Jsw wrote: can someone point me in the direction of a good affordable hand-held GPS that I could use to get into Geocaching with?
are a lot of these woods/hiking based? I don't want to be wandering around urban sprawl looking for a coffee can under a dumpster or something.
Any of the handheld Garmin or Magellan models work well. Both companies have models starting under $100. If you want good info/debate about GPS models go to http://www.geocaching.com
and check out their forum. They're dorky about that stuff the way we are about discs. A car one would possibly work, but only if it has an internal battery and you can carry it as you walk. Also, it can be worth getting a Topo program for your GPS to show topography in wooded areas (some cheaper GPS don't have the ability to load maps).
As far as the actual caching goes, visit http://www.geocaching.com/about/
for a great overview and instructions on getting started.
Many caches are in wooded/hiking areas, but caches can be urban, rural, underwater, or just about anywhere. The description page for each cache gives you a sense of what it's like. In addition to different kinds of terrain, there are different kinds of caches. Some are hidden boxes. Some are hidden notes. Some (virtual caches) are just coordinates of places that don't have anything hidden but are cool to visit like a waterfall or cave somewhere in the woods. Some caches are even multi-step treasure hunts where each cache gives you clues to find the next cache.