Geocaching Friday: A Caching Primer

On Fridays, I’ll share some of my favorite geocaching spots throughout The Natural State. Even if you’re not a cacher, the Friday blogs will feature towns and attractions throughout the eastern section of Arkansas…perfect for a weekend trip!
Kimberly J. Williams   
Happy Friday to you all!! I know for many of you, this is a long weekend…so I hope you get out and enjoy the beautiful weather!

Last Saturday I led a Geocaching 101 workshop at Village Creek State Park. It was a beautiful day and I was so excited to introduce caching to people, especially kids!

So today, I thought I’d do a caching overview for readers who may be new to geocaching. Let’s take a look at some terms that might help you out if you’re new to caching!

*Geocache or cache – the actual container for which you are searching
*Coordinates or coords – the location where the cache has been hidden. The latitude and longitude of the cache location i.e. N 35° 00.546 W 090° 47.025 
*GPS – Global Positioning System
*Geocoin – an actual coin that is trackable and placed in caches. These are moved from cache to cache.
*Travel bug – a dog tag (often attached to an item) that is trackable and placed in caches. These are moved from cache to cache. Many of these have a story and a final destination.
*FTF – first to find. The first person to find a new cache. Highly desired.
*Log – the paper you sign at the cache to show you have found the item. Also, you log a cache at  upon finding.
*BYOP – bring your own pen or pencil.
*CITO – cache in, trash out. When you go to find a cache, you pick up litter along the way, therefore helping the environment.
*DNF – did not find. A post on the cache log that signifies someone did not find the cache. Pay attention to the  logs….if a cache has not been found for several months or has several DNFs, it might be gone.
*Swag – “Stuff We All Get” and signifies the items within a cache, i.e. buttons, pins, any kind of trinket or goodie.
*TFTC or TFTH – thanks for the cache or thanks for the hide. You see these abbreviations on logs.
*Stealth – using caution or undetected from those around the cache area.
*Muggle – from Harry Potter; in geocaching, it is someone who does not cache and may stumble upon a cache unknown.
*Difficulty – signifies the difficulty to find the cache. The difficulty is ranked from one to five, with one being the easiest. 
*Terrain – signifies the difficulty of the terrain around and to the cache. Terrain is rated from one to five. If the terrain is one, it is normally handicapped accessible.
*Archived – means the cache is no longer available to find; it might be stolen, lost or no longer maintained.
*Enabled – means the cache had been disabled and is now ready to find.
*Disabled – means the cache is temporarily unavailable.

Spring, in my opinion, is one of the BEST times to geocache, especially in Arkansas. The temperatures are mild and the landscape is beautiful!

I talked about the Great River Road geocaches in one of my recent blogs. It has been a great project for the Arkansas Delta and an overwhelming success! As of yesterday, our 25 caches have been found a total of 826 times! This month alone, the caches have been found by people from Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin, California, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Alaska…and Waterford, Ireland!!!! Wow!!! The fact that people from all over the United States and the world are experiencing the Arkansas Delta through geocaching makes me very happy!!

So if you haven’t started geocaching YET…now’s a great time to get started!! Remember, if you ever have questions or comments, feel free to post them to the blog.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! I’ll be out geocaching this weekend…and I hope to see you there!!

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