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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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Are you ready for muggles?

I was in Geitner Park today doing some geocaching. I was looking for a spot to place a new geocache for listing on GPSgames.org. I am planning an event this month and wanted to get another geocache in the park for the attendees.

While searching, I used the opportunity to go after "Hickory Greenway Letterbox"; a geocache I have been meaning to find, but have always put it off. I did find the geocache, but the trail in was pretty difficult. I found an alternative route out. It went up hill all the way, but was easier than the way in.

As I was leaving the woods and entering the paved walk/bike way, I saw a man and his two boys. I took a little break. They noticed I had a GPSr and asked about it. I showed it to them and asked them if they ever heard of geocaching.

They never heard of geocaching, so I took the opportunity to brag about our hobby. Luckily, I was prepared! I carry business cards with my geocaching "handle" and other contact information. It also has my blog's web site address on it. I gave him a card and talked to them about geocaching. I even had the Lock-N-Lock geocache that I was going to hide to show them.

The boys really liked the trading aspect. The father was interested in the GPSr. He asked how much they cost. I explained that the cheaper ones are good for geocaching and will be a good unit to start with.

So be prepared! Have some literature ready for that chance encounter. You may be able to transform that muggle into a geocacher!

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