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The Joy of Geocaching: How to Find Health, Happiness and Creative Energy Through a Worldwide Treasure Hunt Paperback – April 1, 2010
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"Must-read...I think it is the most entertaining, educational and compelling book yet written about our marvelous obsession." --Ed Manley, The Online Geocacher
"Paul and Dana Gillin show...the passion and intensity that drive some of the most dedicated cachers.This book is an incredible resource to include in the geocacher's toolkit." --Kimberly McRae, Suite101.com
From the Author
We're Paul and Dana Gillin and we love geocaching. When we went looking for a book to help us become better geocachers, we were surprised to find that no new titles had been published in more than four years. That's why we wrote The Joy of Geocaching.
We interviewed scores of the world's most successful and enthusiastic cachers as well as geocache owners, extreme cachers, community organizers, educators and even businesspeople who use caching to promote their companies and destinations. We accompanied people on power-caching expeditions and visited with local groups. We traveled all over America in search of log books in Tupperware containers.
In the process, we discovered the geocaching is more than a game. To its most enthusiastic players, it's a passion, a love affair and a life-changing experience. We heard hundreds of wonderful stories and the packed as many as we could into this book.
The Joy of Geocaching teaches the ins and outs of a game that counts more than three million players in nearly every country in the world. But more importantly, it's about people connecting with each other to find health and happiness through a worldwide treasure hunt.
Please visit the book website at joyofgeocaching.com for more photos, videos and stories.
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
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The book recounts the human side of geocaching. It starts off with the inspirational story of Ed Manley who was at the brink of suicide until he discovered the sport. Not every transformation in the book is as dramatic as Manley's, but the book tells the stories of people who were couch potatoes, turned avid hikers; and people who were overweight and out of shape who used geocaching to get fit. It profiles a number of individuals and delves into what attracts them to the sport.
As a "how-to" book it however falls short. The book contains enough errors to show that the authors' research was substandard.
One key error was a misinterpretation of [...] (the primary geocaching listing site) guidelines for hiding a cache. The authors claim caches can be hidden in holes and as long as they are not covered with soil "anything goes". They reinforce this later by saying "The only hard and fast rule is that caches can't be buried. They can be all but buried, but must be available without digging". In fact any digging whatsoever in order to hide a geocache is forbidden by [...]. Whether or not the cache is covered with soil or digging is required to find it is irrelevant.
These irresponsible passages suggest that it's OK to dig a hole to hide a cache as long as you don't put dirt on top of it. Yet it is contrary to the [...] guidelines and the ethic of the sport which prohibit any digging in order to hide a geocache.
In the chapter on extreme caching on page 123 they show a photo of a geocacher on the supports of a bridge with a geocaching related graffiti painted on the bridge. The caption says "note the smiley" (a common geocaching term). On the following page they quote the cache owner as saying he painted the "smiley" on the bridge. They give the impression that graffiti is acceptable, as they highlight the vandalism, but don't condemn it. In fact this vandalism is unacceptable in the geocaching community and needs to be condemned, not featured in a how-to book.
There are numerous other errors that could have easily been avoided with a little research. The authors state that the [...] website requires a separate membership fee, when in fact any member of [...] can access all the member features of the [...] sister site.
Their evaluations of the cache difficulty ratings seems to be off and not in line with the commonly acceptable ratings. 15 minutes of searching for a difficulty 3 cache? Not if it is rated accurately.
Another quarrel I have with the book is that the human interest side focused on geocachers with extremely high numbers of hides and finds, which might make it appear to new geocachers that obtaining numbers are a path to status and the goal of the sport. Neither are true.
There is however a lot of valuable information in the book for new geocachers. The Navigation Basics chapter would be useful to anyone who is new to GPS use. New geocachers might appreciate the chapters on how to navigate the [...] website, what to bring on a cache hunt and an introduction to the mores and taboos of the sport.
Yet despite the plethora of useful information, The Joy of Geocaching's errors make it a questionable resource for new geocachers and I can't recommend it.
This book is a great way to gain a better appreciation of what geocaching is, some of the "rules" and some great stories from some of the top geocachers, and certainly most interesting, geocachers around the globe. The book is written in an easy to read format with great pictures and bios interspaced about geocaching tips, tricks and events. As a relative newbie, I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about this event and can attest that geocaching has brought my family closer together.
An enjoyable read, I highly recommend this book for those starting and those with thousands of finds!
The most helpful part of the book to me, though, was the chapter on Software Goodies for Geocachers. As soon as I finished that chapter I sat down at my computer and downloaded GSAK. I had heard other cachers talk about GSAK before, but I never knew what it was. I thought it had something to do with all those smartphones people are carrying around with them while caching (I still use a Handspring Visor with CacheMate for my paperless caching). After reading the chapter (and getting an AWESOME step-by-step beginners guide to GSAK), I'm ready to bring my laptop on the road with me and have my wife log the cache as we're driving the the next one.
The best thing about this book, hands down, is the authors. Paul and Dana are great people to talk to and are engaging writers with an obvious passion for what they write about. They clearly understand the Joy of Geocaching and have conveyed it wonderfully for newbies and experienced cachers alike.
This book is filled with much knowledge, lots of stories, and great ideas. It is a must read for geocachers, outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, bikers, and couch potatoes (get up and cache!).
Thanks for the great book! I enjoyed it a lot and can't stop talking about it (just ask my wife!)!
~Casey Pettitt (Trekly)
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The Joy of Geocaching is the polar opposite.Read more