How to set up a geocaching travel bug in 7 easy steps

Geocaching, if you’ve never tried it, is a fun addition to a day of outdoor adventuring.  It’s sort of like a treasure hunt, except instead of maps there are GPS coordinates, and instead of treasure there is, well, personal satisfaction.

In a nutshell, geocachers seek out small boxes of goodies that have been hidden by other cachers all over the world.  If you’ve never played, you’ve probably never noticed – but they are there, everywhere.  There are little boxes hidden in trees in the mall parking lot, under the log in that park where you walk your dog, at the beach where you went last weekend.  And you didn’t see them.  That’s by design.  One of the central conceits of geocaching is that it’s not supposed to be seen – the caches should be hidden out of sight, and cachers on the hunt stay out of sight of non-players.  (If they get spotted, weird things happen.)

Armed with a GPS device or smart phone, cachers find the area, then dig around for the cache.  It’s fun.  You should try it.

Dropping a travel bug in a geocache

Dropping off a travel bug in a north Florida geocache.

One optional component of geocaching is the “travel bug.”  Travel bugs are trackable items that you can hide in a cache.  Other cachers will pick up your travel bug and move it to another cache, then it will get moved again, and again, again, again.  The whole time, your travel bug is tracked online, so you can watch it as it criss-crosses the country and, potentially, the world.

Setting up a travel bug is easy, cheap and an interesting add-in to the geocaching game.  I set up a travel bug with the URL to this site, and I’ll be tracking it as it makes it’s way to the Pacific Ocean (that’s the mission, but more on that later).

If you’ve thought about launching your own travel bug, here’s the process in seven simple steps.

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6 essential tips for starting out with a GoPro Hero2

“I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” Four months younger.

Four months into life with the GoPro Hero2, there’s a bunch of things I wish I knew when I started.  Overall, I love the camera – it’s lightweight, waterproof, good quality and a great value.  But I’ve lost some good video because of stupid mistakes, and I’m hoping by imparting some of this hard-earned wisdom on other GoPro enthusiasts, I can save them some trouble.

If you have any additional tips, I’d love to hear ’em.

1) It’s a really wide angle lens

The obvious hurdle with the stock version of the GoPro Hero 2 is the lack of a screen on which to view the video you’ve just captured.  There are plenty of reasons why the GoPro doesn’t have one, and it really doesn’t need one.  But if you’re used to any other camera on the market, it’s a bit of an adjustment to move to a camera without any sort of viewfinder.

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