Remember when you were young, and a great big game of hide and seek, or a treasure hunt was one of the most exciting things in the world? How would you have reacted at that age if you knew there was the opportunity to get involved in a massive international game of hide and seek?
Well, that’s exactly what I’m briefly going to tell you about: geocaching. At the time of writing this, there are 2,278,550 geocaches around the world, and even out of it (there’s one on the international space station)! Also, the best bit? You’re also playing with over 6 million other people.
You can create an account online for free, and immediately start searching. I urge you: go online, and type in your address, or your home city, and I’m sure you’ll be amazed to find geocaches virtually on your doorstep.
I’m sure at this point you’re shouting at the screen, “But Jo, what is a geocache?!” Well, dear reader, a geocache is a small container in a certain location. They can range in size from being large box, to just being the size of a screw. They also very in shape or type – I found one which was placed inside a snail shell!
Again, I’m sure you’re wondering, “But Jo, how do I find a geocache?!” Again, no worries. When you search a location on the website, it gives a lot of information. Important is the set of GPS coordinates – You can then input this into your GPS device, or if you fancy a challenge, download the geocaching app on your Smartphone or Ipod and that way you can get a map with your geocaches on, which you can use to help find it.
You also get giving a hint, which may be simple, or very cryptic, to help you locate the geocache when you get to the location. It’s as simple as that!
When you find the geocache, you can look inside, and find a logbook which you can write your name on (bring a pen!), a number of small items which other individuals have put in (you can help yourself to these, as long as you put something of equal or greater value in), and maybe even an elusive travel bug (which you can take out of a geocache, record it online, and put it in the next geocache you go to) which travels between geocaches.
I’ve found geocaching to be a fantastic way to complement a walk or cycle, to explore and learn about an area, to have a fantastic adventure, and to have fun with friends and family! Many people are initially skeptical, but I’ve seen the greatest skeptics show some true dedication and go to great length to find a geocache, having a lot of fun at the same time!
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