Geocaching, the game hidden around us

Do you love treasure hunting? Then you’re going to love this.
Geocaching is a phenomenon/game that is played by millions of people all over the world and yet, it is not widely known. It is literally everywhere. No matter where you are reading this from, chances are there is a geocache within a few kilometers from you and if you are in a big city, there are several.

Geocaching, the game.

Around the year 2000, GPS devices were becoming affordable and widespread, so the Geocaching game was born from a passion for outdoors and discovering new and exciting places. The reason GPS devices were becoming so widespread, was that previously to the year 2000 commercial GPS devices were limited to an accuracy of 100m. That wouldn’t have made it very easy to find the geocaches.

In essence, people hide a geocache, which can be a tiny capsule, a big containter or anything in between.
Inside the geocache you usually find a small notebook or piece of paper called the log, a pencil and various trinkets left behind by other players.
At the time I write this article there are 2,419,819 active geocaches and over 6 million geocachers worldwide according to the Geocaching website.

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Photo source: pixabay.com

Using the Geocaching website you can look at what caches are near you and program the coordinates into your GPS device. Since mobile phones have started to have GPS incorporated, the number of players grew as the convenience also grew.

Once you’ve found the Geocache, you need to be careful that people who don’t know about this game don’t see you. These people are called muggles, which is a term that has been taken from the Harry Potter series. It basically means that these people don’t know about the geocaches and some, if they find out, might damage or destroy these hidden little treasures.

After you’ve made sure nobody sees you, you open the geocache and put down your name/id that you’ve registered on Geocaching.com (sometimes there is no pencil or pen, so bring your own). Then you can take something out of the box if you find it cool, but the convention is that you have to put at least another item in its place.

Why I like it?

Well, here is the cool thing. Aside from feeling like you are playing this really cool game, usually these geocaches are hidden in really nice places where you can see either amazing landscapes, interesting historical places or hot tourist attractions. So, when you go out to find one of the caches, you are actually discovering a place that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

So far, I’ve only discovered about 13 geocaches, but I do intend to look for more. As such, you should expect photos and articles of these places to come in the future :)

A few other things you need to know about geocaching:

  • it’s free to sign up on the website, but the official phone app costs a few $/euro and the money goes towards the foundation
  • always place the cache in the same place you found it, so others can enjoy it
  • there are track-able objects that you can retrieve and move along to a new cache. You can even place your own track-able objects
  • it’s more fun if you get family or friends involved
  • you can hide your own caches very easily
  • don’t post photos of where you found them exactly, it needs to be a challenge for others as well
  • have fun

 

I would love to hear from other people that enjoy geocaching, so if you are a fellow geocacher, or if you want to ask me something about this, leave me a comment below.

 

3 thoughts on “Geocaching, the game hidden around us

  1. Ron Walls says:

    Just getting into this. I thought that your were given the lat. and log. of the cache. So you could go with just a compass. Do you know?

  2. I’ve long thought I would enjoy geocaching (I like maps, navigating, compasses, etc.) and it’s popular in the Denver area. Never actually got into it, but then Ingress came along and I started playing it instead.

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