It seemed my usual weekend consisted of taking turns playing Fallout 4, working on crafts, re-watching the entire series of House and generally staying indoors. Boring.
I wanted a hobby that I could do together outside. Why not geocaching?? Using a GPS, you discover hidden “caches” all around the world. Some are the size of your pinkie, others can be disguised as acorns or bugs, there’s big boxes under leaves or hidden in trees. Once found, inside will be a slip of paper to sign your name and date of when you found it. Larger caches will even have little goodies you can take or add to.
The next day I bought a handheld GPS through Amazon. It’s really simple to use and it has a ton of great features, whether you’re hiking, camping, boating, driving or geocaching. It even allows you to track where you’ve been in case you need to retrace your steps, which caches you’ve found, your distance travelled and when the sun is expected to set, to name a few.
Next I made a free account with Geocaching and downloaded local caches to the device. There was one just two blocks away! Excited, I set out that Saturday afternoon to find the four closest caches to home.
Not so easy.
After failing the first one, I went on the fail the next two. Now I’m moody, stomping around the woods trying to find the stupid cache. After about an hour wandering, I set off home defeated. There was one last cache that I decided to try on the off-chance and I found it right away. Hallelujah!
From that point on, I was hooked.
The following day I hiked another two hours through the Kent countryside and found an additional 8 caches, one even disguised as a gnome.
Anyone can hide a cache, name it, write a description and add it to the database for others to find. A lot of the ones I found were by the same person who dedicated them all to their Dad who often hiked those woods.
Once you’re back home, you can log all your finds through the Geocaching site, connect with fellow Geocachers who have also found those caches or even the people who have hidden them. It also gives you a chance to let them know if the cache is missing or damaged.
Apparently there’s two million caches hidden around the world. Who knows, there might be one on your street.