International Geocaching Day Date in the current year: August 17, 2024

International Geocaching Day If you’re a fan of outdoor activities, don’t forget to celebrate International Geocaching Day on the third Saturday of August. The holiday is dedicated to a fun pastime suitable for people of all ages and different backgrounds.

Geocaching is a recreational activity, in which participants use GPS technology to hide and seek special waterproof containers, called “geocaches” or simply “cashes”, at locations marked by coordinates that are posted on geocaching websites. A geocache typically contains a logbook where geocachers write their code names and dates to prove they found the cache before they place the cache back where they found it.

In addition to the logbook and sometimes a pencil/pen or stamp, a geocache can contain various small “treasures” that geocachers call SWAG (“stuff we all get”). These “treasures” are usually inexpensive items that may hold sentimental value such as coins or bills, toys, trinkets, books, CDs, etc. Geocachers are allowed to take a trinket from the cache if they leave another item of a similar value instead. Naturally, the logbook, pen/pencil, or stamp cannot be taken from the cache.

Geocaching is somewhat similar to letterboxing, an outdoor hobby that originated in the mid-19th century. Letterboxers hide small boxes in parks and other publicly accessible places and distribute the clues to find them by word of mouth, in printed catalogs, or (since the availability of the Internet) on special web sites.

The invention of geocaching became possible due to the disabling of the Selective Availability feature from the GPS system, which improved the accuracy of the system and made it possible to place and find small containers at specific coordinates. The feature was removed on May 2, 2000, and the first geocache was planted the following day by Dave Ulmer who posted the coordinates on Usenet. It was found twice within the next three days.

Since its invention, geocaching has become very popular all over the world. It shares many aspects with other outdoor activities such as benchmarking, letterboxing (which has already been mentioned above), orienteering, scavenger hunting, and trail blazing. Over time many variations of geocaching and cashes have developed, as well as a list of guidelines for geocachers to follow.

Given its popularity, it is not surprising that geocaching has its own holiday. The first ever International Geocaching Day event was the Geocaching Block Party that took place in Seattle on August 20, 2011. Since then, it has been celebrated every third Saturday of August by geocaching enthusiasts all over the world.

How can you observe International Geocaching Day? Well, the most obvious way would be to get outside and enjoy the treasure hunt. Geocaching is a fun way to explore new areas, encourage yourself to spend more time outside, and enjoy a hike with your family and friends.

You also can celebrate by placing a geocache of your own, reaching out to your local geocaching community to find new friends, or participating in a geocaching challenge or environmental initiative. And don’t forget to spread the word about the holiday on social media with the hashtag #InternationalGeocachingDay!

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International Geocaching Day, international observances, geocaching, scavenger hunt, GPS technology