Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt that combines hiking and high-tech. Explorers use sophisticated—but easy to use—global positioning system (GPS) devices to search for hidden treasure caches.
How to do it
1. Get the cache coordinates. Log onto a website to get a list of waypoints or coordinates that pinpoint where caches are hidden. These coordinates can be entered on a handheld GPS unit. You can find the coordinates for the Minnesota State Park Avian Adventure here.
2. Locate the cache. Use a GPS unit to see your location in relation to the hidden cache, and follow the signal toward the cache.
3. Take or leave treasure. A cache is usually inside a waterproof container of some sort, like a water bottle or an ammo can.
Slideshow of some of the cover photos from the Avian Adventure Geocaching Challenge cards. This slideshow requires the latest version of
Adobe Flash Player
There may be a logbook inside for you to sign, and often there are little trinkets left by previous players. (No food, please—food is not allowed inside geocache containers!) Geocachers remove the loot and replace it with other cool stuff for future geocachers to find. Leave something in the cache yourself if you'd like.
4. Share the fun. Visit geocaching.com to log your finds and share messages about your geocaching experiences.
What you will need
- GPS unit (free loaners available at the 25 demo parks)
- Cache coordinates
- Boots or sturdy footwear for hiking
- Sunscreen and hat
- Insect repellant
- Park map
- Water bottle
Geocaching rules and ethics
When you are geocaching, always try to tread lightly on the land so you minimize the impact of your activity on the environment. Any caches in Minnesota state parks or on state trails have been placed above the ground, and in relatively well-traveled areas.
- Never remove a cache, or relocate it even a little bit. Leave the cache exactly how you found it so others can have the fun of finding it too!
- Observe all laws and respect property rights.
- If you are geocaching in a Minnesota state park, know and follow the park's rules.
- Be considerate of others and avoid causing disruptions.
Placing a cache
Or maybe you'd like to place a geocache in a Minnesota state forest. Here's what you need to know.