To an outdoor enthusiast, surely the word “geocache” rings a bell. The game itself is like a giant, worldwide scavenger hunt. But from my experience, geocaching is more than that. It is a hobby that will bring you to see your everyday surroundings from a new perspective. It is a hobby that with that will test your mental capacity and physical abilities. It is a growing hobby all over the world, and you never know what you can find, or where it will take you.
What Geocaching Is
Geocaching is a hobby that involves finding hidden caches, or containers, at certain latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates. Cache coordinates can be found at geocaching’s official website, www.geocaching.com. A geocache is hidden at the coordinates, and other players try to find it. It seems simple enough, but there are many creative ways caches have been hidden. They may be a small container like an old film canister, or a large container such as a ten-gallon bucket! All caches contain logbooks that you are supposed to sign; you can also see other players have found the cache. Many also contain little trinkets, known as swag. The general rule for swag is if something is taken, something of equal value should be left in its place.
Tools of the Trade
Now you know a little about what geocaching is, you probably want to know what you need to start playing. Well, it starts with registering for a free account on the geocaching website. Once you have an account, you will need a GPS to help you locate the coordinates. Some companies make GPS systems specifically for geocaching. If you do not have a GPS though, there is no need to worry. There are many smartphone apps designed for the hobby. In addition, a pen is necessary to write in the logs of your finds. Finally, you need a sense of adventure. Every geocaching outing is unique. In my experience, it has taken me through parking lots, climbing up large, steep hills, wading through ponds, and wandering through prairies. Based on the terrain, you should adequately equip yourself for whatever possible dangers you may encounter.
A Worthwhile Hobby
What makes geocaching a worthwhile hobby? Well, geocaching stimulates the body and mind. There are two different scales used to describe hidden caches: terrain and difficulty. Getting to caches in difficult terrain can include wading through bodies of water, climbing steep hills or trees, you name it. Difficulty represents how hard it is to actually spot the cache. With these two in combination, you are sure to spend a lot of energy physically and mentally. In addition, you gain a new appreciation for the environment around you, because you view it from different perspectives. Geocaching also provides a sense of accomplishment after spending a day finding them. With over two million active geocaches across the world, this is a hobby sure to provide hours of fun.