Southern Man

Friday, March 09, 2007

A Geocaching Day

After a long, cold winter spring is finally here, which means that Southern Man can once again play at geocaching. Southern Man's gf lives near a lovely lake with lots of caches, so she and I went for a walk this afternoon to try to find a couple. We ended up batting five hundred with one DNF and one microcache found. There are several others within easy walking distance from her place, and I hope to try for a few more tomorrow. Hopefully she will enjoy it as much as I. It is a lot of fun just to be outdoors with her.

There are several flavors of caches. The most common types are "regular" and "micro." A regular cache is usually a fairly large container - a TupperwareTM or Rubbermaid TM or army-surplus ammo box - with a logbook and a bunch of trinkets. Finders can take a trinket but are expected to leave something of equal or greater value. Some caches have themes - all toy cars or all frogs or some such thing. Caches can also contain "travel bugs" that are usually on a mission to reach some other part of the country. There are even caches that specialize as "Travel Bug Motels." The other common type of cache is a "microcache." These are usually only large enough to hold a little roll of paper for the log. They can be fiendishly difficult to find! To get cache locations, log in to and look at the list for the area in which you are interested. The web site gives the GPS coordinates, which you can use in your portable GPS reciever or do as Southern Man does and punch them into Google Earth for a satellite view of the site (which is a heck of a lot more accurate than his old borrowed GPS anyway) And when you do find them, you sign the logbook and perhaps exchange trinkets, then later log in to your online account, indicate that you found that cache, and write a few choice online comments.

So here is a bit of geocaching lingo and a few acronyms:
  • CITO - Cache In, Trash Out; the practice of taking a trash bag while geocaching and carrying out whatever trash and litter you can pick up.

  • DNF - Did Not Find.

  • FTF - First To Find; usually accompanied by the FTF Dance.

  • GPS - Global Positioning System reciever; primary tool of geocachers.

  • MIA - Missing In Action; indicates a cache that has been "muggled" or otherwise lost, or a travel bug that isn't found in the cache indicated by the online logs.

  • Microcache - a small, often well hidden or camoflaged cache containing just a logbook.

  • Muggles - non geo-cachers. Used as both a noun and a verb, as in "Don't let the muggles see you" and "damn, that cache must have been muggled."

  • TB or TBUG - Travel Bug.

  • TFTC - Thanks For The Cache; often used in online log entries.

  • TFTH - Thanks ForThe Hide / Hunt.

  • TFTMC - Thanks For The Micro-Cache.

  • TNLN - Took nothing, left nothing; used in online log entries for those occasions when you (for whatever reason) didn't exchange trinkets at a regular cache.

  • SL - used online to indicate that you Signed the Logbook at the actual cache.
Southern Man hopes that a few who read this will become interested in geocaching and give it a try. It's good, clean, outdoor fun!


At Monday, March 12, 2007, Anonymous Southern Man's GF said...

And here's to many more "caching" days ahead....BTW, SouthernMan, you're a great "Cache". : )


Post a Comment

<< Home