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  • Where you are the search engine! Geocaching
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  • What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocaches existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can then try to locate the geocache. How do you pronounce Geocaching? You pronounce it Geo-cashing, like cashing a check. What is the meaning of the word Geocaching? The word Geocaching refers to GEO for geography, and to CACHING, the process of hiding a cache. A cache in computer terms is information usually stored in memory to make it faster to retrieve, but the term is also used in hiking/camping as a hiding place for concealing and preserving prov
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  • What is a GPS device? A GPS unit is an electronic device that can determine your approximate location (within around 6 - 20 feet) on the planet. Coordinates are normally given in Latitude and Longitude. You can use the device to navigate from your current location to another location. Some devices have their own maps, built-in electronic compasses, and voice navigation, depending on the complexity of the device. How does GPS work? Each GPS receiver is a computer that receives signals broadcast from GPS satellites. A receiver needs to read signals from at least three satellites at a time to calculate its general location by a process called trilateration. With signals from four satellites, a GPS receiver can get a more accurate fix that includes altitude and the exact time, as well as latitude and longitude. The more satellite signals the receiver reads, the more accurate the position it reports to you.
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  • If I use a GPS unit can someone track where I am going? No! GPS devices do not actually broadcast your location. The satellites using radio frequencies actually broadcast their own position. Your GPS unit takes that information to figure out where you are (trilateration). Hazard Getting lost Plan ahead, bring a map of the area and a compass, use the Buddy System (see Tenderfoot requirement 9), mark your starting location, carry a cell phone, let others know where you are going and when you plan to return. If you do get lost stay in one place. Hazard Thunderstorms and other dangerous weather situations
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  • Listen to forecasts. If storms are predicted reschedule your trip. Always dress appropriately, take plenty of water and carry rain gear. Hazard Cuts and scrapes (broken glass, barbed wire, briars, etc.) Wear long pants and long-sleeve shirt. Be vigilant of your surroundings and be careful. Carry a first aid kit. Hazard Sprains Wear sturdy boots. Hazard Blisters The most common injury for hikers. Whenever a hot spot develops stop immediately and protect the tender area with a piece of moleskin. If blister breaks treat like a minor cut or abrasion (see 1b for first aid.) Wear boots that fit properly and are well broken in. Keep your feet clean and dry; change socks frequently
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  • Hazard Poisonous plants Learn how to recognize and avoid poisonous plants in your area (poison ivy, poison oak). Carry a first aid kit. Hazard Insect stings and animal bites Use insect repellant to minimize likelihood of ticks and chiggers. Button your collar and tuck pant legs youre your boots or socks. When in wooded or rocky area always be aware of snakes (copperheads and rattlesnakes) and spiders (black widow, brown recluse). Carry a first aid kit. (See 1b for first aid.) Hazard Darkness When caching it is easy to lose track of time. Know how long it will take to get back to your starting location. Always carry a flashlight with extra batteries. Hazard Heat and cold extremes This is similar to weather conditions, but includes taking precautions to prevent sunburn (hat and sunscreen), heat exhaustion or hypothermia (extra clothes, gloves).
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  • Cuts & scrapes Clean the wound by flushing with water, apply antibiotic ointment, and cover with a dry, sterile dressing or bandage. Change dressing daily and watch for infection. Snakebite Unless you are an expert, always assume a snake is venomous. Treat like a small puncture wound by washing, applying antibiotic and covering. Remove jewelry in case of swelling, have victim lie down and raise the bitten part higher than the body. Treat for shock. Get help immediately. Insect stings Bee (wasps and hornets) Scrape away stinger with edge of knife; do not squeeze the sac attached to the stinger. Apply an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling. Always look before you put your hand into an area where these insects may have a nest. This is a common injury when geocaching. Spider Watch for any allergic reaction and, if seen, get medical help immediately. Apply an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling. Chiggers Apply calamine lotion or fingernail polish to the bite to reduce irritation
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  • Tick bites -- Use gloves. Immediately remove tick by grasping it with tweezers close to the skin and pulling gently. Wash the wound with soap and water and apply antiseptic. Wash your hands. Exposure to poisonous plants Wash the area with soap and water immediately. Apply rubbing alcohol or calamine lotion. Heat and cold reactions: Sunburn Treat sunburn by applying cool, wet cloths. Stay in the shade if possible and keep area covered to prevent further burning. Prevent by wearing proper clothing and sunscreen with a protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Heat stroke Get help immediately. Place victim in a cool place, loosen tight clothing, and apply ice packs to armpits, groin, neck and back. This can be life-threatening. Signals of heatstroke include any of those for heat exhaustion as well as hot, sweaty, red skin; confusion and disorientation; and a rapid pulse. Heat exhaustion Get out of the heat, drink plenty of water (no caffeine), take off extra clothing, apply cool, wet cloths to skin, and fan the person. Heat and dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion. Symptoms include pale, clammy skin; nausea and headache; dizziness and fainting; muscle cramps; and weakness or lack of energy.
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  • Hypothermia You do not have to be in frigid weather to develop hypothermia. Anyone caught in a cool, windy rain shower without proper gear may be at risk. A victim may feel cold, numb, fatigued, irritable and increasingly clumsy. Also, watch for shivering, slurred speech, poor judgment and unconsciousness. Get help immediately. Monitor breathing, get them out of the cold and/or wind, remove wet clothes, put on layers of warm clothing, wrap in blankets, give person something to eat and something warm to drink. Do not apply direct heat or rub the skin. Warm person slowly. Dehydration Do not wait until you are thirsty before drinking. Taking small sips of water frequently will keep your body hydrated. Symptoms include feeling fatigued or confused, or developing a headache, body aches or dizziness.
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  • Other hazards include muggles (drunk or stoned muggles, law enforcement (rangers, police, security guards), and other animals such as snakes, poisonous and not, bear, deer, elk, and wild dogs. Know the area that you will be caching in, if possible, do some research.
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  • Why should you never bury a cache. A GPS receiver will never get you to the exact spot (ground zero). You dont want people digging holes searching for a container. This could destroy fragile environments and create ill will on the part of property owners. A good rule of thumb should be: If a shovel, trowel or other pointy object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find a cache, then it is not appropriate. How to use proper geocaching etiquette when hiding or seeking a cache, NOTE: This is a good time to pass out The Geocachers Creed cards (www.geocreed.info). Practice Cache In Trash Out (CITO) Follow Leave No Trace guidelines in the natural environment Respect property rights and be careful of the area around the cache Follow all laws and regulations Do not endanger yourself or others Write an entry in the logbook at the cache Cache items are there for fun and trade. Try to leave something of equal value to what you take
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  • Respect other visitors around the area Consider that children may find the cache so be appropriate Tell the cache owner if maintenance is needed Move Travel Bugs quickly Do not damage the cache Make sure the cache container closes securely to protect from the weather Dont move a cache Obtain permission to copy an idea, add to a series, or place a cache close by an existing cache and how to properly hide, Research the location Where are you taking them? Is the location remote (a long hike), recreational (familiar place like parks and public areas), or routine (where people routinely gather? Who else will be around? Many good cache locations are also favorite spots for the homeless to hang out. Consider likelihood of animals and poison plants.
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  • What are you taking them through? Will they travel through a marsh or near a busy highway? Is there a trail or will they bushwack? Are there steep drop-offs in the area? Its not about what you find; its about getting there. What are they going to find? Is there a great view, special significance to the location, or is this just for fun? Will this be a physical (getting to the cache), mental (multi-cache, mystery cache, well camouflaged cache) or stealth (an easily accessible container but difficult to retrieve and sign without being seen) challenge? When you have eliminated the impossibl