What is Geocaching?
The Mr. Toot Adventure
Mr. Toot is the mascot of the North Iowa Band Festival, and representative of Mason City as a whole. His image has appeared on everything from t-shirts to business cards, banners on light poles, and even the water tower. Now, his image has been used to create a geocaching trail throughout the Mason City area. Each of the puzzles in this collection of caches includes a fun fact or story related to Mason City history, native son Meredith Willson, or “The Music Man” theme. Questions answered correctly reveal coordinates and clues that lead geocachers along the Mr. Toot trail.
So, what is Geocaching?
Up until a few weeks ago, I myself did not know much about geocaching. Now that I’m in-the-know, I’m excited to share the fun and my new found knowledge! Geocaching is an adventure you can literally do anywhere in the world and can be enjoyed all year round. You can play with your friends, the fam, or plan an event around this real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game!
How To Play
Players navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. If you’re a newbie to the world of geocaching (like me), I recommend you start at the simplest level of play by following these 7 steps:
- Register for a free Basic Membership at geocaching.com to view a map of geocaches near you.
- Visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache“ page, and search for “001 Mr. Toot”
- Answer the question to solve the North & West coordinates
- Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device or cell phone (official Geocaching® mobile app is also available for download)
- Search the location for the hidden cache (you may be wondering what does a geocache look like?)
- Once found, sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location (don’t forget to bring a pen with you when you start your hunt)
- Keep solving the clues & finding the caches until Mr. Toot appears on your GPS (picture above)
The only necessities to Geocaching are a GPS device or a GPS–enabled cell phone so that you can navigate to the cache. Check out our Downloadable Gear Guide to prepare you for a fun filled day of geocaching.
A few things to keep in mind and to be respectful of when Geocaching:
- Trash – if you see it, please pick it up
- Notify the owner of a cache if a cache is missing or broken
- Put the cache back where you found it. If you feel that the cache may not be located in the correct location, please email the cache owner directly, or post a log on the cache listing page
- If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value
- Sign the paper log inside the cache (again, be sure to bring a pen)
- Log your experience online
Types of Caches (earthy, mystery, virtual, etc.)
There are currently over a dozen ‘cache types’ – each cache type brings a different variation to the game. Luckily, the only type of cache you need to know for the Mr. Toot Adventure is the ‘mystery or puzzle’ cache – the icon is a blue circle with a white question mark. To view the full list of caches > CLICK HERE