GeoCaching in Berkshire County, Massachusetts

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What is a GeoCache?

A GeoCache is defined as a stash, in a location with geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) assigned to it, that can hold anything from simple log books to hidden treasures available for trading.

Geocaching is an outdoor activity using GPS (Global Position Satellite) receivers and predetermined coordinates to locate a hidden stash.

The geocache container is usually smaller than a breadbox. Geocache containers are frequently weatherproof, to protect the contents from environmental degradation. Log books of various sizes are often found inside the geocache for the purpose of registering your visit and making comments back to the cache's creator or other visitors.
Geocache containers are hidden from the general public, to prevent theft or vandalism, so they are usually camouflaged in some way. When creating a geocache, it is a good idea to leave instructions inside the container to explain what the geocache is meant for, in case of accidental discovery. This may also indoctrinate others, who do not know about the activity, into geocaching. So mention www.geocaching.com if you would.
To find a geocache, sometimes you have to look under rocks or a fallen tree, under a bridge, in a knot hole, or other inconspicuous place.

Hidden treasures include specially created trading cards or (sometimes specially minted) coins or other trinkets available for trade. The creator of the cache decides on specific rules and will include them in the cache, if it is of importance. Treasures may include anything of interest that could fit into the container, though they should not include anything illegal or dangerous.

GeoCache at MCLA

The Fall 2007 semester brings to MCLA the first of a series of geocaching activities, coordinated by Alan Silverman, class of 2007 (graduated May, 2007 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies). Geocaching is open to MCLA students interested in learning more about GPS and GIS (Geographic Information Science), while exploring the greater Berkshire area.

Handheld GPS devices are available for members to utilize, through the Environmental Studies Department, at MCLA. A grant to the Berkshire Environmental Resource Center makes these GPS devices available for use by students.

GeoCache in Berkshire County

Berkshire County has been a vacation destination for hundreds of years. We don't expect that to change. The natural beauty and wide expanse of the area includes Massachusetts' tallest mountain, Mount Greylock, the Applachian Trail, waterfalls, lakes, landmarks, and so much more.

It is difficult to describe Berkshire County's natural and man-made wonders. Photos do not do them justice. These places lend themselves to geocaching in a superb way, because you really should visit them yourself. With a GPS receiver and a predetermined set of coordinates, be prepared to experience an outdoor activity suitable for adventurers of all skills and abilities.

Geocaches can be created and hidden by you, for others to find. Or geocaches can be created by people you have not yet met. Geocaches could be located in the city of North Adams, or in the mountain communities of Florida or Savoy. Or as far south as Monterey and Mount Washington. There are literally hundreds of geocaches in Berkshire County waiting for you to discover them.

Now, download some data to your GPS device and get outside. Happy hunting.

To learn about moving data between your GPS and GIS, contact Alan.

For more information about geocaching, please visit GeoCaching.com.

For geocaching in Berkshire County, please visit BerkshireSports.org.

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All Content 2007 ©, Alan R. Silverman | Web Design by Alan | File last modified Tuesday, 20-May-2008 15:33:24 PDT