Geocaching for those that still don’t know is a modern form of treasure hunting. To play it you need a GPS and in the early days of Geocaching this usually meant some dedicated device like a Garmin Etrex. Most people playing these days use a modern smartphone. People hide caches all over the world for other players to find. These caches can be vary in size from tiny magnetic nano caches which are about the size of a finger nail to large ammunition boxes or plastic containers (the sort you might keep a packed lunch in). Details of the cache are stored on the Geocaching.com website where you can see the co-ordinates of the cache, a log of the recent finds and sometimes an extra clue to help you find it. Once you find the cache you log your visit on the logbook inside but also log the visit online at Geocaching.com. If the cache is big enough to hold ‘treasure’ you can even take something from the cache providing you put something back in its place. The ‘treasure’ is usually little toys, foreign coins and other things with little monetary value. What makes Geocaching even more fun though is that you can sometimes find a trackable item like a travel bug or Geocoin (more on this later).
My favourite type of caches are what are known as multi-caches which involve you finding a number of places where extra clues exist and all these extra clues then will help reveal the location of the final cache. I’ve been playing Geocaching since 2004 and have found caches all over the UK and even overseas in places like Norway, Iceland, France, Italy, Germany etc.
Geocaching – What you need to play
If you are interested in playing Geocaching you need to sign up and create an account with the website. They have normal membership which is free and premium membership which is currently $30.00 for a year. You don’t need premium membership and I would advise you take the free membership to see if you like it. I’ve never had premium membership and I have no intention of having it either. Once you have an account you can search for caches locally to you and then attempt to find your first cache. If you have a smartphone you might want to pay for their Geocaching app which allows you to search and log your finds from your phone without the need to take any print outs of the co-ordinates and clues with you (often referred to as paperless caching). There are certainly official and unoffical apps for Android and iPhone but other operating systems probably have an app too. The official Android app currently costs £6.23 from the Google play shop. For a more detailed guide in how to play and what you need visit their website which contains lots of useful information.
Introducing my VW Camper Travel Bug
As mentioned earlier what makes Geocaching even more fun is the added element of trackable items like dog tags and coins. These trackable items are often attached to something like a toy and the owner gets updated every time it moves on. I’ve released a few of my own travel bugs in the past but I recently decided to add one to a small VW Camper toy and then update its progress via the pages of this blog.
The Motorhome Vagabond Travel Bug was released into a cache near Boscastle in Cornwall last weekend. I hope to have news of his travels and hopefully some photos soon! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about Geocaching.