When I read Big Kid Little Kid‘s post on Geocaching, I was intrigued! I had heard the word before, but I had never taken the time to find out about it and certainly had never gone on a Geocache hunt!
Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that’s happening right now, all around you.
There are 2,719,470 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide.
So if you are like me, you may be thinking “Geo-WHAT? What is Geocaching?” Well, Geocaching is a digital treasure hunt where you are given directions on your mobile / IPad / tablet or other GPS enabled device to find a well hidden cache (usually a plastic water-proof container) and then you leave your name on the notepad before returning it for your fellow geocachers (is that even a word?) to find! Sometimes there is a little present in the cache that you are able to take as long as you put something of equal value in its place. Caches range from tiny (the size of your fingernail) to really big and there are many online forums where you can log your find.
THIS SOUNDS LIKE FUN, PERFECT FOR KIDDING AROUND … and potentially ADDICTIVE!
To begin, I downloaded http://www.geocaching.com/mobile/ on my mobile and in 2 minutes we were ready to go! After not-so-patiently waiting for Isaac to wake up from his nap we headed to our first Geocache location! I cannot believe how many there are and that I had no idea that Geocaching was even a “thing”!
“LET’S GO ON A TREASURE HUNT!!!!!!”
Armed with the coordinates, we headed off. Before long, we had parked the car and were contemplating the clue. “An arch of pine” – I saw something that could constitute such a clue and voila! there was a little plastic container with notepad, rules and a few little swappable treasures! We excited wrote our team name down (for those who follow in our footsteps it’s “Kidding Around Au”) and carefully put the cache back in its hiding spot.
You must not let “Muggles” (a term meaning ‘normal, non-geocaching people’ that has been borrowed from Harry Potter) see you looking for or finding your geocache. You must go unnoticed! I must say, this adds to the thrill of not being caught!
After our initial find, we have now gone on to look for four more. We have had two successes and two failures! One failure was due to not having an off-road vehicle (we didn’t want to risk bottoming out the Skoda!) and the other was due to having the “intro” version of the Geocaching App – which we got for free, however, for about $13 you can get the premium edition which gives you access to all of the geocaches! We will be downloading that and heading back out!
We then excitedly “logged” our find either via the app on our phone or via the website. The App and website that we use along with more great information can be found HERE.
OUR TOP TIPS
- Take a pen with you – out of the three geocaches we found only one had a pen. You need it to make your mark!
- Take little trinkets / prizes for swapping – you will find anything from medical supplies to marbles, toys to footy cards. If you want to keep what you find you will need to swap it with something of equal value.
- Take food and drinks for little ones – you may end up in remote areas for extended periods searching for a cache.
- Take sunscreen and insect repellent -no one likes getting burnt or bitten!
We also joined the Facebook page and I couldn’t believe that people there were celebrating their 1000th find! Geocaching is such a fantastic family activity, can be done in any country and we can’t wait to go again!
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