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42 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2005
Format: Paperback
This yellow book has nothing in it you can't figure out yourself.

The Orange "THE COMPLETE IDIOTS GUIDE TO GEOCACHING" is MUCH MUCH better! Everything from helpfull hints that even experienced geocachers can use, to the complete history of geocaching, how it started, and EVERYTHING you want to know about Latitude and Longitude and all the formats it is measured with and how they came about.

The other book is MUCH better than this one!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is a super book. Concise, informative, fun, very well-edited, and honest (about the value of good map and compass skills, in addition to learning to use the GPS, for instance). I went from 0 - 60 in a few days. Bought the book a few weeks ago at lunch, and I've been geocaching ever since.

The book includes great websites links to resources such as waterproof logboks, and how to get a MapQuest map based on a latitude and longitude. (MapQuest has changed their method since the book was published, but I was able to find it easily, knowing it was possible.)

I recommend consulting his equipment and gear list. It does get dark, you will get stabbed by thorns, or sticks, you'll get hungry and thirsty... It sounds obvious, but in the rush of trying to find the nearest cache, it's easy to forget to bring such helpful items as a flashlight, a first aid kit, extra batteries, etc.

The book also includes a helpful list of U.S. geocaching clubs by state. I look forward to meeting other geocachers!

Kudos to the Dummies series (again) and to the author, for a terrific book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
This text is divided into the following parts: Part 1 Getting Ready to Geocach, part 2: Let's Go Geacaching, Part 3 Advanced Geocaching and Part 4 The Part of Tens.

THe first part is focused on picking a GPS receiver and using it along with maps. The section on maps, I found particularly usefu. This information is not as easy as this book is to find out about on the premier web page for Geocaching

[...] Also, if you are not experienced with using maps, this text give you a nice overview about it.

The second part has information that is really readily available at the website above. The advantage to this book though, is that it is all laid out in a nice order and you do not have to sort through information piecemeal like you may have to do on geocaching websites.

The third part I found helpful as it pertains to more subtle aspects and/or advaced parts of geocaching such as benchmarks and there is a nice section on how to use geocaching with your students (if you are a teacher!).

The fourth part provides a nice list of websites, many of which I never found on my own just "browsing", and there is an annotated list of geocaching programs.

Overall, even if you have geocached already, this book will give you background information and resources that you likely do not already know about. I particularly enjoyed the "tips" on geocahing etiquette which I may not have understood without this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
If you're reading this review and researching this title, then chances are that you have become interested in the sport of geocaching. At it's core, geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt on steroids, with hidden goodies to be found literally all over the world. I won't spend much time explaining the basic concept. If you've been curious enough to get this far, then you've at least absorbed the general idea. If not, then geocaching dot com should be the next website that you visit.

And truthfully, most all of the knowledge that you need to get started in the sport can be found right at the source website. They have a great deal of information that is well organized and accessible, and it's WAY fresher than this particular book on the subject.

Please understand that I mean no disrespect to the author or to the text itself. It was written in 2004, when geocaching was only a few years old and not nearly as popular as it is now, so it's only natural that a lot of the information that can be found in these pages is dated. For example, the author states early on that there are over 91,000 active caches hidden all over the world. In 2011, that number has jumped to over 1.4 million. PDA's and Palm Pilots? Relics of the past, replaced by smart phones and tablets, the capabilities of which you NEED to know about.

There is some good introductory information here on how to use a GPS unit, and I liked the section on benchmarking, but again these are things that you can easily research elsewhere. In short, it's a slightly useful book that is in real need of a revised edition. I checked out my review copy at my local library, and I would suggest that you do the same if you're really interested in it as a possible resource. It's definitely not worth spending money on as there are just too many other current sources out there to use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is useful to the first-time geocacher and contains information that will be usefult to them. However, the book came out in 2004 and is a little dated for today's cacher. For example, it says that the GC codes used to identify geocaches are 6-characters long. They were in 2004, but by 2011 so many caches have been placed that the code has expanded to 7 characters. Also, the focus on electronic devices include only PDAs and Pocket PCs. There is absolutly no information on Smart Phones. I think it's about time for the author to come out with a revision for this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I haven't fully read this book, I have used it more as needed. My children spent the summer with their grand parents who are avid cachers. We decided to keep the "traditon" alive when they returned to us. Our first cache was certainly an adventure. We ended up on private property (although in our defense, it wasn't marked on the side we were walking on and didn't see the signs until we were walking back the other way), and the property owner showed up. It turns out he has over 2500 caches all over the world and is quite devious with his hides. He told we must get a GPS and not use our phone, which is highly unreliable for caching.

He gave us an inpromtu class on caching, showing us the cache in the process (we were way off). He pulled the end cap off of a nearby fence, pulled out a hanger with a waterproof tube on the end - the log was inside. We never would have found it - needless to say - I will be setting aside some time to fully read this book. Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunt and I look forward to experiencing some quality time with my children.
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Format: Paperback
A friend of mine introduced me to geocaching two years ago, but it wasn't until Santa brought me a personal GPS this past Christmas that I really became an active participant. It did not take long for me to realize that geocaching is a little more complicated than just entering GPS coordinates. In the beginning days, I kept coming home empty-handed. Thank goodness for the very helpful book, Geocaching for Dummies by Joel McNamara. For me, this book was the difference between failure and success.

Geocaching for Dummies is broken down into many helpful chapters including Selecting a GPS, Hiding Caches, Seeking Caches, Using a Map and Compass, etc. McNamara also gives a short history on the history of geocaching. In 2000, the U.S. Government turned off Selective Availability--something that allowed civilians to get more accurate GPS readings. Three days later, Dave Ulmer posted coordinates online for a "stash" he hid in Portland, Oregon. Thus began the sport of geocaching. Ten short years later, there are almost one million "caches" hidden all over the world with between 2-4 million people searching for them. The premise for geocaching is simple: "you find some stuff, take some stuff, leave some stuff, record it in a log, and have fun!"

The chapters that I found most helpful were Using a GPS and Searching for a Geocache. It wasn't until reading Geocaching for Dummies that I discovered that GPS coordinates aren't always accurate and can have a margin of error of up to 49 feet. Also, I didn't realize that tree cover, clouds and other conditions can interfere with accuracy. McNamara also provides geocaching internet websites, geocaching programs, and an entire chapter on incorporating GPS and geocaching in education.

Even with Geocaching for Dummies, I had a very difficult time downloading cache coordinates into my GPS, although I suspect this may have been due to the brand of my GPS. But thanks to Joel McNamara, I'm not quite the neophyte I was a month ago.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2007
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Good book for the beginner. Extra information a geocacher does not necessarily need, but the background information is nice to know.
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on May 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is very much an introduction. If you are completely new to geocaching then this will certainly provide you with the basics, such as selecting and using a GPS receiver (not included!), choosing which caches to find, and how to begin searching.

If you know nothing about geocaching then this is the book for you. However, if you already have the basics, joining a geocaching webforum is probably a better option. That being said, this is a book for 'dummies'...!

One section that perhaps could be added in a future revision would be one on puzzle caches. Such a section could include information on how to begin with a puzzle (or "unknown") geocache, basic cryptology, unusual encryption systems and so on.

If I were to compile such a book, I'd totally hide a puzzle cache requiring longitude and latitude adjustments that were printed in the book. Adjustments such as "N -0.246 W +0.424".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Excellent book for beginners...much better than most of the user manuals that come with GPS..
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