The word “Geocaching” probably rings a bell, but you can’t exactly place it…right? It seems like maybe something in your computer or some random game you’ve heard about at some point…or maybe you know what it is and have always wanted to do it, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. That was me.
I don’t remember how I first heard about Geocaching, but I can tell you it was at least 5 years ago when I first looked into it. It sounded like something my daughter and I would enjoy, but it also seemed like mayyybe it could be lame. One way or another, I was definitely going to give it a try. Insert 5 year time lapse.
This blog’s purpose is to help me remember to make certain things a priority. Adventures are always on my mind, but seldom on my calendar. Luckily, I now have an excuse to write at least one in every week. This week — finally figuring out what this whole Geo-whatchamacallit is all about.
I started by visiting the official Geocaching website: www.geocaching.com. From there I discovered they now have a handy app – even better! A couple clicks on my iPhone and I was ready for adventure.
What is a Geocache? In simplest terms, a container with, at minimum, a log for you to add your name to. Many, if size allows, will also have items left behind by other explorers. You can take an item as long as you leave one for someone else. Pretty cool.
How do you find them? You pull up your location via a map on the app and pick the “dot” (representing a Geocache) you’d like to seek out. A compass and approximate distance appear to guide you within 20 or so feet of the hidden container. It will also give you an idea of how difficult it might be to find and how big the container will be. This is extremely helpful to know if you’re looking for a small film-size tube or giant metal box as the they can be hidden just about anywhere.
What’s the point? Before we set off for the first one, I warned Maddie that this “might be lame”. I had visions of us driving around, hopping out of the car for 2 seconds to open a box and write down our names and then get back in and go. (Woo!) But it was so much more. It was a modern-day scavenger hunt. Or, as everyone I’ve described it to has said, it’s like Pokemon Go in real life. ha! The GPS can only target in so far and then you’re on your own….and they’re not hidden in plain sight. Several times we had to use the in-app hints.
We chose to explore our local park and only had time to find 4 before dark, but Maddie was begging to do more. So much fun with something SO simple AND free! (There is a paid version that gives you access to a higher level of difficulty, but for now, we’re happy with free.) I highly recommend, no matter your age, to download the app just to see what’s in your area. I guarantee you’ll be jetting off to find one in no time. Don’t forget to take something with you should you find a treat you want to trade! We stopped at the local Dollar store on the way.
And definitely don’t forget to enjoy your surroundings as you travel down roads you’ve never been down or take a closer at the ones you have. It’s a great big beautiful world made for exploring! Go.