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The Joy of Geocaching shipped to the publisher last night at 8 p.m. EDT after a frantic nine-day writing and editing binge in which Dana and I basically locked ourselves up and wrote for 14 hours a day.

Actually,it would have been easier if we were in one room. The problem was that I was in San Francisco for three of those days and we’ve both been in Florida since Monday. For the last two days,we’ve been staying at the beautiful Sheraton Sand Key resort and haven’t even been to the pool yet. Too busy writing. Well,that all changes today. Finally!

JOG facts:

  • 11 main chapters
  • 4 appendices
  • 16 mini-chapters,including five profiles of geocachers we met in our research.
  • 80,000 words
  • 120 photos and images

The draft manuscript would translate into a book of about 320-340 pages. Now begins the process of deciding how much of what we wrote makes it into print. The publisher is targeting late November/early December delivery. That’s how long these things take!

We hope to offer much of the manuscript as a free download,but that’s subject to discussion with the publisher. For now,here’s the short introduction,which should give some idea of how we came at it.

How to use this book

The Joy of Geocaching is a little different from other how-to guides because it’s about people as much as it’s about tips and tactics. That means this book is organized somewhat differently from other books.

There are four main sections:Preparing to Geocache,In the Field,Taming Technology and Beyond the Game. The first two are intended to get you out the door as quickly as possible with the best tactics in hand for maximizing found caches and minimizing frustration.

We put the technical stuff at the back. There’s some really useful material in the Taming Technology section on how navigation works,how to select a GPSr and great software and Internet tools you can use to make your outings more productive,but we know that stuff isn’t for everyone. It’s back there if you’re interested,though.

The final section is about groups,outings and how to use geocaching to promote your organization or business.

Looking chapter-by-chapter:

The Quick Start Guide gets you kicked off with step-by-step instructions for finding your first geocache. If we did our job right,it should be all you need to experience that initial rush of success.

The Joy of Geocaching (Chapter 1) is about the way geocaching changes people’s lives. There are lots of good stories there. Learn why people get so crazy enthusiastic about this global game.

Getting Around Geocaching.com (Chapter 2) and Planning Your Outing (Chapter 3) get you going on the comprehensive but quirky website that powers the game.

In Finding a Geocache (Chapter 4),we take you out into the field with advice from the world’s most prolific geocachers on how to find what you’re looking for —fast.

Hiding a Cache (Chapter 5) turns the tables by teaching you how to stash your own geocache,which is as much fun as finding one. You’re going to want to do this at some point,believe us.

In Caching to the Limits (Chapter 6),it’s back to people stories as we explore the motivations of cachers who take the game to its limits. These folks dangle from bridges or deprive themselves of sleep in the name of finding containers in all 50 states in just 10 days. They’re amazing –and a little nuts.

Navigation Basics (Chapter 7) tells how knowledge and technology have evolved to make it possible to pinpoint any place on earth with three-meter accuracy,which is pretty incredible when you think about it.

Chapter 8 (Choosing a GPS) is about,well,choosing a GPS receiver. We tested several units and asked experts for their advice so you can sort through the many options and avoid over-paying.

Software Goodies (Chapter 9) should satisfy your inner geek,because it’s all about cool software tools for geocaching. It certainly satisfied Paul’s inner geek to write it.

Social Side (Chapter 10) is about camaraderie,friendship and having pizza together,which are three things geocachers do very well.

Geocaching in Education and Business (Chapter 11) tells how people are using the game to teach Shakespeare,attract customers and build management teams.

There’s also a cool glossary that we adapted from the nice people at GeoLex.

Throughout this book you’ll find mini-chapters we call Waypoints. These are a mix of fun and fascinating facts. There are also sprinkled throughout profiles of several of the experts we interviewed for this book and collections of the stories we gathered. Mostly,Waypoints and the profiles are just fun. Which is what geocaching is. So have fun!

1 comment to Shipped!

  • lostcub

    I am so intrigued by geocaching,just not for the right reasons. I have heard it be said that you either love it or hate it. I want to love it,but can’t seem to find the way,or for that fact what to love! I have a friend who is into geocaching and have went along with him a few times to see what it is all about. On these trips,beyond the basics of being with friends and being out,I see nothing but the things I desire least in life.

    It reminds me of running errands. In and out of the car,signing your name,and going on to the next place.

    It reminds me of looking for an errant golf shot and landing of that golf ball. Only never being able to craft a shot out of the tall grass onto the green.

    It reminds me of finding old toys at goodwill only to realize they mean nothing to me.

    It reminds me of tee ball when we didn’t keep score and we just played for “fun”when it wasn’t fun not to keep score.

    It reminds me of finding old baseball programs that I took to games and filled out the scorecard. Only to remember that the Steve Sax went 2-4 with a stolen base and then realizing that it really doesn’t matter.

    Maybe I should be more caring and nostalgic. That could help. Maybe I should just lower my expectations. I really don’t know.

    I love being out and I love seeing new places in the environment. I love scenery and meeting new people,but I can’t seem to understand geocaching,even with those likes that I have!

    It’s not like running,or hiking,or video games,or toy trains,I get those things. I really just don’t get geocaching! I feel like I can’t have closure with it until I know what it is all about. I really didn’t have much fun when I was doing it. There wasn’t much skill involved,beyond the skill learned while searching for lost keys.

    I plain out don’t get it.

    To each his own,I wouldn’t ever put it down. I probably have activities in my life that people don’t get. But those people could probably understand what it is that I do. And if they didn’t,I would hope they would ask me in a search for understanding.

    In that direction,can you please explain to me what it is that I am missing about geocaching?

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