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How to Have Fun & Learn about the Earth
at EarthCache Sites

Family EarthCaching in HawaiiVisiting an EarthCache site is a great way to learn more about our wonderful world. It can take you to many places that you would not normally visit, and teach you about why those places are special or unique.

EarthCache sites can also teach you and your family important skills such as navigation and map reading. What better way to learn than to have fun exploring on this wonderful planet we call Earth!

Click here for more FAQs.

What do I need to visit an EarthCache site?
To visit an EarthCache site you need a few things.

  1. GPS unitYou need a Global Positional System Receiver (GPSr or GPS for short). This is a device that reads satellite signals and then, through the use of mathematics, can calculate your position on Earth as a latitude (how far north or south of the equator), longitude (how far east or west of Greenwich, UK) and altitude (how far above sea level).
       GPS units come in many shapes and sizes. The most common used by geocachers is a small hand held unit that can be purchased from sports, camping, and some department stores. These can cost around US$95 for the basic model. The more you pay, the more features the GPS has. However, the most basic unit is suitable to get started.
       You will need to read the instructions of your GPS unit carefully and learn how to input latitude and longitude numbers into the unit so you can find a location.
  2. You will need a log-in name at where EarthCache sites are hosted. Click on LOG IN. Here you can create a new account. It is FREE and only takes a few minutes. You will need to think of a unique caching name and a password.
  3. You need a sense of adventure and a way to get there. Most people visit EarthCache sites by driving close to the site then walking to find the location. In some places, EarthCache sites are close to other transport, such as hiking trails and train stations. There are plenty of online mapping tools that can help you "see" where you need to go to discover an EarthCache site.

How do I find my first EarthCache?

Once you have your GPS unit and have practiced entering latitude and longitude coordinates, just go to the EarthCache listings. Here all the EarthCache sites are listed in a table. You can sort these by country, state, name, etc. When you find one in the area you want to visit, click on its name and you will go to the page for that EarthCache site. You may have to log in to see the latitude and longitude details (use your log in name and password that you organized before).

EarthCacher at Kilauea CraterPrint out that page. It will have all the important information that you can use to find the EarthCache site. Some EarthCache sites have additional 'clues' which you need to decrypt to read! You should read all the information on this page so you know exactly what you need to do to fully experience the EarthCache site.

Enter the latitude and longitude for the EarthCache site into your GPS. Then select set your GPS to find (GOTO) that location. Your GPS will be able to tell you how far away and in what direction you have to travel to find the EarthCache site.

Your GPS should be able to place you within 20 feet of the EarthCache site. In almost all cases, this is close enough for you to learn about some amazing aspect of the Earth at that place.

Now I have found my EarthCache site, what do I do?

When you get back to your computer, go back to the listing for that EarthCache site and click on the button to "log your visit." Here you can submit answers to the educational logging tasks, write comments, perhaps rate your experience, and, if you like (optionally), upload a photo that you have taken. (Photos are not required.)

Your statistics for EarthCache sites that you have visited, as well as other cache types, can be found on your own account pages at

What if I have been to more than three EarthCache sites?

If you have visited three or more EarthCache sites, why not see if you are eligible to be rewarded with an EarthCache Master level. Visit the EarthCache Masters page for more details.

Can I develop my own EarthCache site?

Yes you can. It's not too difficult. You need to find a unique location that you can use to teach others about the wonders of our Earth. You will need to follow the EarthCache Guidelines, including getting permission from any land manager/owner.

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