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Book review: The Joy of Geocaching

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What if you could find adventure while being inspired to challenge your limits and meet new goals all within the pages of a book? Authors Paul and Dana Gillin set out to provide readers with a manual on geocaching, a treasure hunting game played around the world using a Global Positioning Satellite receiver (GPSr). In the process of researching and interviewing veteran geocachers, they discovered that it was a game filled with unique stories, tales of personal achievements, social networking offline, creativity, and immense enthusiasm.

In their book, The Joy of Geocaching: How to Find Health, Happiness and Creative Energy Through a Worldwide Treasure Hunt, Paul and Dana Gillin masterfully weave the human elements of triumph, storytelling, and folklore through a wealth of instructional information on geocaching. Paul, a professional writer with two books on the market about social media, and Dana, a technology editor, bring their own personal geocaching experience, the experiences of others and exhaustive research together to provide a book that every geocacher will want to read.

Instructions on How to Find or Hide a Geocache

All around the world people are seeking hidden cache containers and telling others about geocaching, a game played using latitude and longitude coordinates. The authors provide readers with instructions on how to begin their own geocaching adventures within the first two sections of the 221 page book. New cachers can quickly learn how to find geocaches in their area using the main online resource, Geocaching.com. Included in the book are packing suggestions for your geocaching trip and instructions on finding a cache. If there was ever a book for a cacher to pack in their car and take with them on their journey The Joy of Geocaching would be that book. Inside its cover is a wealth of information that can help a new or veteran cacher to use deductive reasoning while on their cache search and tips on how to read the cache descriptions for additional clues.

For readers looking for information on how to hide a geocache, there is a dedicated section complete with pictures of standard and unique cache containers. The Joy of Geocaching takes the guesswork out of how to post a geocache to Groundspeak’s website and what to expect from reviewers. Treasure seekers will find many gems providing creative inspiration on how to place a unique cache by reading the stories of the veterans who cached before them.

Finding Health and Happiness Through a Worldwide Treasure Hunt

Perhaps it is the tales of personal triumph within the book that endear the reader to geocachers across the country that they have yet to meet. Some began geocaching to help get them out of the house or to lose weight but in the process found friendship and unique challenges. From the extreme cachers that scale rock cliff walls looking for the most difficult caches to the deaf cachers that overcome their personal limitations to seek hidden treasure the authors have brought the geocaching community a book that they can personally relate to regardless of whether they cache for numbers, adventure, social interaction, or personal goals.

The Joy of Geocaching shows how friendships are formed through a mutual desire to add another smiley to their cache count by finding and logging a cache. It shows how people of all ages are bringing our technological world outdoors to explore nature. Through geocaching people become tourists in their hometowns as they discover new places and share them with others. Paul and Dana Gillin show readers the personal side of geocaching as they share the passion and intensity that drive some of the most dedicated cachers.

What Cannot be Found in the Book

The authors are forthcoming with readers that there is not an in-depth look at the science of navigation and give readers a resource to learn more about it. The book does cover an overview on navigation to help the new cacher. With the GPSr products on the market today and as technology continues to advance navigational instruction because less necessary.

The Joy of Geocaching does provide readers with information on selecting a receiver for geocaching. Selecting a GPSr can be confusing for many new cachers. Clear and concise information on what is needed in a receiver and places to buy them are readily available in the book. The authors share their personal recommendations on selecting a receiver for readers who prefer to make their selection based on user experience.

There are many games being played around the world that are similar to geocaching. These games also use latitude and longitude coordinates to find items or places. Readers will not find in depth information on these games but can find a brief overview of games such letterboxing, Wherigo, Waymarking, and BookCrossing. The book does include online resources where the reader can go to learn more about those games.

Important Information About the Book

At a price of $16.95 ($18.95 Canada) this book is an incredible resource to include in the geocacher’s toolkit. The Joy of Geocaching was published in 2010 by Quill Driver Books, an Imprint of Linden Publishing, and can be referenced by ISBN number 978-1-884956-99-7. Included with the book are a Quick Start Guide, Glossary of terms, Resources for the cacher, and a listing of Great Geocaches by State.

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