Geocaching is a fun outdoor recreational activity played by people of all ages and abilities.
Geocaching is best described as a treasure hunt using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or smart phone and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", anywhere in the world.A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with a pen or pencil). The geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name (A fun nickname). After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little financial value, although sometimes they are sentimental.
For the traditional geocache, a geocacher will place a waterproof container containing a log book (with pen or pencil) and trade items then record the cache's coordinates. These coordinates, along with other details of the location, are posted on a listing site (see list of some sites below). Other geocachers obtain the coordinates from that listing site and seek out the cache using their GPS handheld receivers. The finding geocachers record their exploits in the logbook and online, but then must return the cache to the same coordinates so that other geocachers may find it. Geocachers are free to take objects (except the logbook, pencil, or stamp) from the cache in exchange for leaving something of similar or higher value.
Typical cache "treasures" are not high in monetary value but may hold personal value to the finder. Aside from the logbook, common cache contents are small toys, ornamental buttons, CDs, or books. Also common are objects that are moved from cache to cache called "hitchhikers", such as Travel Bugs or Geocoins, whose travels may be logged and followed online. Cachers who initially place a Travel Bug or Geocoins often assign specific goals for their trackable items. Examples of goals are to be placed in a certain cache a long distance from home, or to travel to a certain country, or to travel faster and farther than other hitchhikers in a race. Higher-value items are occasionally included in geocaches as a reward for the First to Find (called "FTF"), or in locations which are harder to reach. Dangerous or illegal items, weapons, food and drugs are not allowed and are specifically against the rules of most geocache listing sites.
If a geocache has been vandalized or stolen, it is said to have been "muggled". The former term plays off the fact that those not familiar with geocaching are called muggles. The term was not borrowed from the Harry Potter series of books as is commonly thought but comes from the original Old English word meaning an outsider or uninitiated person.
Popular Geocaching Websites
geocaching.com (by far the most popular site with the most geocaches)
opencaching.org.uk (more geocaches than terracaching.com. Over 1000 geocaches of different types including types that cannot appear on geocaching.com. These caches are mostly in the south of England)
terracaching.com (few geocaches in the UK.)
Geocache Land recommend UK Cache Mag as a great way to learn about geocaching and geocaches.