WHAT THE HECK IS GEOCACHING?
Geocaching is a global treasure hunt for the 21st century, BUT you are outside exploring the outdoors while learning about the environment. Welcome to the official Rockport-Fulton GeoTour! Here is an activity for the whole family to enjoy together. Geocaching is like nature’s very own “Pokémon Go,” so, yes you are on a smart device, but this activity is designed to make both parents and kids happy and entertained in a healthy way.
WHAT MAKES IT FUN?
There are over 50 geocaches on the Rockport-Fulton GeoTour and they are designed to help you explore the culture, geography, and history of Aransas County. If you like puzzles, riddles, and decoding mysteries, you’ll LOVE Geocaching. Each tour is rated according to difficulty for both the cache and the terrain from 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the most difficult. This makes it easy to choose age and physically appropriate finds no matter where you are in the world!
Most caches are hidden, and you must decode a clue or the exact location coordinates to find them. Others are relatively obvious to find, but you may still have to unlock the logbook to post your find. You may need code words, clues, and decryption, but just make sure there are no ‘muggles’ watching! Muggles are non-Geocachers and we wouldn’t want them to see the cache or disturb it in any way. Think of it as a secret club for Geocachers only, so don’t be left out. Get the app and discover the secrets of the Rockport-Fulton GeoTour today, from the location of bird sanctuaries to the Fulton Mansion State Historic Site!
Some Geocaches have multi-step processes to find them, tricks to open them, and may require clues or mathematics to figure out each coordinate. Some have travelbugs (metal dog tags with unique tracking numbers to attach to caches!) you can follow online, as they move from cache to cache, and some trackable bugs have specific goals you have to accomplish (like, “get me to Australia”, which means individual cachers pick it up and take it to another geolocation, and another cacher takes it from there, and eventually we hope it gets to its destination!). But every cache has a logbook which can be physical but is always available digitally. After each find, ‘log’ your find, and you can earn points at Geocache.com for your participation. You can also leave a message, thank your cache monitor, or report a damaged or missing cache. All using a secret Geocache language, i.e. anagrams specific to the activity.
Check out our Glossary for some easy to remember lingo! Some caches have little tokens in them which finders can take, as long as they replace it with one of equal or greater value. You can even create your own Geocaches on public or even private property, but always check with property owners first to learn about their specific rules.
HOW DO I DO IT?
First, you need to get the Geocaching app from Geocaching.com and have access to a smart device. Once you register on the app, and create your profile, you can go to the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce website (www.rockport-fulton.org/Geocaching) and download their GeoTour Passport (or stop by and get a hard copy!). Then click on the Search button. Next locate the Find Yourself in Rockport-Fulton GeoTour (GT4AF). Then just select a geocache and start Geocaching! Log your finds and the code words, then bring your passport to the Visitor Center to win a unique Pathtag, Geocoin, or souvenir.
Geocaching is a global phenomenon and there are many tour sources, so what are you waiting for? The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife (TDP&W) also offers geocaching throughout the state, check their website for specifics. The Rockport-Fulton Chamber’s GeoTour has been around since last July and is a true hit with Geocachers everywhere. So, get outside, sharpen your powers of observation, your ability to analyze clues, to unlock mysteries, to appreciate nature, and start logging Geocaches. You can also trade cache swag, meet friends, track travelbugs, earn souvenirs, and more. Geocaching has no limits and is always evolving in new and creative ways. From toddlers to grandparents, geocaching offers something for everyone and is always a fun and unique outdoor experience. Just be sure to follow the rules and watch for Muggles!