As you’ve noticed by now, Mr.C & I have been spending many of our weekends out geocaching.
A few of you having been asking us about our new hobby – what is it? how does it work? what the heck’s a cache?
Well, clearly it’s high time to introduce you to our new favorite activity!
What is Geocaching?
It’s a modern-day treasure hunt; a sport/hobby/activity where people use GPS receivers and coordinates to find hidden containers around the world. There are 2 million caches and counting just waiting to be found! It’s a fun excuse to get out of the house, exercise, and explore new places. You can do it on the weekend or vacation, during a road trip, and even over your lunch break!
What is a cache?
Caches are containers hidden all over the world by fellow geocachers. They often contain a logbook, pen/pencil, and random trinkets. These containers are water-proof and can range in size from a peanut butter jar to an Altoids tin to a tiny pillbox.
What do you need to Geocache?
I recommend using this free iPhone App to try out geocaching and then, once you’re hooked (which you will be!), buy a GPS or the full $10 iPhone or Android App.
How does it work?
Log into Geocaching.com (or start up your smartphone app)
Search the database & pick a few caches that you want to find and jot down the GPS coordinates (or click “navigate” in your smartphone app)
Drive / Bike / Walk as close as you can to the coordinates
Start looking around the cache!
Once you find it – get excited!
Open it up, check out what’s inside, sign the log, maybe swap treasure/trinkets, and then put it back in its hiding place for someone else to discover.
When you get home (or right away via your smartphone app) post your experience on Geocaching.com and let everyone know that you found (or didn’t find) the cache you were looking for
Geocaching Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t leave food in a cache. Food can spoil and the smell can attract animals which may break into the cache and destroy it.
- Never put anything dangerous, illegal or offensive in a cache. Geocaching is popular with families, so use common sense when picking items to leave behind.
- Always exchange an item/trinket for one of equal or greater value.
- Always put the cache back the way you found it. The cache should be left well hidden in the exact same spot. It is not considered good manners to move the cache to a spot that you might feel is more “appropriate”.
- Make sure the cache is properly sealed when you leave, or water will enter and the cache may be ruined. Caches should never be buried.
- Caches should be placed in a way that they will not be accidentally found by non-geocachers (aka “Muggles”).
- Make sure no one else is around when you uncover the cache, sign the log, or hide your own cache. It ruins the hunt for other geocachers and opens it up for non-geocachers (aka Muggles) to tamper with or even steal the cache.
- If the cache/coordinates are not in a public place, always respect the property owner by obtaining permission to geocache.
- Protect and respect the environment. Don’t leave trash behind.
- And most importantly – HAVE FUN!
If you have any questions, let me know!
Otherwise, I hope you all have a great time geocaching – I can’t wait to hear about your experiences.
You can find us on Geocaching.com here or spot our log-ins at caches out in world as “Mr.C & Me”.
And if you’re in the Twin Cities and want to tag along with us to find a cache or two – you are more than welcome!
P.S. a major thank you to L, my friend + coworker, who introduced us to this great activity in the first place!