DISCLAIMER: This is not a page describing anything ARGfest-official, just a page to explain about, and maybe find some interested parties to have some 'treasure hunt' fun during unplanned periods of the trip. Just another something to do!
full size ammo can cache (usually hidden in woods)
magnetic nano-cache (great for urban caches)
What is geocaching? In short, a blending of nature and technology, scavenger hunt and treasure hunt... a healthy, fun, entertaining and educational activity :). And, if you love deaddrops, chances are you'd enjoy geocaching too.
If you've got an iPhone, you're already set. If not, but you have a GPS device, you're also set. If not, but you create a profile at geocaching.com, you're also set. Basically, everyone's able to play!
Geocaching is a GPS-based scavenger hunt that's all about the fun of the hunt. In its simplest form, a cache is a set of GPS coordinates that leads to a very specific location, usually with a description and clue. If you find the location, you'll find - at the very least - a container with a paper log where you note your name and the date, and you can see other people in the past who've also found the cache (sometimes over the course of many years)
It's an international sport, which began at geocaching.com in 1999 (and the first ever cache was actually placed IN Portland, OR!)
It's also a great touristy pastime as well, because a lot of people who place these caches do so with tourists in mind. Usually around landmarks, sites to see, 'multi-caches' that could take you on a short tour of certain areas, etc.
It gets fun when you start attempting higher difficulty/terrain rated caches. The best part, a lot of the "mystery" caches can have some great puzzle-solving aspects to calculate coordinates. Sometimes even ARGish in style :)
Many caches are also much bigger than just a log, and it can actually be a trading game. If you find a cache with cheap junk and trinkets in it, you can trade-up (good etiquette is to trade something for equal or greater value). Another positive about the sport is that there's loads of opportunity to help clean up. "Cache In Trash Out", as they say. As a 'thank you' for public places allowing geocaching to happen (or, to nature), cachers generally try to help keep places clean and pick up loose garbage, and just generally respect nature.
(After I upgraded to an iPhone, a few people recommended the Geocaching app as a must-have. It's definitely a hobby worth trying, at the very least!)
With ARGfest generally being the 16th-19th, and people arriving or leaving earlier or later, I thought there might be some extra time to hit up some local geocaches (as well as keep an eye out for them while walking the streets, of course :)
You can see a general overview of local caches around the ARGfest hotel via this map link
I plan on attempting a few during some free time in this trip.
For those who are also attending ComicCon in San Diego the following week, there are quite a number in the vicinity of the hotel and convention center.
Map of the Courtyard hotel we (most?) are staying at here
One I would love to attempt, but it's outside San Diego - a 5/5 rating (hardest there is) - called Tomb Raider, cache details here (view the gallery!). The final cache location is out in the mudhills to the east - a good hike and some caving! :D
Celina's confirmed she'd be up for the excursion, and that people go out there all the time. Looks like this can be a planned thing for those of us attending ComicCon, if you're up to it. :) Will confirm/finalize plans shortly.
Contact me if you're interested in doing some caching while in Portland and/or San Diego! Even if not, sign up at geocaching.com anyway. I guarantee there are caches in your area waiting to be found. --Thebruce 18:59, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Just as a side reference, I have a photoset on Flickr documenting some of my caching adventures :)