Pohick Bay Geocache Word Search

What: Pack 1545 Geocache Word Search

When: Saturday, October 5

Where: Pohick Bay Regional Park Campground

Here’s how the Geocache Word Search works. We’ve place signs that show a single word each at five locations in the vicinity of our campsite. We’ll give you a set of GPS coordinates, or waypoints, which will help you to get you close to each sign. We’ll also give you hints that will help you find each sign once you’ve gotten close. Find the sign at each waypoint and write down the word. Your challenge is to discover all five words. It’s kind of like a high tech scavenger hunt.

The waypoints are provided as a combination of latitude (the east-west bands that run around the globe) and longitude (the north-south bands). You can plug the latitude and longitude into a GPS (Global Positioning System) enabled device and use the device to locate the waypoint. This is easier than it sounds, if you have a smart phone with a map app (an iPhone or Android), then you have everything that you need to participate. Of course if you have a dedicated handheld GPS device then that will work too.

I won’t go into much of the technical nitty gritty, but latitude and longitude will be provided in decimal degrees format to make it easier to type it into your device. For example, a coordinate on your route sheet might look like this:

Latitude, Longitude



This is a parking lot, but not for cars.

If you’re using Apple’s Maps app on an iPhone, then you would type 38.672997,-77.173742 into the app’s search box, then press the search button. You should see a map of Pohick Bay with a red pin showing the location of the waypoint.  (You’ll probably find it easiest to work with the map in satellite or hybrid mode.) Now press the My Location button. This will show your current location on the map as a blue dot. Press the My Location button again to place the app into compass mode. In compass mode, you can tell if you’re moving toward or away from the pin marking the waypoint (you may need to zoom out in order to see both your location and the waypoint on the map).

If you’re using the Google Maps app on your Android or iPhone, then the instructions are the same except you would type loc: 38.672997,-77.173742 into the app’s search box.

As a convenience, you can find hyperlinked version of the waypoint coordinates on the pack’s web site. Open the page in your phone’s web browser, and then click the links to show the waypoints in your maps application. If you’re using Apple’s Maps app on your iPhone then browse to http://www.pack1545.org/gps/apple. If you’re using Google Maps, then browse to http://www.pack1545.org/gps/google. For Google, you may be asked if you want to open the link in Google Maps in your browser, or the in the Google Maps app. You should select the Google Maps app.

The waypoint will be located near, but not exactly at the “cache” (sign). Once you’re close, you’ll need to use the hint to find the sign. A couple of the hints include compass bearings. These are given as true north instead of magnetic north readings (don’t worry if you don’t know what that means, your device is set for true north by default).

All signs are located just off of trails or common areas that are near our campsite. You do not need to cross any roads, other than the dirt road that runs through the camp. None of the signs are placed in or near tent sites; please do not enter or walk through anyone’s campsite while participating in this activity. Your GPS device may temp you to go cross country “as the crow flies.” You’re welcome to do that, but it may be easier to find a trail that is going in the right direction. Again, all of the signs are located near established trails.