By Michele Robert Poche
Billed as the world’s largest treasure hunt, geocaching is a real-world outdoor game, using GPS-enabled devices like smartphones and tablets.
It gets its name from geo (Earth) and cache (a hiding place). First appearing around the year 2000, geocache locations are now estimated at more than 2 million worldwide. That means you and your family are never far away from starting your own hunt!
Getting set up:
- Download the free app. (A premium level featuring more locations is also available.)
- Create an account.
- Use the map to locate geocaches near you.
Finding and logging a geocache:
- Click on the desired geocache to get information such as size, terrain, level of difficulty, description, hints and comments from other geocachers who have come and gone. (Beware: Some hints give away the farm.)
- Use this information to locate the geocache.
- Sign the log sheet within it (most containers screw open) and log your find on the app, leaving comments for the next visitors if you wish.
- Leave the geocache exactly as you found it!
Things to remember:
- Geocaches come in all shapes, sizes, and difficulties. One might hang from a tree at eye level, and the next might be magnetized to a pole only a foot off the ground.
- Some contain a little trinket within them, such as a button, a coin, etc. Feel free to take the item and replace it with something comparable of your own.
- It’s best (and more fun!) to hunt in pairs or even small groups. If you’re ever uncomfortable with the location of a geocache, move on to the next one.
Not all who wander are lost. Some are just geocaching.