Welcome to CarolinaCacher

Welcome to my CarolinaCacher site. I'm Randy Hefner. My caching screen name on GPSgames, Geocaching, and TerraCaching, is RanHefner. I have been caching since June 24, 2005.

You may be asking, "What is caching?" You would probably know it as Geocaching. Geocaching is the combination of technology, outdoor activities, and treasure hunting. You use a GPSr (Global Positioning System receiver) to locate hidden containers of different sizes and shapes. All cache containers will contain a log (piece of paper, notepad, or notebook) to document your finding of the cache. Some containers are large enough to contain trinkets for trading. The rule is that you take somthing and leave something.

There are many handheld GPS receivers on the market ranging from around $75 to over $400! All of them will get you started with geocaching. The more expensive ones are good for geocaching and road navigation. The two most popular companies offering GPS receivers are Garmin and Magellan.

Garmin offers a GPS Guide For Beginners. It is a little "technical", but does offer a lot of great information about how the Global Positioning System works.

The online "How To" manual, wikiHow, offers a very good guide to geocaching. This is a good article for beginners. This article takes you step-by-step from selecting a GPS receiver and how to log your find.

A good place to start is to join a local caching club. There are several in the Carolinas. If you live in North Carolina, you should join the North Carolina Geocachers Organization. This "club" is for everyone in North Carolina or anyone interested in caching in NC.

If you live in the foothills area of North Carolina, there is a group for you! The NC Foothills Geocachers is affiliated with the NCGO above, but is targeted towards the members living in the foothills.

If you live in the Asheville area of North Carolina there is a Yahoo! Group called Western NC Geocaching.

If you live in the upstate of South Carolina, there is an organization for you. The Upstate South Carolina Geocachers Association covers the 10 counties in the northwest portion of South Carolina.

There are two South Carolina state-wide geocaching organizations. South Carolina Geocachers Association and South Carolina Society of Geocaching.

Join the organization that best fits your needs and participate in their events. You will get more out of geocaching by making new geocaching friends!
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Are You Ready In An Emergency?

Recent events bring this topic to importance. Are you prepared for an emergency? Hurricanes and other disasters can put you in a life-or-death situation. Make sure you and your family are prepared.

The American Red Cross has a very good article on how to "Build a Disaster Supplies Kit". Take a look at it.

Oh...And don't forget your GPSr!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The First "Introduction" Event Was A Success!

Maybe the rain and gas shortage kept some away, but, the attendance to the first "Introduction To GPSgames.org" event exceeded my expectations!

I arrived at the park around 10:30 AM. The park was pretty empty because the rain just stopped about a half an hour earlier. The skies quickly started to clear and it turned into a great day for an event.

Soon after my arrival, ChiefWings and "Griz" pulled into the parking lot. "My attendance expectations has been exceeded by two!", I said.

I started the event off by explaining why I liked GPSgames.org. I feel that GPSgames.org embodies the spirit of the original geocachers better than the other geocaching sites. I went over the history of geocaching and how geocaching has evolved into a more restrictive and centralized hobby with Groundspeak. Don't get me wrong! Groundspeak is fine. I am not suggesting that you give up the frog, but rather, enhance your geocaching activities with the buffet of geocaching games available on GPSgames.org.

We discussed the variations of the geocaching games and the other "less traditional" games available on GPSgames.org. Shutterspot and GeoPoker spiked the most interest at the event.

About two-thirds of the way through the event mr007s shows up! He likes to make a late and fashionable entrance! I am glad he came because mr007s really knows much of the geocaching history in the foothills region. His perspective on the game is well appreciated.

I guess the meeting had to end sometime. The yellow jackets hastened the end of the event. They really liked Griz and one took special interest in my neck...OUCH!

I am very happy with the first "Introduction" event. I plan to have some more in the near future. With each event there will be more geocaches hidden. I think once people see the variety of games you can play with your GPSr, GPSgames will become popular in the foothills of North Carolina.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Geitner Park gets a new geocache!

I have hidden a new geocache and listed it on GPSgames.org only. While at the CITO event, I used the opportunity to give this Hickory city park a new addition.

"Geitner Park Stash" is a traditional geocache. It is a camouflaged Nalgene container hidden just off one of the nature trails that are along the Lake Hickory. These beautiful trails offer hikers and bikers convenient access to nature.

The geocache location is only about five minutes from the parking area. I have included this and other additional waypoints on the geocache page.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NC Foothills CITO @ Geitner Park

The NC Foothills Geocachers will be hosting a CITO event at Geitner Park in Hickory, North Carolina.

You can participate by joining us at Gaither Park in Hickory, NC on September 21st at 11:00AM. You can sign up for this Geocache event by clicking on the link.

The members of NC Foothills Geocachers have adopted city parks in Hickory. We have agreed to walk through and pickup trash several times a year. During this event we usually have a cook out and always enjoy each other's company.

If you are new to geocaching, there is no better way to meet your fellow geocachers and pickup tips and tricks along the way! Come out and join us for a good time.

Oh, yes, there are several geocaches you can grab while grabbing the trash!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A new GPSgames geocache "Horizontal Trunk", has been placed!

A new geocache has been placed in Southside park in Newton, NC in anticipation for the upcoming event, "Introduction to GPSgames.org".

The geocache is "Horizontal Trunk". This is a camoed Nalgene container hidden in the northwest corner of the park. This geocache uses a confirmation code. Remember to make a note of the code. It is needed to log your find!

This geocache is a GPSgames Exclusive. You will not find it on any other geocache listing service!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

GeoGolf has been made better.

It you have played GeoGolf, you know that some holes are on private property and are unreachable. You can get only so close. Scout to the rescue!

Scout, head cacher at GPSgames.org, has added an option to GeoGolf. "Restrict to Streets" will use the Tiger map database published by the US Census to have the holes placed on or near public streets. This option only works in the United States.

Thanks Scout for making GeoGolf better! Fore!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A new geocache, "Southside Park", placed in time for event.

I have some good news. First, the Newton Department of Recreation has completed the cleanup of Southside park. This means that the "Introduction to GPSGames.org" event will still be held as planned.

Also, I hid a new cache in the park today...Just in time for the event. Feel free to go out and find it. There is a confirmation code, so please write it down.

I have heard that there are some from the world of the frog may be attending. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Update to the "Introduction to GPSGames.org" event.

I stopped by the Southside park in Newton, NC and say a sign that said "Park Closed". I called the Newton Department of Recreation and they told me that the park was closed due to debris from a recent storm. They assured me that the park would be open in time for the event.

I will keep an eye on the situation and if the clean-up takes longer, I will select another park in the area. Keep an eye on the cache page listing. I will post any changes there.