Wednesday, 24 October 2012

What is Geocaching?

I have had so many people ask about our new family hobby that we have fallen in love with called Geocaching. So I've decided to dedicate a blog post to it to try to inform more people about the outdoor fun loving hobby.

Here's the definition from the website:
Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and then can share their experiences online.

Sean likes to describe it as using million dollar satellites to find dollar store trinkets in the woods.

What we ended up doing is going out with another couple, who were able to show us the ropes. There is an etiquette to geocaching. Stealth is often required to protect the caches from being damaged by non-geocachers or "muggles". If you take anything from a cache, you are to replace it with something of equal or more value. After our first evening of caching, we came home and explored the website. This is where we got a lot more information about the logistics of logging what you have found, and finding more caches to look for.

The basic membership is free. You do not have to put your personal information out there for everyone to see, as you or your family logs everything under your geocaching name. For example our family is McHawkeye4. When we find a cache, that is what we write in the log.

This is a layout I recently created of a photo taken of our family while geocaching.
"Hello my name is McHawkeye4"
Patterned paper by Simple Stories, Fabulous collection

The girls like to find the larger caches which hold "collectables", meaning trinkets. Everything from keychains, McDonalds toys, plastic jewelry etc. What Sean and I like to find are "trackables".  These too are small trinket looking things that have dog tags attached to them, or geocoins that have tracking codes on them. When you find one of these trackables, you enter the code on them on the website and you get the items history, where it's been and where it wants to go in the future. Then you place it in another cache in your travels, hoping to meet that specific trackable's goal.

This is a geocoin that we came across called "Liquid Titanic" in honour of the ships recent anniversary. The only goal this coin had was to stay near the water. We picked it up in PEI, prior to that it had been all over Europe, starting in Germany. We dropped it in a cache located right at Peggy's Cove.

Geocaching has already taken us so many cool places that we would have never seen otherwise, and we are loving the adventure!

So like I have said to friends who have asked me about geocaching; if you like the outdoors, if you are a little adventurous, if you don't mind getting sticks caught in your hair. This could be the hobby for you!

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