasure hunt. In their quest for new geocoins, many groups of friends have been known to pass around geocoins that are the signature items of other cachers.

By leaving trackable coins at historic sites or around state parks, the process of tracking down the coin will be much more enjoyable. Trackable geocoins are tracked using a global positioning system, which will lead the coin collector straight to it. Each coin has a tracking code that transmits its location to a satellite, and tracking one down by its coordinates can make for a great outdoor activity.

Treasure Hunting and Geo Caching

Treasure hunters and casual geocachers alike can both enjoy using geocoins, and the use of this signature item in parks and near landmarks has recently become more frequent in the geocaching community. These special coins can also be tracked and logged in the logbooks of the geocaching app, and some even come with special artwork. Because each geocoin has its own special tracking code, each one can be traced individually in the logbooks. This shows where the coin has gone, where its original location was, and who found it along the way. As far as a trackable item goes, geocoins are one of the best. Many hikers may come across one in their adventures, and the coins will make opening a geocache feel like opening a treasure chest. There are even special geocaching events for participants to get their hands on new coins. These things are great, and the events centered around them are loads of fun.

Tracking Back a Coin

Once a geocoin is found, some geocachers, collectors, or treasure hunters may want to try to trace the coin back to its original location. This can add a whole new level of adventure to geocaching, as you're not simply tracking down a coin but also trying to trace it to its original hidden cache. There are also only a certain number of each kind of geocoin in circulation, which makes finding a rare coin especially exhilarating. Certain special coins may be rarer than others, so it can be exciting when you find a coin in a geocache, and it turns out to be one of the rare ones.

Try geocaching with geocoins today! By using these trackable coins with your geocacher friends, you'll be able to trace each other's geocaching journeys and follow the progress of each coin individually. This is something that cannot be done with the usual trinkets people leave behind in geocaches. Normally, geocachers may leave behind something funny, sentimental, or sometimes worthless. It can be difficult to track the progress of these items from one geocache to the next, but this is not a concern with geocoins. A trackable geocoin is a coin with an embedded microchip or unique tracking number or tracking code in it that can be tracked using GPS technology. The coins are usually given away for free or may be purchased at events such as festivals and fairs.

Types of Geotours

A geocaching challenge coin is an item that can be used for a geocache hunt. The coins are usually made out of plastic and contain information about the cache location. A history trail geotour is an activity where people can visit historical sites worldwide. The goal is for participants to learn about different cultures while also having fun. Geotour locations are available around the world, and peCachople can learn about historical places and learn about them while they are there. The Georgia state parks geotour is one such tour in the United States. A Geotour Time Travel Ticket is an interactive experience where people can explore different locations worldwide through virtual reality technology. This is a perfect activity for those that catch the travel bug. To encourage tourism, for example, the GA state parks offer a park geo coin to add to the excitement. If you are avid geocachers, these history trail caches are something you are familiar with. The caches are typically found in hidden containers. Many people who take to the hobby become geocoin collectors and dive in with both feet.

Copyright 2014 Detector Electronics Corp. - Revised September 2022