Our First Attempt

Georgia, Locations, United States No Comments »

I went out with my older son on December 27th to try to find a couple of nearby caches.  We live near Lilburn, GA, and last year the city put in a “greenway” along the train track and creek that was otherwise unused land.  They made a wonderful biking/running/walking path about a mile long going out from the center of town.

Since the kids like to bike down there, I though we’d look there first.  Now, I figured that starting your geocaching hobby with a 5-stage cache was probably not the easiest way to start, but I decided that it would just be fun for the kids to find out that there have been things hidden along the trail they’ve used so often.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that typically the first stages of a multi-stage cache (all but the last stage) are typically “micros”.  We were looking for something much bigger.

But first, a few definitions.  A “multi-stage” cache is one where the location on the geocaching website is just to the first stage.  That stage should provide a location for the second stage, and so on.  Sometimes it’s just a simple latitude and longitude, but I’ve read about some where you have to solve puzzles to find the next stage.

A typical cache is something that can withstand a bit of weather; a metal ammunition box, a Tupperware container, etc.  However, a “micro” is something small, which may contain only a log book to sign, or, in the case of a multi-stage cache, just big enough to hold the next location clue.  (And I’ve heard “nanos” referred to; extremely small, I suppose.)

We tried looking around where the GPS was telling us, but to no avail.




We gave up and decided to do the cache that was in beautiful downtown Lilburn.  I picked up the extra hint from the web page, but not even that helped us.  Again, no luck.


We gave up, and thought we’d come back the next day with more kids.

Adventures in Geocaching

General No Comments »

I’d known about the Geocaching hobby/sport for a couple of years, but didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a handheld GPS to do the searching.  When I got a Blackberry, I found that there was free software for it (BlackStar) that could point you in the direction of a particular latitude and longitude, which you need to find these caches.  I got my family away from the computer games for a bit (yeah, including me) and got us in the outdoors for a really fun hobby.

“Geocaching” has been described as using multi-million dollar satellites to find Tupperware.  The main web site for this hobby/sport, Geocaching.com, describes it this way:

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

People hide them, give a lattitude & longitude, perhaps clue or two, and off you go, with either a hand-held GPS or free smartphone software.  We’re new to this, and it’s been a load of fun right from the start.

On the Geocaching.com website, our handle is “thepaytons“.  We started this adventure on December 27th, 2009, and this blog will chronicle our adventures in geocaching.