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Geocaching is a high tech version of hide-and-seek that combines the fun of scavenger hunts, hiking, and “treasure” exchanges. It is a great fun way to explore familiar and unfamiliar territory with family, friends, or groups of young people.

What does a geocache look like? A geocache is usually a small waterproof container filled with interesting trinkets, a logbook, and a pencil. It has been carefully hidden, its GPS coordinates recorded, and additional special clues given so outdoor enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy the games of trying to find it.

How do you find a geocache? Visit www.geocaching.com to obtain the longitude and latitude coordinates for the geocache. Put those coordinates into a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, Smart Phone application, or vehicle GPS and get on track to find a geocache. Each GPS receiver might vary a little in its accuracy, so you will have to use written clues, and your powers of observation to locate the hidden cache.

What do you do once you find a geocache? Once you find a geocache, you carefully note its location before you open it. Once you open it, you will find a logbook to sign and record your group’s information. The cache will also contain special trinkets. You are allowed to take some of the trinkets, if you replace them in the cache with some trinkets that you brought with you. Finally, carefully close the cache and hide it again, exactly as you found it.

Why geocache? It is a mostly free, fun way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors with family and friends. Your group can also pledge to CACHE IN, TRASH OUT. Bring a trash bag on your adventure to help remove any litter you might find.

If Geocaching is the hobby for your family, be sure to join www.geocaching.com for additional caches here and around the world. Have your family or group select a nickname, and start getting credit for your finds!

Here are a couple of geocaches to get you started in Oscoda County. There are over 380 located in this county alone. Happy Geocaching!

1. A Cache for All Seasons – A short walk on the new Au Sable River Trail system recently completed by the US Forest Service.
N44 degrees 39.697 W 084 degrees 07.329
2. Stairway to Heaven-Up or down the stairs.
N 44 degrees 39.264 W 084 degrees 05.807
W 084 degrees 05.807
Clue: nyy fcehprq hc
Decryption Key
(letter above equals below, & vice versa)