Geo Caching is like going treasure hunting with the utilization of a Global Positioning System (GPS) in order to find the location of said “treasure”. Going on one of these “treasure hunts” is a great way to spend quality time outdoors enjoying nature. While hunting for the cache (a hiding place, for ammunition, food, treasures, etc.:) you can explore areas that you didn’t even know were there. You may find a park that you were unaware of; or you may find some trails in your community that are off the beaten track. You can never tell what new thing you may stumble upon while geocaching.
Geocaching is also a great way to spend quality time with your family. With television, and the Internet it is sometimes hard to get your kids (or yourself for that matter) to spend time outside. When I was a kid we played outside all of the time. In today’s society it’s like pulling teeth to get the kids (especially teenagers of which I have three) to spend time outside. It is easy to just sit on the couch and watch a television program or movie, not to mention all the video game systems that are available to day that can keep a person glued to the screen for hours upon hours at a time. Nothing can beat the fun and excitement that you can get by just getting into the good old outdoors, but you have to get there in order to experience this fun. Just knowing that the outdoors is there and recognizing the fact that there could be some fun, and interesting things to do out there does not actually get you out there. You have to make the move from the couch to the woods, park, lake, campground or whatever.
This is where an activity like geocaching can come into play. Our lives are so structured that we feel that we must always be doing something. The days of just taking a quiet walk in the woods for the most part are over. However if we can incorporate an “activity” with our walk then perhaps we would be more motivated to get out there, and get some fresh air, and exercise.
What can be found in these treasure caches? Although the proper definition for a cache includes things like food, and ammunition neither one of these things should ever be placed in a geocache. First of all animals have a very keen sense of smell, and therefore could smell the food and carry off or destroy the cache. Ammo and the like shouldn’t be placed in a cache because people of all ages look for and find geocaches, so only things legal, and appropriate for the young ones should be included. This also means that no weapons of any kind should be left in a geocache. Typically you will find a logbook of some sort that all visitors are to sign, and trade items. Trade items are not required, and in fact some caches are just too small to include trade items, but the larger ones almost always contain small trade items. It is not required to leave and item, although if you take something you are required to leave something in its place.
How do you go on a geocache? How do you know where one might be located? Well this is where your GPS comes into play. The first thing you must do is located a source or listing of where geocaches are located. The best way is to find an online site; just type in geocaching into your web browser, and check one out. On these sites you can select what area you are in, or plan to be in, and see the latitude/longitude location along with a brief description of geocaches in that area.
At this point you may be thinking to yourself; if you already have the latitude and longitude location of the cache; how hard could it be to find the treasure. Although GPS technology has come along way in recent years it is still not pin point precision. Most systems with a good signal (which you may or may not even have, depending on the canopy cover at your location) will only get you within 49 feet; So you can see how finding a small Tupperware container in the woods in a radius of 49 feet or so could be challenging. That is why this “sport” is so addicting. Once you are successful a few times you just can’t wait to get back out there and try to find more. You get a real since of accomplishment when you find a well done, and hidden geocache.
There is another type of treasure hunt that may interest you that uses much of the same principles that geocaching does. What could this be you ask? I will get to that momentarily. What if I told you that you could go on a treasure hunt anytime that you want no matter where you are. You could be at home, on a business trip, on vacation, or even at the relatives. This treasure hunt could be right at your fingertips, or at least within reach from where you are right now. Sound interesting?
Let’s first summarize the basics of geocaching. First you have to decide to do something instead of just sitting on the couch. Just like you can’t enjoy the outdoors just because you accept, and recognize the fact that it is there; you can not enjoy this type of treasure hunting unless you make the conscience decision to get yourself involved. Secondly in order to go on a geocache you must have the right tools; at the very least a decent GPS receiver, and a map of the area would not hurt. Once you have decided to get out there, and have the tools in hand you have to know or have the ability to find out where to look for said treasure.
Well that is why we have the Bible. The Bible? Yes the Bible is full of treasures, just waiting for you to uncover. The Bible was not written and preserved through the centuries just so that it could sit on a bookshelf or coffee table. It is not written so that it could be used as a weapon against others, but rather is a personal letter to you from your creator. In order to find the treasure located within the covers of the Bible you have to move from an attitude of just knowing that it is there, and knowing that it includes valuable information to an attitude, and willingness to dig into it to what it is that God is trying to say to you today.
The tools necessary to study the Bible, and find these treasures are as follows:
- A Good Bible
- Bible Handbook
- Bible Concordance
- Bible Dictionary
You can get additional insights from a Bible Commentary; however I would caution you to diligently attempt to figure the passage out using the for-mentioned methods before reverting to a commentary. You may be able to find further insights on your own, but if you fill your head what someone else has said the passage means you could miss out on a real blessing.
This is the only tool you absolutely cannot do without. The rest of the list however will make your study more profitable.
I like Halley’s. A Bible handbook will give you some background information on every book in the Bible that will help you to see what was going on during the period when your selected passage was written.
A good bible concordance will help you to located all references in the Bible where a certain word or subject is used to further help you distinguish what it is that God is trying to tell you. The Bible is not of any private interpretation, but is interpreted by comparing scripture with scripture. 2 Peter 1:20, 1 Corinthians 2:13. Make sure that the concordance you chose is matched up with the version of the Bible that you have.
Sometimes you will come across a subject or word that you are not sure of, and that cannot be found in a traditional dictionary; that is where a Bible Dictionary comes into play.
How does Bible Study tie in with geocaching? When geocaching you must know the location of the treasure. The address of the cache is in the form of a longitude, and latitude, which gives you the precise location (within 49 feet or so). The Bible is written much the same way. We have references that tell us precisely where a passage is located. This is where your concordance or a subject Bible comes into play. You can look up a word or subject in the concordance and with the utilization of the reference you can find exactly where it is in the Bible.