The fun of geocaching

The fun of geocaching

geocachingIf you enjoy exploring the outdoors and having a bit of adventure in the process, you might enjoy geocaching.

Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) has become a popular activity for young and old alike. The basic idea is that it is a grownup game of hide and seek. Someone places a treasure, or cache, in a secret place and provides its latitude and longitude coordinates for other to locate it again. If you are exploring the outdoors anyway this is a way to have a bit of an adventure, like Indiana Jones looking for lost treasure.

The cache is usually stored in some sort of water-proof container. It often has a pencil (not a pen in case it freezes) and paper inside for those who find it to leave a bit about themselves to share with the owner and other geocachers. Also, there may be a note explaining that the cache is left there intentionally in case a casual visitor comes upon it.

Caches can be placed in far away and exotic, hard to get to locations (way off the beaten path, or in the middle of a lake, for example), or they can be near a popular street corner and you only have to adventure as hard as walking to get a cup of coffee.

There are some rules of etiquette for geocaching. If you find a cache, there are often little trinkets left behind. You are allowed to take something but only if you leave something in return. Obviously, don’t leave anything that can spoil like food, and don’t leave anything dangerous or illegal.

Also, respect the land. The owner of the cache should have cleared the cache location with the land owner or manager, so they have agreed to let people on the land for the fun.  Make sure that you respect their good will in letting you be there.

There are a number of groups that distribute the coordinates of geocaches, the largest likely being geocaching.com. A basic membership is free and you can get locations of geocaches near you, or near where you want to explore. Don’t forget that a quality handheld GPS unit is essential for this game. You can find reviews of some of the best models, and other stories about science, nature, and being in the outdoors at Boneblogger.

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