“Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” www.geocaching.com
This fun, free game that swept the world started back in 2000 when American Dave Ulmer decided to test new technology which brought pinpoint accuracy to global position systems (GPS) on satellites.
Ulmer went out and hid an object in his local forest. He noted the GPS coordinates of his ‘stash’ and shared the coordinates with an internet based GPS user group along with a challenge for users to find the box using their GPS equipment. Ulmer’s only rule was “Take some stuff, leave some stuff.”
The idea took off fast, with people loving the combination of technology gadgets with getting into the outdoors. Soon the term ‘geocaching’ was coined and a website (www.geocaching.com) was set up to log the growing number of caches. There are now more than 3 million caches hidden in 180 countries around the world.
Geraldine has embraced the geocaching craze and keen searchers have the choice of more than 100 caches to hunt for around our lovely district. An awesome family activity it is also a pleasant way of discovering more about the area.
If you’ve never geocached before it’s really easy to get started by following the steps below. All you need to a smart phone and a little bit of curiosity!
- Join https://www.geocaching.com/play to register your profile and then download a FREE geocaching app to your phone from your app store (there are a number of these)
- Use the search function on your app to see the caches in your area
- Select a cache and follow the instructions to find it
- When you are in the location of the cache you’ll need to look around and follow any clues given on the cache log to find the cache/container. Normally a cache contains a small piece of paper (log) for you to record your name as well as some small items – remember “Take some stuff, leave some stuff”
- Try to be discreet when you are hunting around for the caches, you are supposed to avoid attracting the attention of ‘muggles’ (non-cachers) when hunting for a cache!
- Replace the container back where you found it and record your find on your phone app which then automatically logs it back to your geocaching.com profile
As you become more advanced you might feel like tackling multi-caches or even mystery caches but for now just enjoy the fun in finding a traditional cache. Make sure you check out www.geocaching.com for lots more information about ways to play.
The Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission