Hafa Adai! Welcome to the Guam Geocachers Website
From Guam Geocachers
Where America's Geocaching Day Begins ----- Guam Geocachers: "Caching Since Ever Since" Now on Facebook!
Welcome to Geocaching on Guam!
Hafa Adai and welcome to the website for the World Famous Guam Geocachers! If you're here for business, vacation, to visit family or if you're new to geocaching on Guam, you'll find that there is a cache near you! Whether you're into boonie-stomping, PNG's, historical or clever hides, we've got them all. Don't hesitate to contact one of our local cachers if you'd like to join them for a bit of caching while you are here. You'll find that our geocachers are some of the friendliest and most helpful people in the world! There is a lot of great information and fun stuff on this website. Please check back often as changes are made every day!
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers called geocaches and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is an outdoor activity enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. It's a great way to discover the natural beauty and history of Guam, get some exercise, and enjoy the thrill of finding hidden "treasure"!
The 4 Rules of Geocaching:
1. Sign the logbook that is inside the cache.
2. If you take something from the cache, leave something of similar value in its place.
3. Replace the cache EXACTLY as you found it for the next cacher to enjoy.
4. Log your visit on www.geocaching.com.
You don't need much to participate in geocaching. If you haven't done so already, you'll need to set up a new account at geocaching.com. Don't worry, membership is free! All you need is a valid e-mail address. Once you've established your username, password, validated your account and set your home coordinates, you're ready to go.
Here's some of the basic things you will need to get started:
- A computer to access the website
- A GPS receiver (GPS enabled Smart Phones such as Androids, Blackberrys and iPhones work great in Guam!)
These are some essential items that are normally included in a geocacher's bag:
- Pen (some caches require you to bring your own pen to sign the log)
- Small notebook to write notes about the cache, your experience when finding the cache, trackable items, etc.
- Swag (items for trade)
- Plastic bag for picking up trash
- Extra batteries
Other items to consider:
- Small flashlight
- Small first-aid kit
- Cell Phone
- Mosquito Repellant
- Pair of tweezers (for those nasty nanos)
- Small mirror with extending handle (to look behind and under potential hiding places)
You can bring the following items if you would like to help maintain caches that you find:
- Marking Pen (For cache maintenance)
- Logbook (In case the logbook in the cache is filled or unusable)
- Pencil Sharpener (To sharpen pencils found in a cache)
- Zip Lock Bags - Various Sizes (To replace worn out bags in a cache to keep items from getting wet)
- Pen/Pencil (To leave in a cache in case the writing tool is no longer working or missing)
- Ready-made cache (For new cache placement if you come across a great spot)
Guam Maps For Garmin GPSs (including Nuvi)
There are two sources for downloading the Guam map for Garmin GPSs. The map from GPS Travel Maps costs $19.95 (as of January 2012) for a digital download and works with the Garmin nuvi, Etrex, Colorado, GPSMAP, Oregon and Dakota. You can click here to purchase the map. I have tried this map and found it to be not as detailed as the FREE version explained next.
If you want to try the FREE version (directions below), you can click here and have a go at it. You can find detailed directions on this website on how to download and install the maps to your GPS. And just for your information, you can also request a free map download from this same site for virtually any country in the world. I've used the site to upload various country maps to my Garmin Colorado and Nuvi and it works great! It even gives me turn-by-turn directions and for the most part, the street names are pretty accurate.
For the newer Garmin Nuvi's, the FREE version works like a charm. Here's how I installed it on my Nuvi 1490 LMT:
1. Request for the FREE map by clicking on this link. In the drop-down list labeled "Oceania", click on "Guam". Once you've selected "Guam", enter your e-mail address on the left and click on "Build My Map". You will receive two e-mails, the first to tell that it has received your request and a few minutes later, the second to give you the link to the map, which will be available for download for 120 hours before it is deleted from the server.
2. Click on the link in your e-mail which should take you to a window titled "Index of...".
3. Select: "osm routable gmapsupp.zip" and save it to your computer. Unzip this file and save it to your computer. The name of this file is "gmapsupp.img" and is the image map for Guam.
4. When loading the map to the GPS, you will probably have to load it to a Micro SD card as the Nuvi doesn't have enough disk space for the map. Make sure that you create a file folder on the SD card titled "Garmin". This is the folder that you would save the "gmapsupp.img" file to whether you are doing it directly to the GPS's memory or to the Micro SD card.
5. Connect your GPS to your computer via USB cable and allow it to view the files on the GPS. You can then copy the "gmapsupp.img" file from your computer to the GPS and make sure that you copy it to the "Garmin" folder.
