Getting Started

 

Geocaching Wales: Getting Started - GPSThe first and most obvious piece of equipment necessary is of course a GPS receiver. These come in many shapes, sizes and price ranges, but a fairly low cost outdoor model such as the Garmin etrex with a black and white display is perfectly adequate and can be bought for around £80. More elaborate options include units with colour mapping, but these can be considerably more expensive and don’t completely replace a traditional map and compass. The most important consideration is that the unit can be connected to a PC to receive downloaded Cache information.

 

Other equipment you may need would be the standard kit that you should take on any trip into the outdoors, such as a map for the area, compass, waterproof clothing and sturdy, comfortable footwear.

 

Although a GPS is a wonderful navigation tool, don’t forget it has batteries that can run out, and it can’t warn you about any obstacles that may lie ahead. A good map and compass can help you find you way back to your car when all else fails, avoiding any hazards on the way.

 

 

Geocaching Wales: Getting Started - Looking for CachesThe next step is to find some caches. Go to www.geocachingwales.com and select the area you would like to search. A list of caches will pop up and you can select the ones that seem most interesting and click for further details. The next page will give you clues to the cache location and provide an option to download the cache coordinates to your GPS. Consult your GPS manual for further information on downloading cache points. Most entries will give you the exact coordinates of the cache, so it is a simple matter of setting your GPS to take you directly to that point. Some caches however will list only a starting point or a convenient place to park and then expect you to work out the location of the cache from a series of clues, see puzzle caches and multi-caches in the glossary.

 

Once you’ve found the cache, remember to sign your name in the log book, and also to record your visit on the cache website when you get home. If the cache is large enough to contain tradable items then you can swap these with any of your own of equal or greater value.