Understanding the Cache Page
Now that you have found a cache near you, you will get all the information that you need from the cache page. Below, you will see some of the basic information available on the cache page.
- Waypoint Code--Also known as the "GC Number" which uniquely identifies each cache published on the Geocaching.com web site
- Cache Name/Type/Owner--The cache type can be identified by the cache icon (for example, this one is a "traditional" cache. Each cache has a name (which may not be unique) and identifies the cache owner.
- Cache Size/Difficulty/Terrain--These attributes give you some idea of "what you are getting yourself into!" Although there are suggested criteria for choosing these attributes, they are open to interpretation. They do, however, give you some idea of the difficulty of the cache.
- Co-ordinates--This is the crucial data you will need (in most cases) to find the cache. For traditional caches, these co-ordinates will be for location of the container. For multi-caches, there are often for the first re-direct. However, in the case of Unknown/Mystery caches, the posted co-ordinates may be meaningless--so read carefully before you start heading out!
- Additiona Attributes--There are a number of other attributes that a cache owner may place on the cache page. These can be helpful in determining what might be involved in the hunt. If you don't understand what the symbol means, you can find out by 'hovering' the mouse over the icon. A "tool tip" bar should appear and explain the meaning of the attribute.
- Downloads--The co-ordinates for the cache can be downloaded to your computer, or directly to some GPSr models using these buttons. If you are a premium member, you can also download the more detailed "gpx" files. These contain much of the information that is on the cache page, such as the cache description, hints, child waypoints and a limited number of previous logs. This information is very useful when using geocaching software (like GSAK) or doing paperless caching with a PDA.
- Child Waypoints--These are additional waypoints that can be helpful when searching for a cache. For example, the cache owner may provide co-ordinates to a parking spot or to a trailhead especially if this would not be obvious to the cacher. Many will provide these details in the cache description. The advantage of providing them as child waypoints is that they are included in GPX files that are downloaded. Once download, waypoint software can send these co-ordinates to the GPSr, by-passing the need to enter them manually.
- Search for Other Caches--These options allow you to easily find other caches that are nearby this cache. This can be very helpful in finding other caches that you might want to do while you are in the area. You can also filter out caches that you have already found, to make planning easier. These are based on the "posted co-ordinates" so it may not be accurate for multi-caches or mystery caches that have final locations somewhere than at the posted co-ordinates. These links provide a list of caches. To see them on a map, you will need to use the Geocaching.com Google Map link, described below.
- Other Map Options--These links will show the cache location on a variety of mapping web sites available on the web. This will allow you to find more detailed road information (to plan how to get there) or terrain information (from satellite images.) The Geocaching.com Google Map link will also show you on a map the caches that are hidden nearby.