That's all there is to it! You now have a fully functional map for Guam with voice turn-by-turn directions. This whole process took me about 5 minutes to do from start to finish. These directions are similar for most Garmins in that you download the map from the site, connect your GPS to your computer and copy the map over to the correct directory.
Finding Your First Cache on Guam
1. Login to geocaching.com.
2. Enter your zipcode and click "go".
3. Select a geocache by clicking on it's name.
4. Enter the coordinates of the geocache(s) into your GPS unit. All coordinates for Guam begin with N13 and E144.
5. Use your GPS unit to assist you in finding the hidden geocache. Remember the 4 Rules of Geocaching.
6. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
7. Share your geocaching stories and photos online. Visit the Glossary if you are interested in learning some of the terminology and acronyms used in geocaching.
Types of Caches
Knowing the type of cache you are looking for will certainly make it a lot easier to find it. Here are the types of caches you can expect to find on Guam:
- Traditional: The original type of cache consisting of (at a bare minimum) a container and a logbook. The coordinate listed on the traditional cache page are the exact coordinates of the cache.
- Multicache: There are many variations to multi-stage caches. The most common is that in which the first container or waypoint contains or provides coordinates to the next location. Another popular variant is a series of multiple waypoints, each of which provide partial coordinates for the final cache’s position. Offset caches are another form of Multicache.
- Mystery-Puzzle: The “catch-all” of cache types, this form of cache often involves complicated puzzles that you will first need to solve in order to determine the coordinates for the location of a cache. The posted coordinates are not the actual location of the cache but will be within 1-2 miles of the actual cache location.
- Virtual: A virtual cache is an existing, permanent landmark of a unique nature. The seeker must answer a question from the landmark and verify to the cache owner that he was physically at the location. No new virtual caches are being accepted by geocaching.com.
- Earth Cache: This is a unique but limited cache type. An Earthcache is an educational site that people can visit to view a unique geoscience feature on-the-ground. Logging an Earthcache find requires compliance with the requirements stated by the owner and the Earthcache Website, including answering the required questions by e-mail to the owner, providing original photos if so requested, etc.
- Event Cache: Event caches are gatherings that are open to all geocachers and which are organized by geocachers. Geocachers log an Event Cache as "Attended". They are normally required to sign a logbook at the event before they can officially log their find.
- Cache In Trash Out Event: CITO Event caches differ from a regular Event Cache in the fact that the main purpose of the CITO Event is to pick up litter at a park, remove piles of junk near a popular waterfront, etc. It is setup and sponsored by geocachers, not by other organizations, and is a one-time gatherig of geocachers to clean up a public area.
The ratings for difficulty and terrain are based on a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being easiest and 5 being the hardest. Knowing the difficulty and terrain ratings will help ensure that you properly prepare for your cache hunt.
The scale for difficulty is described as follows:
1 - Cache is in plain sight or location is fairly obvious.
2 - Cache could be in one of several locations. Hunter may have to look for a while.
3 - Cache may be very well hidden, may be multi-leg, or may use clues to location.
4 - Cache likely requires special skills, knowledge, or in-depth preparation to find. May require multiple days or trips to find
5 - Finding this cache requires very specialized knowledge, skills, or equipment. This is a serious mental or physical challenge.
Visibility, accessibility, and relative signal strength due to tree cover or other obstructions are taken into consideration when determining the difficulty of finding the cache.
The scale for terrain is based on the following:
1 - Paved pathway that is relatively flat and accessable to a person in a wheelchair.
2 - Well defined, hard-packed trail with little over-growth. Can access this with a bicycle. Slight elevation changes. Less than half a mile from the parking area to the cache.
3 - About 1/2 to 2 miles. Trail could be gravel, sand or mud in spots. Could contain waiste-high overgrowth. Slight elevation changes.
4 - 2 to 10 miles. Trail could be heavily overgrown. May require a machete to get through. May have poisonous or thorny plants. Moderate to steep elevation changes.
5 - Over 10 miles. Trail, what trail? May require specialized equipment to access the cache. May follow a stream-bed or be very rocky. Severe elevation changes. You may have to use your hands or slide on your backside. Very likely to have poisonous or thorny plants.
These are the cache sizes for all caches that have a physical container:
- Micro: Examples are 35mm film canister, bison container, etc. Less than approximately 3 ounces. Holds a log and maybe a few micro trades. A nano, the smallest cache available, only holds a log and is one of the sizes in this category.
