What is Geocaching

What is Geocaching - Zoe and Bubs in te rain looking for a cache



Eagle eyed views may have noticed a new item on the newly designed site - GEOCACHING - you'll possibly even have noticed that clicking it brings up an empty return, or it did until now (this post should appear there from now on). But What is Geocaching?

What is Geocaching


In simple terms it is treasure hunting for the 21st century. You download an app (either the official Geocaching one or similar) or use your GPS machine, sign up to Geocach (there is a free option or a paid option - try it for free first I'd suggest), select a "cache you want to look for (there are millions all over the world so bound to be something near you), and then follow the arrow on your device to the location.

Screen Shots of the iPhone App


Geocaching app showing the map where you can chose which  cache to look for
Geocaching app showing the map where you can chose which
cache to look for

App showing direction you need to go and the Distance.
App showing direction you need to go and the Distance.

Compass showing direction to walk and distance.
Compass showing direction to walk and distance.

Cache details (you have to scroll down for description and hints) This is also where you log the cache.
Cache details (you have to scroll down for description and hints)
This is also where you log the cache.

Simple As That?


Sounds simple right! Well in principle it is, the tricky parts come when you realise some of the hidden caches are tiny! They range from large ammo boxes to tiny smaller than a thimble sized canisters and all you have is a clue (if you are lucky) and a grid reference. The cache (the item you are looking for) can be hidden in easy places or really tough ones, we once found one that was attached to the inside of a bench strut once.

What is Geocaching
What is Geocaching
Pin Me.


Once you have located the cache you can usually sign a small piece of paper inside and log it on the app/account you are signed into. Larger caches may often include a little swap (a small toy or trinket that you can swap with something you may be carrying - it's advised if you plan on geocaching with kids to take a few small toys, we use little Lego type men, as they will almost always want to swap something, as it is part of the excitement), you may even be really lucky and find a "Trackable" (more on those later).

The Fun


You can spend hours searching for Geocaches, if you find an area rich with them (we had a walk not so long back where we walked around one Milton Keynes estate that is literally surrounded by caches), part of the thrill comes from the hunt, but part also comes from the secrecy! Yes that's right you are not supposed to make it obvious what you are doing. In fact part of the game is to make sure "muggles" (non geocaching people) don't see you.

The things you can find are great as well, from the joy at finding a tiny cache, hidden in thick undergrowth (hey when you search an area for 30 minutes actually finding the hidden treasure becomes really rewarding) to the items that may be in the cache. Little toys are fun for the kids but the real thrill for us oldies is finding a trackable. A trackable is an item that has been specially brought that has a code which can be tracked, you can see where this little object has come from, and where it has been, and you can take this item with the unwritten agreement that you will place it in another cache some distance away, ready for the next finder.

You can find out about the sort of fun we have by reading my all Geocaching posts or have a look at these selected posts (it really is fun for all the family):

Geocaching Campbell Park
Geocaching Cosgrove Canal

What Equipment do you Need?


In reality all you need is your smart phone, this will allow you to find the caches and join the fun, but you might find you want more. We don't leave the house without a small tube of trinkets to swap out (cheap lego men from the pound shop), a pen and pencil to write on the, sometimes tiny, log sheets that you'll find in the caches (you can even buy special stamps if you want). But that is what makes it fun you don't really need to be laden with stuff to just have fun.

We also carry a few replacement logs or scraps of paper in case we find full or damp logs, and we never go Geocaching without our trusty portable phone chargers!

Geocaches are found everywhere, and can be found in any weather (we've yet to hunt in snow but have covered every other type of weather). But most of all it is great fun for all the family.

The Joy of Finding a Cache.
The Joy of Finding a Cache.

Linking to...


Diary of an imperfect mum

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4 comments:

  1. My phone isn't smart enough for this, but I have stumbled across some 'caches' whilst on my travels at Willen Lake, and Anglesey.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a vague recollection of seeing a cache before I knew what one was, floating by a river after a flood, but it's a fun activity (although I am pretty rubbish at finding them).

      Delete
  2. I think this is a great idea! I wonder how many more smart phone outdoor games will be developed over the next few years? #ablogginggoodtime

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The potential is there for so many, and they are a great way of getting the kids outside.

      Delete

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