The internet and a GPS make great partners together. Unfamiliar with geocaching? It’s a modern day treasure hunt using a GPS. Where do you find out about the hidden treasures? There’s a lot of websites out there that publish them. The premier sites are geocaching.com and groundspeak.com but several others are out there as well. The sites deliver coordinates by state. Don’t forget to sign the hidden log when you find it.
So the question is what GPS should you use and then where do I put it? Your best bets are the handheld GPS units from Garmin (eTrex and GPSMAP series) or Magellan (eXplorist series). Garmin seems to cater best to geocachers with an entire section of their site dedicated to this hobby. They have also introduced a new line of handheld units called the Garmin GPSMAP 64 series that have over 250,000 goecaches preloaded. This is a real time saver as you can unbox your GPS and get started with this fun hobby. It can be cumbersome to program the exact GPS coordinates. The fact this is done for you out of the box makes the GPS worth the Garmin premium versus other brands of GPS.
Check out the Garmin Chirp which is a wireless beacon that will work with the Garmin GPSMAP 62, 64 or 78 series. It also works with the Dakota and Oregon series. The Chirp will act as a wireless beacon to help target the location. This makes geocaching lots of fun and cheats a bit. We have seen caches hidden in fake bolts. Who the heck is going to find a fake bolt and know to open it up?
We’re the MountGuys so you know we’re going to break into a conversation about the types of mounts to use. A popular accessory for geocaching is the Garmin Belt Clip Mount. Having your GPS on your belt beats putting it in your pocket and having it fall out. By the way a lot of caches are hidden in the woods, so placing the GPS on your belt frees your hands for any balancing acts you might need to do. Most handheld GPS units include a belt clip which typically attaches to a know on the back of the GPS unit. That knob can often be removed if you would rather simply carry the GPS or mount it into a different mount that may include a custom cradle. A lot of handheld models include road maps so these can also be used in the car, hence the need for a different type of mount.
Some prefer the GPS someplace other than the belt. The Garmin Neck Lanyard is a good choice. This is a cord with a quick release attached for your GPS.
You might be on your bike when geocaching. Having a handlebar or stem mount allows you to keep both hands on the handlebar and the GPS in front of you. A real inexpensive option is the Garmin Stem Mount which includes a few twist ties to attach to your bike’s stem or handlebar. That’s what is in the photo that accompanies this article. The only drawback on this is that you need to cut the twist ties when taking it off however more are readily available at your nearest hardware store.
You can also be in an SUV or car, and a suction cup mount works best here. The RAM Suction Cup Mount for Garmin GPSMAP 62 and 64 Series is a solid choice. The mount includes a custom cradle that your GPS snaps into and has adjustments at the suction cup and cradle. The suction cup has a twist lock that ensures a good hold. It attaches to anything that is flat and smooth, most typically the windshield. All parts comes with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
Whatever you choose to use for geocaching, you will have a lot of fun, and it’s free. You will also discover new parts of your country that you may not normally travel through so having a good GPS at your side is an excellent idea.