Top 10 Geocaching Websites
GPS makes geocaching possible but the Internet makes it happen. There's a ton of resources out there and more coming in every day (like this awesome web site). As with most things, if you line up 50 geocachers and ask them what their Top 10 Internet resources are, you'll get 50 different answers. What to do? Play around with as many things as you can and find the ones that work for you. KidsRN and I have become high-tech. Gone are the days when we drove down the road holding our trusty Magellan GPSr out the window. We take a GPS-enabled laptop with us on our trips that's also got Verizon Broadband Connect, where your cell phone becomes your modem. That gives us Internet access on the fly for about $2 a day. Unlike an Air Card setup, you can turn off the tethering service between trips and save a ton of money. So between that, Delorme Street Atlas, Geobuddy and Google Earth, we're ready for just about anything. Recently, we started using TomTom. We're still working it into our geocaching routine but first results are quite good. So here's the sites and sources that work for us. If you have any questions about these or have some to share, let us know.
#10 - www.waymarking.com - Waymarking is a variation of caching using existing natural, man-made and historical places as caches. Very good for traveling, classroom projects and exploring. (free)
#9 - www.atlasquest.com - Before GPS and geocaching, there was letterboxing, which has been around for over 100 years. In this, you follow clues, maps and compasses to find hidden treasures. This web site is the best one for finding and recording letterboxes. (free)
#8 - www.us.orienteering.org - The "thinking man's sport" uses a map and compass to find points on a course. This is a valuable skill set which will greatly augment your caching skills, especially if you head into the back country. It's also a lot of fun and great exercise. (free)
#7 - www.gpsgames.org - As the title says, these are activities that you can do with your GPSr. They are similar to geocaching but offer some variety and different challenges. We like the geodashing. It's great for exploring on the fly. (free)
#6 - www.trails.com - Recently combined with Topozone.com, this is a great source for trail information and maps in all 50 states. There are free, trial and paid versions. If you plan on getting serious, it's worth the $49.95 annual subscription but for occasional use, the free version is probably enough.
#5 - www.gpsvisualizer.com - A free, online utility that allows you to manipulate maps, data, geocaches and a whole lot more. Its geocoding feature and ability to interface directly with Google Earth are especially useful.
#4 - www.delorme.com - Home of Delorme Street Atlas and Gazetteers which we swear by on geocaching road trips. They include unimproved back country roads and unmarked rural lanes. Enables you to get to caches that you couldn't find otherwise. Lots of other add-ons and downloads.
#3 - earth.google.com - The best mapping and photo site around. Great for recons, route planning, geocache locations and much much more. Use the geocache KLM overlay to find caches in any area. Google Earth is free and has so many capabilities, it's downright scary.
#2 - www.geobuddy.com - IMHO, the best integrated GPS software package out there. Enables mass loading of caches from computer to GPSr, view cache information and logs without an active Internet connection and view/create all kinds of maps. This allowed us to go paperless. One time price of $49.95.
#1 - www.geocaching.com - This is where it all starts. There are other caching sites but this is the best. You really can't geocache without it. You can use a free account or pay $30 a year for a premium account, which helps keep the geocaching community running. Also tied directly to waymarking.com.