Geocaching Basics

Nicolas MalloyAuthor: Nicolas R. Malloy

Geocaching is a great way to learn how to operate a GPS receiver while engaging in a casual activity with friends. While it is possible to use a smartphone during this activity, you should take the time to learn how to operate the GPS receiver. This step will ensure you have the experience necessary to complete other assignments in this course, including the final project.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this activity should be able to:

  • Apply concepts learned related to Global Positioning Systems
  • Practice navigation using a GPS receiver
  • Demonstrate the ability  enter and locate a waypoint using a GPS receiver

Instructions: Part 1

  1. Watch each the videos below to learn about geocaching.
  2. Create an account on the geocaching website and log in.
  3. Choose five geocache points and write down the geographic coordinates.

Instructions: Part 2

If you are an online student, complete the remaining steps independently. If you are a hybrid student, start the following steps during face-to-face lab hours.

  1. If you are using a Garmin GPSMAP64, review the GPSMAP64 Quick Start Manual and go through the step of setting up your Garmin.
    1. If you are using a different GPS receiver, review the owners manual for that unit.
  2. Practice Marking a waypoint.
  3. Edit the waypoint by changing the geographic coordinates to your first geocache location.
  4. Repeat the steps until you have entered all five geocache points into the receiver.
  5. Use the GPS receiver to navigate to each geocache location. Refer to the user’s manual if needed.
  6. Use a phone or digital camera to take a selfie at each geocache location.
  7. Write a summary of your geocache experience (100 to 150 words minimum) and include the photos you took within your summary. If you wish, you may address any of the following questions.
    1. Did you enjoy your geocaching experience? Why or Why not?
    2. Did you find it challenging to locate the geocaches?
    3. What kinds of hiding places did you encounter?
    4. Did your geocaching experience help you to become more familiar with operating a hand-held GPS receiver?
    5. Do you think you will continue to geocache in the future?

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