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, January 27, 2008

Trade Equal Or Better

When Dave Ulmer placed the first geocache he made up some rules. The first rule was "take something, leave something".

This rule should, by extension, also means trade equally. With new geocachers coming into the sport all the time, we should emphasize the original intentions of the hunt. One is fair trading.

I have created a banner that I use on my cache pages. You are welcome to use it if you wish.

Click on the image above to download the full size version of the banner.

Glenn Hilton Links is now open for play!

I have setup another golf course. The Glenn Hilton Links is in Hickory, North Carolina and tightly centered around the Glenn Hilton Park.

There are several Geocaches and TerraCaches in the area. Stop by and enjoy the park and some GeoGolf.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Catawba County GeoLinks is now open!

Have you ever heard of GeoGolf? It is one of several games on GPSGames.org.

The way you play GeoGolf is to navigate a course of 9 or 18 holes. The holes are randomly placed within a given distance to a center point. The object is to get as close to each hole as possible. You will log your distance on the GeoGolf game's website. The shortest the distance, the lower the strokes. As with real golf, the lowest score wins!

I have started a new GeoGolf game centered in Catawba County. There is a 15km maximum distance from center with a 9 hole course. All holes should be within Catawba County in North Carolina.

The "Catawba County GeoLinks" is now open for play!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

GC176WQ / TC99Y - Creekside Campout & Chili Extravaganza

Flyingpita and her husband did a marvelous job. No detail was spared. The land was cleared and the barn finished. I was amazed at the level of planning and the attention to detail on this event.

Activities for the children kept them happy and occupied. I didn't see one bored child. Caching activities were planned to keep the adults busy, too! An event multi-cache was placed on the 26-acre property showcasing many of the interesting aspects of the surrounding points of interest. There was even postings of nearby caches...But who wanted to leave the event!

First, was the chili contest. Seven contestants had prepared their favorite chili recipe. All were good and it was difficult to pick one that was the best. Edwin prepared the dogs and burgers. He kept us all fed! Everyone brought some food and drink and the table in the barn was full of goodies.

After we all stuffed ourselves there was a drawing for prizes. We all sat or stood around a nice, roaring fire as Flyingpita called numbers. It was a great time. I think everyone had a fun time...I know I did.

Thanks to Flyingpita and her husband for putting on a fantastic caching event that will be long remembered.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Cache logs and information inserts

I have created a few cache information inserts and logs. Here are a few PDF files. Feel free to download and use these.

Click on the PDF logo to the left to download a cache information insert. This insert is intended to be printed on 4" x 6" sheet of photo paper. I have found that the photo paper, while not waterproof, does provide very water resistant results. Use a "Sharpie" type pen to fill in the blanks.

Click on the PDF logo to the left to download a generic 35mm film container log. Instructions are included with this file.

Click on the PDF logo to the left to download a 35mm film container log with the "NC Foothills Geocachers" logo. Instructions are included with this file.