EathCaches are a category type for Geocaching.com. They are very different from the other cache types in that there is no physical container at the end of the search.
What is an EarthCache?
An EarthCache site is a special place that people can visit to learn about a unique geoscience feature or aspect of our Earth. Visitors to EarthCache sites can see how our planet has been shaped by geological processes, how we manage the resources and how scientists gather evidence to learn about the Earth.
We have found several EarthCaches but have just recently started creating them. Creating an EarthCache is much different than creating any of the other geocaching types. There is a lot of research that goes into the creation because an EarthCache has to teach a legitimate geological lesson. We started by picking Arthur’s Rock, a location we were fairly familiar with after several hikes and having hidden a Wherigo at the park. Since this is state land we had previously obtained permission for the Wherigo and therefore had a contact to start with. As with anything, we wanted to produce the best product we could. We started searching online and came across a bookmark list entitled Top 10 EC’s by Earthcache.org. It only seemed logical that we would then model our EarthCaches after the “best of” list.
We developed the EarthCache, GC5F195 Hiking with GeoTom #7, and submitted it for publication. This is when we learned something else about EarthCaches. There a a small number of reviewers nationwide so the process is much slower.
After publishing our first EarthCache, a new program went live on the EarthCache site called EarthCache Academy. This new program provides bite sized geology lessons and then gives you a certificate at the end. Additionally, if you develop a new EarthCache based on the lessons you get a special badge for your profile.
After our first was published, we started working on our second, GC5X2XJ Hiking with GeoTom #8. For this one we enlisted the help of Kingosric ,a geocacher from South Africa I was working with on another project. With his guidance, a lot of research, and the lessons from EarthCache Academy we were able to develop and get our second one published.
We have published our third EarthCache, GC5YQCF A Violent Explosion. Besides being excited about putting out quality caches, there is an incentive for finding and creating EarthCaches called the EarthCache Masters Program. Having three published we are at the platinum level. Woohoo! We decided to celebrate and reward ourselves by purchasing this EarthCache Master Geocoin.
We will attempt to develop and publish more in the future but will likely wait until we gain more knowledge from the EarthCache event that is coming to Denver in 2016.
We are currently at the Platinum level:
We also have achieved one of the new badges: