Looking for some high-tech fun, adventure and treasure hunts? Then look no further than your nearest “geocache”. If you haven’t heard the term before, sit tight while I give you some of the basics on what the craze is all about.
Geocaching is an outdoor activity that incorporates a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System). The terms “geo” coming from geography and “caching” coming from the process of hiding a cache (or treasure). A cache is a container (or treasure) filled with inexpensive items and a log book to record your name and the date you found the cache.
What happens is people from all over the world place a “cache” in a hidden spot. They then post the GPS longitude and latitude coordinates of its location. To play, you input these coordinates into your GPS and set off in search of the treasure. A geocacher is the term used to describe someone who places caches and also the people that look for them. This isn’t a secret club or anything either, geocaching is open to anyone and everyone with a GPS unit.
A cache can be something as simple as a log book or a container full of inexpensive objects. The rules are that you can “trade” an object for an object. The trade is to be of equal or greater value in geocaches that have objects. While you don’t necessarily have to trade objects, at the very least make sure to sign the log book.
While it might sound easy enough, seeing the location on a map and then actually being there in the location of the cache can be very different. While GPS units can get you within a few feet of these locations, you have to remember that these caches will be “hidden” and you will have to search for them. Caches are typically hidden well to prevent accidental discovery by “muggles”. “Muggles” are what geocachers refer to “non-geocachers”.
To find out more information on geocaching, check out www.geocaching.com. This is probably one of the most popular and complete starting places for someone wanting to find out more information and get started. You can find out lots more information about the sport of geocaching and input your location to see what geocaches might be available in the area.
All in all, geocaching is a great family adventure. Kids love the idea of searching for treasures and it’s intriguing enough for adults to have fun while enjoying sights and locations you may not have realized were there. Also, the greatest “treasure” you may locate is the time you “find” with the people you love.