Read an Excerpt
The Geocaching Handbook
By Cameron, Layne
Falcon Press PublishingCopyright © 2004 Cameron, Layne
All right reserved.
In 1996, President Bill Clinton penned Presidential Decision Directive NSTC-6, America's GPS policy. As a result of that directive, President Clinton ordered the Defense Department to turn off Selective Availability (the jamming signal) that prevented recreational users from receiving accurate positioning. On May 1, 2000, the White House announced that it would "stop the intentional degradation of the GPS signal available to the public beginning at midnight tonight. This will mean that civilian users of GPS will be able to pinpoint locations up to 10 times more accurately than they do now."
As history was being made, self-professed techno-geeks like Dave Ulmer, an electronics and software engineer from Portland, Oregon, followed the announcements. After brainstorming new ideas for this budding technology, Ulmer came up with the idea of a treasure hunt.
On May 3, just two days later, Ulmer placed a five-gallon bucket near a wooded road about one mile from his home. Inside the bucket were a logbook and some trinkets for trading. He dubbed his game The Great American GPS Stash Hunt.
Ulmer posted a message on the Usenet newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav announcing the inaugural stash and its GPS waypoint. He noted only one rule: "Get some stuff, leave some stuff."
Less than five days after setting out the inaugural cache, other caches were set out in states from California to Illinois and as far away as Australia. Today, there are more than 65,000 active caches in nearly 200 countries across the globe.
Once you get within 25 feet of the cache, it's best to really turn up your sleuthing skills. You need to remember that the waypoint can be either the location of the cache or a vantage point from which to spot the cache. Look for places that could hide a five-gallon bucket, an ammo box, or a foot-long plastic tube, such as hollow stumps, clumps of cattails, in the nooks of boulders, or under a pile of pine needles.
If you are seeking out micro caches in cities, think to yourself, "Where
would I hide a small tin?" Your search may have you peeking under park
benches, loitering around alleys, or, in the case of "Chief Muncie," wading through hedges.
Excerpted from The Geocaching Handbook by Cameron, Layne Copyright © 2004 by Cameron, Layne. Excerpted by permission.
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