Basic Guide to: Geocaching

Geocaching is something that I was introduced to about a year ago and even though it has been around for years, a lot of people still don’t know about it.  I regularly go geocaching with my boyfriend, James and now that the weather is getting a bit better, we plan to go a lot more 🙂

 

What is Geocaching?   

Geocaching is almost like a huge treasure hunt that anyone around the world can join in with.  Users hide ‘caches’ and then log the coordinates of said cache on an app, ready for other users to find.

Caches can be in the form of anything from a large container, to a tiny little magnet and are hidden in places where you would least expect to find them.  In fact, you have probably walked past a geocache, many times before without realising it is even there!  Some of the larger caches contain little gifts and prizes which you can take, providing you replace it with something of an equivalent value.

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A typical geocache

All that you need to do to find a geocache is download the app on your phone and do a search of the area that you’re in.  Once you find one you want to look for, click on it and you will be given a clue and how many meters away you are.  When you have found it, you need to sign the log within the cache and also mark it off on the app.  This lets you keep track of how many you have found and also any you couldn’t find, should you want to try looking for it again in the future.

It sounds easy but some of the hiding places are extremely clever and there have been a few times that we have given up out of frustration!

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Hidden in the most unlikely of places!

 

Things you should know before you start

There are two different versions of the app:  a free version and a paid for version (If I remember rightly, this cost around £7).

The paid version seems to have less geocaches listed on it (which seems strange as you are paying for it), but it does give you the option of making ‘offline lists’ which are great if you know you will be going somewhere with limited 3G or internet.

The Free version allows you to look at a larger map area and seems to be updated a lot more frequently than the paid version.

We use a mixture of both apps, but if it’s your first time geocaching, you could create an account online and then use the free app to see if you like it first before paying.

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The green dots show where you can find a geocache (on the free version of the app)

What you will need to go geocaching

There isn’t much that you do need, but the following are advised:

A phone- So that you can use the app to locate the caches

A pen– for signing the caches when you find them!

Suitable footwear– Geocaches are often hidden in woodland and grass which is often muddy.  (I learnt this the hard way after accidentally standing in ankle-deep mud whilst wearing my suede pumps!)

Once you have these, you’re ready to start geocaching!

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A typical geocache

The great thing about geocaching is that you can make a day of it, or you can spend a spare ten minutes searching for a nearby cache.  It is suitable for all ages and it is great for exploring areas that you wouldn’t necessarily go to.  I especially love that a lot of caches contain information and local history about the nearby area, so you often learn something at the same time!

There is a huge geocaching community out there and I have even seen meet-up events advertised, although I haven’t been to one of these yet, but hope to go in the future.  There are over 2 million geocaches across the world, so you are more or less guaranteed to find one in almost every country in the world.

Give it a go if you haven’t already, but I will warn you, it is very addictive and you will be forever checking your phone to see if there are any caches nearby! 

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Signing the cache’s log

 

 

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