Much like the game hide-and-seek, geocaching is a game in which people search for something hidden. Participants usually hide a small, waterproof container that contains a few small trinkets and a log with a pencil in a remote location. They then record its coordinates with a Global Positioning System (GPS) device. This code is then placed on the Internet so that other players may try to find the item, or items, that are hidden.
Geocaching containers are specially designed for use in this activity. They are generally waterproof containers, made of heavy-duty plastic with tight-fitting lids. They may be clear plastic so that treasure seekers can see what they have found, or brightly-colored to help geocachers locate them better.
Sizes vary, and the smaller geocaching containers are often about one to two inches (2.5 to 5.0 cm) long. These are ideal for hiding in small crevices and rocks. They may even be painted to match the area in which they are hidden, so geocachers will have to look more thoroughly in order to find the container.
Others used in this activity may resemble the necklaces often worn by swimmers to hold their valuables. These containers have a lanyard on them. The plastic container is usually rectangular in shape, and around 3-and-1/4 inches (8.3 cm) long by 2-and-1/4 inches (5.7 cm) wide. The top of these caches generally flip open at the top, and close with a latch-like mechanism.
Some geocaching containers are metallic so they can be easily stuck to a metal surface. These often resemble a nut-and-bolt, and unscrew when twisted — revealing the tiny log and other very small trinkets. Other magnetic containers may resemble clear plastic tubes, but are actually made of stainless steel.
Although there are a number of different geocaching containers available on the market, special ones do not need to be purchased for this activity. Any waterproof container with a lid, such as those used for food storage, may be used. The type of container chosen largely depends on the item or items being placed into it, and where the container might be hidden. Geocachers should also take into consideration whether or not animals could destroy the container when it is placed in its hiding spot.
Geocaching containers are usually relatively inexpensive to purchase. They can be found at many retail locations where GPS units are sold. Some designs may also be purchased online. These items are durable enough to withstand many years of use and reuse by many different treasure hunters.