Join the geocaching movement!
Geocaching has taken the world by storm in recent years. For those of you scratching your heads, geocaching is a recreational outdoor activity whereby people hide boxes – called ‘caches’ – in different locations for other people to find using GPS. Each cache contains a logbook along with some knick-knacks for trading. Pretty cool, huh?
You might think of geocaching as a relatively new phenomenon, but it’s basically just an updated version of a popular pastime known as letterboxing, with the addition of tech. And the great thing about geocaching is that is encourages people to get outdoors, embrace adventure and explore lots of beautiful, intriguing new places. You in?
There are over 2.5 million geocaches worldwide.
In fact, you’re probably near a few right now. To get started, you need to create an account with a website such as geocaching.com. Once you’re signed up, you search for a location, click the geocache/s you want to find, plug the coordinates into your GPS and go, go, go!
When you find the cache, fill in the logbook with the date, your geocache username and additional comments about your experience. The cache might contain some treats which you can trade-in for your own goodies. Then, when you return home you can log your find on the website and share some tips with fellow geocachers.
Ready to go geocache?
Here are some tips:
– Caches aren’t always simple, square boxes. They vary in size, shape and difficulty. We’ve seen caches disguised as rocks, hidden in pre-cut logs and driven into nuts and bolts, so be prepared to do some serious searching.
– The difficulty and terrain of each cache is rated on a scale of 1-5 (1 = easy; 5 = extremely tough). If you’re a newbie, start simple and work your way up.
– Geocaches are hidden and are never buried, so put that spade back down!
– Before you set off, write down the size of the cache you’re looking for (micro/small/regular) and any advice given by people who have previously found the cache. This’ll seriously help you out on your quest.
– If you’re venturing somewhere new, use maps to check the surrounding area and terrain and dress/pack accordingly. For instance, if you know you need to trek 40 minutes up a hill to find your cache, you’ll know to wear your walking boots and pack a bottle of water!
– If you’re thinking of trading an item, it should be equal or greater in value than the item you’re taking from the cache. Be fair and honest, don’t take an item without putting one back and bear in mind some caches have themes you need to stick to.
– When you find the cache, make a note or sketch how it was hidden so you can replace it in the exact same position when you’re done.
– Most of the caches are hidden in stunning locations. Take time to stop, breathe in the fresh air and soak in the scenery!
…Now, where to go? After checking out local caches, you might want to give the following places a visit, all of which are National Trust sites:
Newark Park, Gloucestershire: There are nine hidden caches in Newark Park, which overlooks the picturesque Ozleworth Valley, the Mendips and beyond.
Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire: Four family-friendly caches are hidden in the grounds of Wicken Fen, all of which have a wildlife/habitat theme. In each cache you’ll find a suggestion for an activity all the family can get involved in.
Tyntesfield, Bristol: This is one of the National Trust’s first geocaching sites. The six caches all contain interesting information on the area’s rich history and facts about how the National Trust is helping to look after the surrounding woodland.
Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire: An iconic hill straddling the North York Moors, Roseberry Topping is home to three hidden caches spread across Newton Wood, Cliff Ridge Wood and Roseberry itself. These three caches will give you clues to where a fourth cache, located on Newton Moore, can be found.
If you’re already a geocache pro and have your own tips or suggestions on where to go geocaching, we’d love to know!
Why not check out #ShareAdventure for more ideas on what to do this summer? Plus, be inspired by real-life stories from people across the UK and you could win amazing adventurous gear, including GPS watches, compasses and more from Suunto!