Geocaching is something that is becoming a little more mainstream. More people are discovering this worldwide treasure hunt, and I have to say that it is a blast! For those who don’t know what it is, I encourage you to check out geocaching.com. This can be as expensive or inexpensive hobby as you choose it to be, which in a society where money doesn’t go as far, can be a very good thing. My original interest in this came from a pin. I pinned it about two years ago and put it out of my mind until last summer. My parents had the kids for almost two weeks, so Tony and I had some time, and I suggested we try this thing called geocaching.
It starts with downloading the c:geo app, available through any appstore for free. Again, this can be a very cheap and fun hobby! You will need to create an account, choosing a geo-name. On the main screen of your app, one of the options is “NEARBY”, which will show you the closest caches to your location. By clicking on a particular cache, it will give you the details, such as location and stats. The stats include a basic description, such as why the person placed that cache, possibly a hint, the difficulty rating, which is how complicated it will be to find, and the terrain rating, which will give you a hint on how physically demanding it will be to access the cache and the size of the cache.
Once you get close to the cache, there is also a compass feature that will direct you closer to your cache. Then you need to rely on yourself to find it. Once you find the cache, hopefully, you just need a pen to sign the physical log and to log the find electronically on your app. This allows you to keep track of all of your finds. It also gives you a “smiley” on your geo-map.
The most common urban find, in my opinion anyway, is the lightpole. This was actually my first find, at the end of my street. They are usually a pill bottle, tucked under the skirt of a lightpost. Inside the cache, in this case, the pill bottle, you will find a log, which you sign and (usually) date, and sometimes small tradable items. Tradable items are usually simple things like character erasers or shells, inexpensive items.
Another nice thing about this hobby, is that it gets you outside. Yes, we live in a technological age, our phones are our lifeline, but it is still good to go outside, breathe fresh air! There are many caches that are placed in parks, or forested areas. These can be, but are not always, larger caches, with bigger tradables. My kids love these kind of caches. Yes, the toys are cheap and break, but to them, this is an actual treasure hunt! Caches can be resting against the base of a tree or tucked into a stump, so observation skills are a necessity for this activity.
Some of the COs, cache owners, get a little creative with the hides. These are always good for a laugh. They may have fake snakes guarding the hide, or in this case, fake poo!
Not all park hides are big. Some COs like to make things difficult by hiding micro or nano sized caches in the woods. This particular one is a perfect example of the necessity of observation skills. This is a bison tube tucked into a hollowed out tree branch. You have to start being aware of nature in a whole new way if you become a cacher!
Not all urban hides are lightpoles, some get a little tricky. Tony was particularly proud of this find, our first of this type. It was a small tube, suspended by fishing wire to a parking lot drain.
I have a lot more on this subject, so it will be broken down a little more over several more blogs. I hope I gave you some good starter information. I hope you’re looking forward to more! If you have any specific questions, send me a message and I will try to cover that in my next post.