- Small: Small sandwich-sized click-lock container or similar. Less than approximately 1 quart or liter. Holds a logbook and small trade items.
- Regular: Tupperware-style container, ammo can, etc. Holds a logbook and regular trade items.
- Large: 5-gallon bucket or larger.
- Other: See the cache description for the size.
Recommended Caches by Local Geocachers
- Guam's Best New Cache for 2008, As voted on by the Guam Geocachers in December 2008
- Guam's Top 10 Caches for 2008, As voted on by the Guam Geocachers in December 2008
- Bug B's List of Recommended Caches to do on Guam, by Bug B
- 2008 - 25 Tumon Caches for the Visitor to Guam, by Blygoat
- 2008 - Guam's Top 10 Cache List, As voted on by the Guam Geocachers
- 2008 - Guam's "Must Do" Caches from A - Z, As voted on by the Guam Geocachers
- 2008 - Top 10 List, by MJW71772
- 2008 - Cache Superlatives Winners, by Brunz_backpack and Nana&YaisMomma
Yes, Guam has it's own trackable geocoin. They are trackable on geocaching.com and have their own icon. The coin was introduced during the Guam Geocoin Event held on July 12, 2008. Blygoat just received a special order of these limited coins and they are available at $7.00 each. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on facebook.
Top Geocachers in Guam
Click here to view the latest list of the top geocachers in Guam. All Guam cachers who have 200 or more cache finds are on this list. This list is updated twice a week on Tuesday and Friday at 8:00PM Guam Standard Time (4:00AM Mountain Time: GMT-7).
Here is the link to the Australian Geocachers site which also has the top finders for the month: Guam Stats. You will need to create a free account on the site and log in at least once on their forums to access the information.
Milestones of Geocaching on Guam
The Latest 5 Milestones:
44. June 29, 2012 - DDRAMS and son, Oki-dude, are cachers from Okinawa visiting Guam. They have a goal of finding 100 caches in one day and it becomes known as the "100 Cache Dash". They meet up with Blygoat and begin caching at 7:45 am and hit cache number 102 at 6:15 pm. 10.0 hours of straight caching with a half hour break in between, they averaged 10 caches per hour or one cache every six minutes. DDRAMS and Oki-dude did a great job of preparing for this journey by solving most of Guam's puzzle caches before they came, creating their own GPX file for the Garmin, and having a great attitude during the day. They were rewarded with a Guam Geocacher's T-shirt, pen and geocoin for their efforts. DDRAMS surpassed his previous high of 42 caches found in one day and 87 caches found in a week! He almost matched his most finds in one calendar month of 108 caches. Congratulations and great job!
45. October 2, 2012 - It's taken awhile but we finally hit 650 caches on Guam! CrippledGoose has been on a roll and his cache, "Share the Road" is officially number 650 on Guam. Congratulations and TFTC!
46. December 12, 2012 - The Guam Geocachers participate in this once-in-a-lifetime event with a goal of placing 12 caches to be published on this date. 13 caches were actually published and the FTF rush was on! Of the 13 caches, Matzers had 9 FTF's (a new record for Guam caches) and Blygoat/Wandahfoh ended up with the other 4. Thanks to Geofreqman for placing 4 caches, Rhodesisland had 2, GuamGirl46 placed 2, TahoeGuam hid 2, Matzers came in with 2 and KK_kk had 1. All who found a cache on this day were awarded with the 12/12/12 souvenir!
47. December 31, 2012 - For the end of 2012, there were a total of 657 active caches on Guam, only 23 more than last year due to the number of caches being archived during the year. "Top Hider" for the year was Geofreqman with 28 hides. The "Top Finder" for the year was Matzers with 309 finds. The "Top Cache" found during the year was Japanese Two-Man Submarine with 34 finds. For the record, there were 108 new caches put out during the year by 18 geocachers. There were 4057 finds logged by 227 different cachers. There were 524 of our 657 caches that were found this year. These stats do not include those caches that were found but never logged. Let's see what 2013 brings!
48. February 28, 2013 - There are officially 2 million active caches! The 2 millionth active geocache was published on February 28 at approximately 5:11am Seattle time. It’s located in Australia. The 2 millionth active geocache is Overwatch #1 (GC46N4E). The traditional geocache is rated a terrain 3.5, difficulty 3.5 and promises to take geocachers to a lookout over the city of Alice Springs. Guam has 664 caches and is ranked 43rd out of 222 countries in the world with active caches.
See all Milestones of Geocaching on Guam