Geeks Day Out: Geocaching

Treasure ChestLast weekend I finally managed to get round to my first experience of geocaching.

Wendy (baby friendly holiday guru) introduced me to the concept of geocaching a couple of months back, but I hadn’t found the time before now (or really “got it” if I’m being honest!).

The concept is not as hard as I thought it was. It’s simply a worldwide treasure hunt coordinated by a website and the treasure or “cache” is located via a GPS (in my case, my Iphone).

I just signed up to the website and did a search online for my nearest buried treasure (the “cache”). Then, I downloaded an app to help me locate the cache via GPS and off we set, on our first ever geocache expedition.

We managed to locate two caches on the usual walking route we take – one of the caches had been hidden for two years, so we had spent two years wandering past it without knowing it was there.

Both caches were small tupperware containers with some “goodies” inside for the girls (we exchanged with some keyrings and erasers I’d brought along) and a list on which we wrote our names and dated to say we’d found and opened the cache.

Back at base, I went online (http://www.geocaching.com/) and recorded that we’d located the caches which were then stored in my online profile.

M (nearly 12) loved the experience – a good way to get kids out in the fresh air? – R is maybe a  bit young at nearly 4 to appreciate the hunting around part, but liked the “treasure.” Me? I liked being able to combine two of my favorite hobbies – country walks and my macbook!

I was amazed to discover that there are probably 30-40 caches within easy reach of my postcode, with more caches being hidden every day. Can’t wait for our next adventure!

Sign up for yours at http://www.geocaching.com/

Creative Commons License photo credit: Rhys Alton

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  1. says

    We started geocaching last year, in exactly the same way as you. Beware – its seriously addictive! After the simple, local caches you start working out the Puzzle caches. Then look further afield for caches to do on a day out, then you set your own caches, then you spend £££££ on mobile internet access doing some caches when you’re abroad on holiday……. its a slippery slope!

    Glad you enjoyed it though. We’ve discovered you never look at the countryside the same way again, and if you spot anyone behaving ‘suspiciously’, paper and GPS in hand, you’ll now mutter smugly ‘geocachers’!

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