Geocaching is described as ‘the world’s biggest treasure hunt’ and if you aren’t already a geocacher you can watch a film that shows you how to get started here. Geocaches are everywhere, I was surprised when we started to find out there was one hidden at the end of my street. Around 2,700,000 geocaches have been listed – that is an awful lot of ‘treasure’ to find.
Geocaches are hidden items that come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The standard ‘cache’ is a box that contains a log book for you to sign when you find it and may contain small toys that you can swap . It can also contain ‘trackables’ which come in different forms. You log the trackable online when you buy it using the unique code on it. You drop it off in a geocache and the finder logs it online before dropping it in a different cache. You can track the trackable’s progress online . Some trackables have a mission that the owner wants them to achieve such as to reach a specific and you can help it on its way.
Other geocaches can be micro – very small caches about the size of a film canister (showing my age…) normally with a small roll of paper and pencil inside but not much room for anything else. Nanocaches are tiny magnetic caches and sometimes have tightly wound roll of paper inside but nothing else. Other cache variations include virtual caches solved through co-ordinates, caches solved by puzzles and various others. Wikipedia has a good guide to the type of caches here. We found a lovely book geocache in Crantock, Cornwall that was a library cache full of books you could borrow or you could drop off a book for others to read.
In our family we like the good old fashioned standard box cache. They are easier to find than micros and nanos and more straight forward than co-ordinates and puzzles. They are also more likely to have log books, small items to trade and trackables so are popular with kids.
HOW TO GEOCACHE
- Watch the video.
- Download the app to your phone.
- You can either search via the app for a specific destination or for nearby geocaches. You select a geocache to find and off you go using the gps on your phone to navigate to the cache, following the instructions. We find it helpful to read the hints which can give you a clue as to the whereabouts. Especially helpful if the cache is hidden in tree roots, in a wall, under stones etc. Check as well when the cache was last found in the comments. We tend to choose ones with recent finds where the know the cache is likely to be still in place. If the cache is missing or there is an issue with it its likely to say in the comments.
- You need mobile data when you are out to navigate to the cache. You can save the cache details offline in advance if you want to.
- When you find the cache, you can log online that you have found it and leave a comment.
WHERE JO GOES – GEOCACHING
I took these pictures of us geocaching at Tyntesfield, a National Trust property near Bristol with lots of geocaches hidden in the grounds. The cache we were looking for was number 8 of a range of caches available to find there.
- We followed the navigation via the mobile and found it off a path hidden under a pile of branches.
2. DDS were pleased, it was an easy and fun cache to find, near the childrens playground. It took about 5 mins to find after we looked on the app for the nearest cache.
3. Open it, sign the logbook if there is one, browse the contents
4.DD had a lego trackable figure she had been given as a present (great gift). She named the figure Wendy and our plan was to drop Wendy into a cache. Wendy has a number on her back so that she can be tracked online when she is found. The finder will then put Wendy in a different geocache. DD has decided that Wendy’s mission is to travel to Hawaii. Will she make it? #Where’sWendy?
5. As well as dropping off Wendy, we picked up a trackable from the cache. We logged it online and dropped it in a different cache on another day.
6. We put some small toys into the cache. Often you can swap but there were no toys in the cache to swap with. We carry a small bag of little toys out with us to put into caches.
This cache was a particularly good one as it was easy to find and contained the travel bug . Kids were happy, it had extended our walk at Tyntesfield and we wait with baited breath to see where Wendy ends up.
WHY WE LOVE GEOCACHING
- Our kids love it. Its a treasure hunt – whats not to like. Even if all you find is a box with a log book, the whole process of finding the cache is fun.
- It gets us out and about and gives a purpose for going for a walk.
- “who wants to go for a walk”? no answer? “who wants to go geocaching?” kids rush to get their coats on.
- Its free. You can pay a few pounds to upgrade to a premium geocaching service if you want to.
- You can do it everywhere – cities, countryside, home, abroad. Wherever you are click on ‘find geocaches near me’ on the phone app and you are off. There are 3 geocaches within 20 minutes of my house, they are everywhere. Why didn’t you know this? Because you are a ‘muggle’ AKA a non-geocacher. But download the app and join the geocaching world. #nomoremuggle
- Its easy. Download the app. Search for geocaches – off you go.
Leave me a comment and let me know whether you have tried geocaching and your tips and best finds if you are a seasoned pro!
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