Sssshhh! There’s a whole world out there that you don’t know about! There’s buried treasure all around you. Geocaching is a global treasure hunt that is growing with popularity, now attracting over 5 million followers. It doesn’t cost any money, all you need is a sense of adventure and something to help you find GPS coordinates, whether this is a satnav or your smartphone.
A geocache is a hidden box. All you have to need to find it are the GPS coordinates. Inside a geocache is a logbook to sign in, and often lots of nice trinkets. You are welcome to take something out of the box, but you should replace it with something of equal or greater value. Many of the items in the geocaches are moved from one box to another. In this way, some items make it all the way round the world! Once you have found a geocache, log your visit at www.geocaching.com . That’s it!
Finding a geocache
Geocaches are everywhere. There are over 100 hidden within a 5 mile radius of where I live. Under bridges, in the park, along a cycle track, buried in the banks of a stream. They can be anywhere! You may need a good pair of boots when you are looking for some though! The geocaching website can help give you a few hints and tips if you’re stuck, and other geocachers are always keen to share their experiences. There is also a good app available for smartphone users. Don’r forget to share your story afterwards on www.greattravels.co.uk.
Placing a geocache
If you get really excited, you can place your own geocache out in the world. Just make sure it’s in a good weatherproof container and well hidden.
One of the most exciting thing to find in a geocache is a trackable item. Trackable items have a code on them that you can enter on the geocaching website. The owner of the item may have a plan for it. In 2009 I found a small trackable toy squirrel whose plan was “to re-establish the red squirrel population in Britain”. I moved it from Hatfield Forest to another geocache in Norfolk. From there it has now travelled over 3,000 miles around the country. Can’t do that on Ryanair! I also discovered a trackable race car that was part of the “Round the World Cup”. It began its journey in Germany and ended up at the Indianapolis Race Track.
Who goes geocaching?
Geocaching is perfect for families, young children will delight in looking for the boxes wherever you visit. It’s a great way to get everyone out for a good walk too. For the more serious treasure hunter though, you can book yourself a Geotour! The world record for finding geocaches is 1,157 in 24 hours. You can even base a holiday around looking for geocaches. From The Antarctic to Zimbabwe, they are all around the world!