We all loved a treasure hunt as a child even if it was just the annual Easter egg hunt around the garden. Well, you can relive that treasure hunt joy into adult life too or see the kids faces light up as they try this activity out.
So Geocaching, what is it? Its a treasure hunt adventure, participants use the Geocaching app and/or a GPS device to navigate to cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions of geocaches in 190 countries waiting to be discovered—there are probably even some near you right now.
To get started you need to head to the geocaching website. From here you can search for your local geocaches.
On the website you will find details of each geocache, you can log your finds and discover more to find. Each geocache has an individual location which can be found using a GPS or app such as Ordnance Survey maps. The geocache website doesn’t always provide the full grid reference to find the cache, sometimes the website provides clues that you have to decode to find the missing grid reference letters or numbers. There is also a clue for each cache which can be decrypted by using the decryption key.
Using the grid reference you can then head out on the treasure hunt to find the geocache. You can use a paper map as well if you know how to find a grid reference and locate it on the ground, but many people find it easiest to learn map reading skills for geocaching by using a mapping app. The OS locate app will give you a live grid reference of your current location to check if you’ve found the spot. Then the fun begins, keeping your eyes peeled you can get searching.
In its simplest form, a cache always contains a logbook or logsheet for you to log your find. Larger caches may contain a logbook and any number of items. These items turn the adventure into a true treasure hunt. You never know what the cache owner or visitors to the cache may have left for you to enjoy. Remember, if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value in return. It is recommended that items in a cache be individually packaged in a clear, zipped plastic bag to protect them from the elements.
There are 3 simple rules:
- If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
- Write about your find in the cache logbook.
- Log your experience at www.geocaching.com.
So what are you waiting for, let the treasure hunt begin!