GPS Use Can Be Fun

By: Jessica Deets

A GPS system is great for finding specific locations. It's almost a must for boaters and not even a bad idea for hikers and campers. The valuable tool can really come in handy when an emergency arises and means of regular navigation are out of the question.

Sweeping America and beyond is the hobby of geocaching. This involves a game in which players hide small trinkets in water-tight containers in unusual locations. These locations are posted for those who want to play the game. They can be found on various web sites. Actual cache locations can be found in cities all over America, Canada and beyond.

Those who are into geocaching log onto the game web site, look for cache locations where they live or where they'll be traveling and then they hunt down the sites using their GPS systems to find the coordinates. Once the locations are found, the cache hunters open the box, take out their prize, sign a log book and leave something else behind.

Geocaching is a hobby for many people in North America. Retirees who travel the country in their RVs enjoy the game as a fun way to pass they time. In fact, many take trips specifically to geocache. High-tech travelers log on using their WiFi laptops after they've found a cache and to look for new ones.

For avid players, even the process of finding their own trinkets to leave behind at different spots is fun. Geocachers from Florida who travel the country, for example, will find something representative of the Sunshine State to leave behind at different sites. Those from Alaska will have their own brand of "prize" to leave behind.

Although retirees love geocaching, the hobby is one enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Caches themselves can be located just about anywhere imaginable. Some are found hidden under roadway overpasses, on hiking trails in remote locations and even in out-in-the-open tourist destinations.

The key to playing the game is using the GPS system correctly to locate the exact coordinates. The clues for where the caches are generally involve only the numbers, so it's a test of ability to find the spot. But, once the exact location is pinpointed, there may be a greater challenge as well. Cachers like to hide the stash in interesting places as well. Think of it as a giant international scavenger hunt and you'll have a good idea of what geocaching is all about.

Other games with GPS systems are also popular. These include GPS poker, road races and more. The systems are great when they're needed, but they don't have to be turned off and left unused when emergencies aren't present.

A GPS is a valuable navigation tool, but it can be so much more. For those who have one and want to learn to use it more proficiently in case of emergency, there are lots of fun routes for doing so. Plus, the journey can be half the fun.

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