• Know the local laws. Is a leash required? The law likely requires poop-scooping in urban areas, and even if it doesn’t, scooping is the polite thing to do. Bring those supplies with you!
• Bring water for both yourself and your dog.
• Make sure your dog is current on all vaccinations, and use tick and mosquito protection for both of you. Consider a Lyme disease vaccination in areas where Lyme is prevalent. Check for ticks after caching in rural areas, and carry a tick puller.
• If you hide a cache, consider mentioning in the log if it is dog-friendly, and list local leash laws.
• Have fun, and remember to take your camera—you’ll want good pictures of your caching dog!
For more information on geocaching and GPS receivers, visit Geocaching—The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site.
CITO: Cache In. Trash Out. When caching, never leave water bottles, food wrappers or other junk behind. Even if you didn’t bring trash in, take along a bag and carry some out. This practice keeps the sport pleasant for fellow cachers and for the planet in general. (When caching with your dog, remember the corollary motto: CIPO—Cache In. Poop Out.)
Geomuggle: Unabashedly borrowed from the Harry Potter books (where the term “muggle” means a nonmagical person), a geomuggle is a non-cacher. When a cache is found (and sometimes destroyed or moved) by a non-player, the cache is said to have been muggled.
GPSr: Global Positioning Satellite receiver. GPSr units are usually hand-held, about the size of a cell phone, and range in price from $125 up to more than $1,000. The lower-cost units, because of their portability, are popular for geocaching and for basic navigation. GPSr units can be purchased at outfitting or electronic stores. New and used units are also available on the Internet. (See GPS for Dogs in Bark)
Log: The record associated with each cache, in which players record a find or comment on a cache. In addition to the small notebook commonly in placed in the cache container, a Web log is maintained at the geocaching Web site, and cachers can upload photos and leave messages for other players.
Spoiler: Cachers live for the hunt. Some believe the more challenging the hide, the better. If a log entry provides clues that give away the location of a cache, it is labeled as a spoiler.
TNLN/SL: Took Nothing. Left Nothing. Signed Log. This notation is used when you wish to log a find but don’t trade items.
Travel Bug (hitchhiker): An item that travels from cache to cache. Some travel bugs (TB) travel in a serendipitous fashion, while others have specific missions. (Some are even designed to travel to dog-friendly caches). Each TB is outfitted with a special tag with an ID number so its travels can be tracked.
Brandie Erisman is a journalist who writes and edits for newspapers, magazines and new media.