Geocaching Resource for Truck Drivers

Strong Tie Insurance January 28, 2021 Our Blog

The Global Positioning System (GPS) was originally intended for military use after being developed by the U.S. Department of Defense. Today, the military uses GPS to guide unmanned systems, in missile launches, and for search and rescue missions. Civilian use is also widespread, with commercial insurance companies even offering discounts for companies using GPS to track fleet vehicles.

It works by broadcasting radio signals from satellites at the speed of light. A GPS device receives the signal and calculates the distance from the satellite. Once this distance is recorded from at least four satellites, geometry can determine the GPS location on Earth.

A satellite’s radio signals were scrambled to limit civilian use, a system known as Selective Availability. President Clinton turned this system off on May 1, 2000.

So, what does this jaunt into GPS history have to do with geocaching? Keep reading below.

What Is Geocaching?

On May 3, 2000, Dave Ulmer hid a stash of objects in a container outside of Portland, Oregon. He made its location known in an announcement, including the rules of leaving something after discovering it—such as signing the logbook—and geocaching was born.

Someone discovered the cache within a day, and from there more had been hidden in Illinois, Kansas, and California. Before a month had passed, a cache had been stowed away in Australia. The new term for this upscale treasure hunt was “stash.”

Less than a week later, a website had been created to list the locations of these caches. On May 30, Matt Stum coined the term “geocaching.”

Now, people all across the world get to find all sorts of objects, whether near a parking lot or along a park on their way to work. It also goes without saying that lots of truckers have also joined this great trend thanks to all the time they spend on the road.

How Do You Join the Geocaching Community?

Yes, geocaching has become a community, of sorts. People even meet-up for geocaching events. Of course, truckers always make sure they have the right insurance for commercial trucks before heading out on a cache expedition.

For those that want to play this hide-and-seek game, the rules are fairly straightforward.

  1. Head to geocaching.com and register. There is a free basic membership.
  2. Take a look at the Hide & Seek a Cache page, enter your zip code, and click search. There are lists specifically for truck drivers with owner names like Big Wheels Rollin Movin On and Trucker George. Hidden spots usually include service centers, rest areas, hotels, and truck stops.
  3. Click on a geocache and enter the GPS coordinates into your handheld GPS device or GPS-enabled smartphone. Topographic maps may also aid in the search.
  4. Find the geocache! When taking an item from the cache, leave one that’s of greater or equal value and write about your experience in the logbook—don’t forget to put your name, of course.

 

Some people that leave caches also place a disposable camera in the container. Those that find it should take a picture of themselves with the cache and place the camera back into the container.

When the camera is full, the pictures are usually developed and placed on the listing site or a web site, which serves as a kind of time capsule that everyone can share.

For truck drivers who spend a lot of endless miles on a seemingly never ending road, geocaching adds a spark of entertainment and a little adventure. Let’s take a look at a few of the commonly asked questions about geocaching.

What Does a Truck Driver Need to Go Geocaching?

Most truckers already have everything they need to go on a geocaching adventure. All that is required is a hand-held GPS device, like a smartphone, online access to search for geocaching locations, and a geocaching.com membership (the basic one is free).

A topographic map is helpful, but definitely not necessary, and, of course, quality commercial insurance so that trucking geocachers still are protected each time they go out.

For those that would like to start hiding these stashes, a heavy-duty water-proof container, a logbook, and a treasure to place inside is all that are required. Once stowed away in your secret spot, you post the geographical coordinates of the location, and any other information you want to share, on an online geocaching listing service, such as geocaching.com.

What Is Typically in a Geocache?

First, let’s cover what a cache is stored in so that you know what you’re looking for. Caches can be stored in just about anything, from a fake rock with a secret compartment to a plastic container. They can even be as small as a tiny storage box. One clue is that the size should be shown on the cache page.

A cache always contains a sheet or book to log your find. Some contain multiple treasures. One of the main rules is to make sure you leave something of equal or greater value to what you found. Pez dispensers, gift cards, semi-precious stones, fossils, and smashed coins are just a few of the many “artifacts” left by the geocaching community.

You may also find a trackable. These “game pieces” are etched with a unique code. The code allows these pieces to be tracked as they move around the country or globe. Finders use the code to look up the trackable’s goal, like traveling from the East coast to the West.

The strangest things people found is an interesting website to visit. Some of the unique finds include a lama that had the coordinates and a veteran’s lost dog tags discovered by another geocacher 25 years later.

Are There Different Types of Geocaches?

Yes. There are numerous types of geocaches. Here are just a few:

Mystery Caches

These fun caches may involve a mystery or puzzle that needs to be solved before the correct coordinates can be discovered.

Multi-Caches

Consider these as simply a treasure hunt where one clue leads to the next. The final location contains the physical container.

Event Cache

As the name implies, an event cache is a gathering of geocachers. The time and coordinates of the event’s location are listed. Some event caches are considered “mega-events.” These typically are group events with over 500 people and involve a day of planned activities.

Becoming part of the geocaching community can be a fun and entertaining experience. It’s a great way to meet others in the trucking industry and the fascinating group of people that call themselves geocachers.

Trucker-friendly caches are definitely on the rise. Consider trying this activity as you make your rounds. A resource that covers any and all questions can be found at Geocaching 101.

Protect Your Trucking Geocachers With Insurance

As previously stated, geocaching is a simple way that truckers can kill time while they’re on the road. Since it looks like geocaching will be a trucking industry mainstay, make sure your insurance for commercial trucks is up-to-date as you travel in search of your geocache treasures.

At Strong Tie Insurance, we’ve been protecting people, their possessions, and their businesses for 20 years. We cover all the many types of commercial truck insurance in a variety of options from single trucks to wide fleets. Call us for a no-obligation quote today.