2000 – Up until May 1, all GPS signals were scrambled for protection. President Bill Clinton announced they would be turning off the Selective Availability (SA) because it didn’t propose a greater threat. But it also gave geeks something new to play with. But what to do?
Dave Ulmer ultimately started the GeoCaching phenomenon. He hid a bunch of trinkets out in the woods of Portland, Oregon. He then went to the USENET group sci.geo.satellite-nav and stated “If you take something, leave something”.
The Usenet message:
From: Dave ([email protected])
Subject: The Great American GPS Stash Hunt!
The Great American GPS Stash Hunt !!
Now that SA is off we can start a worldwide Stash Game!! With
Non-SA accuracy it should be easy to find a stash from waypoint
information. Waypoints of secret stashes could be shared on the
Internet, people could navigate to the stashes and get some
stuff. The only rule for stashes is: Get some Stuff, Leave some
Stuff!! The more valuable the stuff the more stashes will be
I’m thinking of half burying a five gallon plastic bucket with
lid at the stash point. Putting in some stuff. Adding a logbook
and pencil so visitors can record their find. The log should
contain: Date, Time, What you got, and What you put in. Scanning
the log book should give you a quick inventory of the stash.
I’ll look for a place near a road where few people would
normally go… Put in some cash, an old digital camera, and some
antique silverware!! I will come up with a cool name for my
stash and post coordinates soon!!!
Make your own stash in a unique location, put in some stuff and
a log book. Post the location on the Internet. Soon we will have
thousands of stashes all over the world to go searching for.
He also made a video, which has the container and contents.
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