Looking for something new and fun to do on your next camping trip? Ever heard of Geocaching? It’s a “real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game that uses GPS-enabled devices.” (source) Participants are given a specific set of GPS coordinates and then using a GPS device, navigate to these coordinates to attempt to find the geocache hidden that that location.
What is a geocache? Well, it can be a variety of things. Typically, it’s a container that holds a small treasure from the previous person that uncovered the geocache. The containers come in a wide array of sizes, shapes and forms. Some can be as small as a clear film container and others might be a fake rock with a door. But there are also different types of geocaches. Some involve two or more locations, others involve puzzles you must solve before given the final coordinates and others might have you seek out a location based object rather than a treasure for the taking. Before you start out on your trek, it can be helpful to read all the information given about the geocache you chose so you know all you can about what you’re looking for. For a full list of the different types of geocaching, visit this webpage.
Sound fun? We think so! And it’s easy to participate. First, you have to register for a free basic membership. Once you’ve signed up, visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page to enter the local postal code and click “search”. A list of geocaches in the area you searched will appear. These can be located anywhere in the area, sometimes in parks, on the side of a street, or even underwater. Choose the one you want from the list by clicking on its name, which will then reveal the coordinates and hints about the geocache. Then, using your GPS device, such as a GPS-enabled mobile phone, enter the coordinates of the geocache. (Most smart phones have GPS capabilities; you’ll just need to download the app from your app store.) Now you’re ready to begin you treasure hunt! Use your GPS device to guide you as your search for the treasure. Look carefully because some are hidden really well! When you’ve found your treasure, sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
If you take the treasure from the geocache, be sure to replace it with something of equal or greater value. This is the first of the three rules for Geocaching. The other two are you need to write about your find in the cache logbook and log your experience at www.geocaching.com.
The game is pretty simple but filled with fun. So next time you’re camping, get a group together and go geocaching. It’s the modern-day treasure hunt and it’s still just as enjoyable! For all the information about geocaching, visit www.geocaching.com. Have geocaching stories? Share them with us by leaving a comment.
*All information about geocaching was gathered from www.geocaching.com.