Geocaching 101 - a guide to treasure hunting for beginners | Olympic Peninsula

Geocaching 101 – a guide to treasure hunting for beginners

Geocaching offers something for everyone

If you’ve been longing for adventure, love technology and want to get outside for some exercise, we’ve got a solution for you. Take a road trip to the Olympic Peninsula for a treasure hunt and go geocaching. The Olympic Peninsula GeoTour is filled with creative caches just waiting to be found, including commemorative coins awarded for completing each phase of the tour.

Finding a new geocache in Port Angeles!

Geocaching basics

Seasoned geocachers have a saying, “We like to look for Tupperware in the woods using billion-dollar satellites.” Use a handheld device to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates then hunt for the concealed container known as a geocache, often in a camouflaged hiding place, which comes in a variety of sizes. And remember to Leave No Trace.

Getting started

All you need to begin geocaching is a smart phone with the free GroundSpeak, Inc. app or a handheld GPS unit. Geocaching.com gives helpful info for newbies.

Olympic Geotour Coins

There are two phases of the Olympic Peninsula GeoTour—Passport 1 and Passport 2—each with a commemorative geocoin that can be earned by finding all the caches listed in each. If you want to earn a coin, you can download and print off  Passport 1 and Passport 2 to fill out as you make your way around the Peninsula.

Once you find a geocache

In every Olympic Peninsula GeoTour cache, you will find the following items:

  • Logbook: Record the name and date of the person who found the geocache
  • Rubber stamper: Stamp your passport for the geocaches you’ve found
  • Code word/phrase: A second way to indicate that you’ve found the geocache, in case the rubber stamp goes missing

Things you might find in a geocache

Most geocaches contain trinkets like handheld games/toys, travel souvenirs, helpful geocaching gear (rain ponchos, disposable gloves, etc.) or game pieces called trackables, containing a unique code the finder can enter online to see how far that item has traveled throughout the world. Add a new item of your own to the cache if you take something home with you. This way, the geocaches remain filled with fun items for the next person to find.

Recording a found geocache

Once you find a GeoTour cache, write down the code word and mark your passport using the stamp in the cache. Commemorative geocoins will only be awarded for completed passports, so be sure to keep track of every cache you find.

Next, check out our Olympic Peninsula Geo-Tours page for more info to get you started.

Have fun and remember to #RecreateResponsibly!

–Allegra Warwick, Geocache Aficionado