Submitted by Catherine Redfern, World Bird Sanctuary Naturalist/Fundraiser
Did you know you can go geocaching at World Bird Sanctuary?
We didn't. But you can. So we decided to find out more about it!
Young guests learning about geocaching at a
recent WBS National Trails Day event
Tom Wolpert from the St. Louis Area Geogachers Association tells us what it's all about.
"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure or scavenger hunt which uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate hidden containers. Geocachers like to joke that we use billion dollar defense satellite systems to hunt Tupperware® in the woods.
At midnight on May 2, the government did away with Selective Availability, which limited the accuracy of the civilian GPS signal to about 200 feet. Without Selective Availability, accuracy improved to about 20 feet. The next day, geocaching started. Dave Ulmer, a GPS enthusiast, decided to see just how well the system worked. He stocked a plastic bucket with trade items and a notebook, hid it in the woods, posted the coordinates – the latitude and longitude – on the Internet, and invited fellow enthusiasts to use their GPS receivers to find the bucket. The rules were simple: “Take some stuff, leave some stuff! Record it all in the logbook. Have fun!” Although there have been a lot of embellishments over the years, that’s still the way the basic game is played today.
Virtually anyone can go geocaching, although very small children may need some help from mom and dad. Geocaches (and geocachers) are everywhere. There are over 1.4 million caches – and over 5 million geocachers – worldwide. There are caches on every continent, including Antarctica. In fact, there are about 480 geocaches within a 10 mile radius of the World Bird Sanctuary! There are caches which require long hikes, caches within a few steps of parking, and caches which are wheelchair-accessible. There are caches which are very easy to find and others which might require an extensive search. Each cache has difficulty and terrain ratings on a scale of one to five. This makes it easy to choose caches that fit your abilities and the circumstances.
Read the entire article at www.world-bird-sanctuary.blogspot.com...