You’ve seen the sights, you’ve eaten the food, and you’ve physically ingested the culture (not really, but you get my point).
Ever wonder if there was something else to do on your trips?
Maybe you still have a couple days and you just don’t think there’s anything else you want to see?
After Mum picked me up from work about four or five months ago, we were talking about geocaching. What it is, etc. She said that she had been doing some research about where one was.
Turns out, there was one not 500 metres from our house.
So, as we approached it, Mum pulled over and we went searching. We quickly found it, hiding away in its spot with an ‘Official Geocache’ sticker on the container. It was near a busy crosswalk, so we had to look inconspicuous while we looked. But we were so excited, I’m sure some people saw us and wondered what we were doing in the Palm trees!
Geocaching is an activity that’s easy for most. I did it with Mum for the first time to a cache that’s in our neighbourhood, and then every time I went past its location with a friend or a group of friends, I made them find it. Even my best guy friend said that he found it fun, and that he would try doing it on his own.
We’ve been geocaching since then, making day trips of it, or building it into road trips we were already taking. We’ve pulled over to the side of the road, we’ve taken side roads, we’ve traipsed sections of town only the locals knew about, all to find that little container. Geocaching has allowed us to explore new places (like this one below at Lake Jindabyne).
So, what IS Geocaching and what do you have to do, you may ask…
All you have to do to start geocaching is to download the official Geocaching app to find where the caches are and start hunting!
After plugging in your location, the app automatically locks on to the pre-determined coordinates of nearby caches and tells you how far away the cache is and in what direction. However, it doesn’t tell you exactly where it is. It’s only accurate in locking on to the cache up to 30 feet away. Inside of that 30 foot diameter, it’ll only give you a vague indication of it’s hiding place so can still be difficult to find a cache.
Upon finding the cache, you write your name and date on the log that’s inside the cache, then re-hide it for the next explorer. In the app, you log the find too. Even if you don’t find the cache, you still log it and provide feedback on why you couldn’t find it. For example: Too many ‘muggles’ around or, like the one at the lookout overlooking Cooma (NSW), we spent an hour looking and just could not find it! But it wasn’t all lost. It was a lovely view of the area and Mum took a nice picture of it (above). And isn’t that the point of Geocaching? To find and explore places you wouldn’t normally?
There are two levels to geocaching. We do the free level, which shows you the public caches available. For the paid version, there are ‘premium’ caches, but we haven’t dug into that (yet). We’re still getting our feet wet, but I’m sure it won’t be long before we take the plunge.
PARENTS: Know that if you’re going to take your child with you, it’s more fun for them if you hand them the device and tell them to find the cache. Chances are, they’ll have a lot more fun and will be more likely to go geocaching with you the next time you do it.