. I'm taking the opportunity of this unplanned time off to connect with the many artists and creators in this wonderful city that I love. Come with me on my 100-day odyssey of art and creativity in Long Beach. I call it .
In Harry Potter, the muggles are those who are not born into magic and are not able to perform magic. The term is used in a somewhat derogatory fashion. Muggles in geocaching are a bit different. Every new sport has its own terminology, and geocaching is no different in this respect. Today we'll look at a few geocaching terms. There are many, so I'll pick just the ones that I think are important at this point.
In case you've forgotten: Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt. Scavenger hunts, treasure hunts, connect the dots, mazes, spot the this or find the that... we love all of these activities. Seeking something hidden and finding it is rewarding indeed! In geocaching, random people around the world hide caches, then leave clues online for other random people around the world to follow.
September 5th was Day 66. I'm talking about muggles and caches.
Perhaps you've seen them. Folks acting a bit strangely, peering up at a sign or down into a grate. They may be sticking their hands into drainpipes and looking under bridges. They may be homeless, they may be strange, they may have lost something or they may be geocaching. If they're looking a little bit to the left then a little bit to the right and they place their hands behind their backs and whistle idly when you pass by, it may be that the geocachers have spotted a Muggle. You.
What is a Muggle
A muggle in geocaching is a person unaware of the geocaching game. That person might look confused at the sight of a few children (or adults) looking for a cache. Perhaps s/he has accidentally stumbled upon a cache.
The rule in geocaching that applies to muggles is that you should beware of muggles and act normally if you believe there is a muggle around. When the muggle leaves, the game can resume.
What is a Cache
Cache, geocache, stash, geostash all mean the same thing. An item, usually in a container, which is placed as part of the worldwide geocaching treasure hunt. Caches are supported by online websites which divulge clues about the location of the cache. Not all caches are containered. Some might lead you to a lovely view, a wonderful sunset or some point of interest.
Belmont Shore/Naples Caches
Today we'll talk about some caches that are close to Belmont Shore/Naples. Now, the information on the geocaching sites is not mine to replicate, so I will provide links where I am able and talk about the results.
For want of a list of geocaching sites to start with, I use the various sites listed in the Wikipedia geocaching entry. Just to be sure, I did a quick search on two search engines for the term geocaching.
Each site received a search query of zipcode=90803 and miles radius of 5. Here's what I found.
Geocaching.com: A search for caches within 5 miles of the 90803 zipcode produced a list of 387 caches. True, some of these are no longer active (strikeout marks), but there are a whole bunch still active. You are presented with the cache name, distance from 90803, date placed, last found, how many people have found. If you want to see detail information on a specific cache, you will need to register for a basic membership (free).
NaviCache.com: A zipcode 90803 search produced a 12 page list each 25 caches long. The nearest cache is 13.5 miles away. I'm knocking NaviCache.com off of the list for now.
OpenCaching network: A zipcode 90803 search with a constraint of 5 miles on the distance yielded 0 caches. Expansion of the constraint to 10 miles still yielded 0 caches. In fact, a search on California only yielded 14 caches. Although the intent of the OpenCaching network is good (open interface and data), I'm not sure I want to dedicate my time to a network so sparsely populated in my area just now.
Terracaching: Now this is an interesting site. It requires that you be sponsored in by two other members, or that you plead your case. The stated intent is to generate quality caches, not quantity caches. There is also a requirement that the caches you post on Terracache not be duplicated elsewhere. You can not see the caches unless you register. Hm... I found a search that did not require registration, and it does not list any caches in Long Beach. So again, they may be quality caches, but I do want a site with some folks to find my caches. Anyway, perhaps my beginner level caches may be too elementary for this group.
GPSGames: This is another interesting site. Its capabilities include geocaching, but its primary purpose actually appears to be the playing of other GPS types of games. Definitely worthy of a look at a later date. I think that now, it needs to be deferred.
OpenCaching (Garmin sponsored site): This site is for traditional caches. It seems to be a decent alternative to the Geocaching.com site. It does have a few caches locally, but far fewer than Geocaching.com. Such is the power of a domain name! Still, the interface is nice, and I'd like to look at it a bit more.
Comparison Sites for the Geocaching Apps taste test
Based upon the lightweight investigation performed, it seems that I can constrain my cache databases to Geocaching.com and Opencaching.com and not miss to much.
Tips, Tidbits, Things
- I found a fairly extensive list of geocaching sites. Feel free to poke around, but I didn't find any sites to add from that list.
- I forgot to mention yesterday. The purchase of a 3 month premium membership to the Geocaching.com site and a $9.99 Geocaching.com application from the App Store were donated by the Belmont Shore Patch and Nancy Wride. Thanks, Nanc!
Want more lemonade?
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Trish Tsoiasue writes as herself about creative and maker topics for and as Handmade Penguin for the Handmade Penguin Blog. She is currently playing .