Is it a hobby or a game? Maybe it is a sport, a way to meet new people, or a way to discover places of beauty right in your own hometown or at thousands of places around the world? There is no question about the cost however, because it is absolutely free!
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game with high tech elements. Using a G.P.S. (or an app on your smart phone), you search for geo-caches hidden by others who have posted the coordinates of their "hide" on the website using a computer. There will also be details so you will know if the search will be easy or difficult and whether the cache will be large or small. Once you have located the cache, you record your comments on the website. You could even be the FTF (first to find)! You may also want to attend posted social events so you can get to know other geocachers (or opencachers, terrachers, navicachers, or letterbox enthusiasts)!
The Rockford Park District is involved only as far as providing some wonderful treasure-hiding (cache) locations. You do not need to obtain a permit or other permission. However it is requested that you consider the sensitivity of the cache areas. There are a few sensible guidelines to follow:
- Caches may not be larger than 4" x 8" x 12".
- Caches may not contain perishable foodstuffs, offensive, hazardous or waste materials
- Caches must not, by use of pipe with capped ends or otherwise, resemble a bomb or dangerous device
- Caches may not be attached to trees or shrubs, buildings or other structures and may not be buried, nor hidden or concealed by cutting, breaking or otherwise disturbing vegetation
- Geocaching may not unreasonably interfere with other planned or customary park usage
As you begin to enjoy finding caches you will understand why there are locations in our district where caches may not be placed without risk of a fine:
Golf Courses (Sinnissippi, Ingersoll, Sandy Hollow, Elliot and Aldeen)
Pools and Aquatic Facilities (Alpine, Sandy Park and Harkins Pool, Magic Waters Waterpark)
Ice Rinks (Riverview and Carlson)
Sports Complexes (playing fields, spectator areas, paths and concession areas including Sportscore One and Two; and Indoor Sports Center [ISC] at Sportscore Two)
Addiitional locations excluded are Washington Park Community Center, Beattie Park, designated prairie or nature preserves, Ekberg Pine Manor Park, Sand Park, Atwood Park, and within any building
Rockford Park District is not responsible for caches and participation is at the sole risk of the participant. You should also be aware of the risk of removal of caches by third parties. Each of the sanctioning organizations (Geocache, Terracache, Opencache, etc.) has a protocol you will want to review before beginning.
Get started today by finding out more at www.geocaching.com.