Geocaching is a game played outdoors where players use GPS to find items left by other players, and it can be loads of fun. It’s a great way to enjoy your time outside and add some excitement over just ordinary hiking/walking through an area.
But Geocaching can sound a bit odd to people who have never heard of it before, which is why we’re publishing this piece on the joys of geocaching. We had put out this query:
We’re researching different hobbies and are especially intrigued about ‘geocaching’ where players use GPS to track down items. For people into this, what do you love about it and why do you do it? All comments welcome. Your submission will be published in an article intended to encourage people to get into geocaching for the first tiem.
The below is what we’ve received so far. If you’re a geocacher yourself and have more to add, please do so — make a submission here.
I was first invited to go geocaching by a friend, and my initial impression was that it was a little bit of a strange idea; however, I soon changed my opinion and really got into it. I think the most interesting aspect of geocaching is that you're discovering a sort of hidden world; you've spend years walking past geocaches in your area with no clue of their existence, and suddenly you're privileged to know that they are there.
There's a real treasure hunt aspect to geocaching that appeals to the inner kid in everyone, and it's something that you can do both on your own or with friends.
--Mark Hemming, Libra Translation
Geocaching is perfect for those people seeking discomfort. The perfect feature being that you will always find new things to do, while discovering new locations and adventures. Starting off will make you feel a bit anxious, as you are experiencing something new, but push through this and discover a world of fun and excitement.
--Elliott Reimers, Rave Reviews
Geocaching has been a hobby of mine for several years now. I love geocaching during a sunny afternoon, as it allows me to discover a new area and spend time with my family or friends, while being active and working together to find the treasure.
My favourite type of geocaches are Mystery Caches (also known as Puzzle Caches). These types of geocaches require some serious thinking, like solving a riddle or puzzle, to find the geocache coordinates.
Another great thing about geocaching is that it is often a real treasure hunt. You might find small items in the geocache called SWAG (Stuff We All Get). The principle is simple: take 1 item from the geocache and replace it with something that is at least of equal value. This is a great way to end an afternoon trying to find the final location, and the kids love this!
--Tomas Mertens, Solitaire Paradise
I love geocaching because it is an affordable way to spend time with my family outdoors. What makes it fun for my kids is that there is always a surprise and an adventure waiting for us. Since geocaches are hidden all over the world, we can pick up our treasure hunting when we visit family, go on vacation, or just have a free afternoon.
--Paul Moyer, SavingFreak.com
People may call Geocaching a hobby, which I disagree with because it is so much more. Geocaching is a form of exercise as some locations require hiking into the site, and most importantly, you are training yourself on how to navigate with a Global Positioning System (GPS). Some people may think I know how to use a GPS, and to that, I have to remind them there are no roads at some Geocaching Sites. Your ability to read a topographical map is essential if you venture into the wilderness. The great thing about this hobby is that there are more accessible locations located within cities and towns. You also have more complicated sites situated deep within the wilderness.
I have used https://www.geocaching.com/ with my own family, and it is just an excuse to get out there and explore our world. I suggest if you have a family and you want to get your children to develop a love outside of a screen in their face 24/7, start Geocaching, for young children, this is like looking for treasure. I do not Geocache as much anymore as my son is a teenager, at least his sister is one and will be my next Geocacher. A few suggestions, please be safe and do not venture into the wilderness without proper equipment. It can be dangerous, especially here in New Jersey. We have bears, and even wolves have made it out this way. Make sure someone knows you are going out there and where. Set up a time to check-in, and if you don’t help is then sent. I would make sure everyone has their own Camelbak of water and make sure to bring a poncho, and extra clothing just in case. Last but not least, have fun and enjoy the outdoors.
--Virgilio Rodriguez, Civil Air Patrol
I love Geocaching, and have been playing (and organising) games around the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire (UK) region for a number of years.
It’s a really great reason to get outside and explore the local area. You visit areas you wouldn’t usually and see sights often missed off usual trails.
I’m not someone who likes just running, but I’ve recently combined running with Geocaching to mix-up the monotony of street running.
Of course beginners don’t have to run, but brings a new light to Geocaching.
--Stuart Walters, Complete Packaging and Fulfilment
My family and I live outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico and we really enjoy Geocaching because it gets us outdoors. It allows us to work together and best of all, Geo Caching is FREE!! We visited GeoCaching.com and walked up the road from our home to find multiple GeoCache locations on GPS. Geocaching is like a scavenger hunt in nature. Once we find the location on GPS, then it's a competition of who can find the actual hidden Geo Cache device first. Each GeoCache is hidden differently and in unique containers. All Geo Caches are required to be hidden in public locations that are accessible to the public - no private or residential locations allowed. Once we find a GeoCache, we open it, sign the log, and some Geo Caches have a fun theme like take an item, leave an item. It's usually just inexpensive figurines, plastic toys, coins, rings, or friendship bracelets. Then you re-hide the Geo Cache in the same location you found it and move on to find the next one. You can log your finds in the GeoCaching.com website once you set-up a username and register. All of it is free unless you want to unlock hundreds more Geo Cache locations, then there is a fee. I imagine Geo Caching is similar to playing Pokemon Go, only with real items to find and less attention on a screen or points accumulation. My children are age 9 and 11 years old so we have not allowed them to have cell phones yet. We really enjoy Geo Caching because it's just fun to find secret things that could have been right under our nose for years of living in the neighborhood.. Our next step is to design and hide our own Geo Cache for other families to find.
--Kellie Tomlin, Nurturing Insight therapy
Geocaching is a fun hobby for a number of reasons, as it provides a sense of adventure, a chance to build new skills, and an interesting activity for the entire film. But in today's environment, geocaching can provide something even more important: It can relieve stress!
A little physical exertion has always been known to free your mind and can be a great stress-reliever. So, just imagine mixing some light cardio in with what can best be described as a little super-sleuthing in a relaxed, natural setting. Following the coordinates to geocaching treasure can be exhilarating, and it can clear your head and leave you ready for a day at the office, that housework that's been piling up or those midterm finals.
--Angela Ash, livin3
I love Geocaching. My boyfriend was the one that first got me into it, since he knew I liked Orienteering, which has some similarities to it. I love getting to discover new places or see old ones in a new way, I love caches in nature and in the city, and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to go on a fun treasure hunt around your town!
--Silvia Pinho, thesilviapinho.com
I have been geo caching since 2012. At first it was simply an excellent way to pass a few hours with my then much younger son. Living in rural Ireland most of the caches are placed in beautiful locations and these are always worth a visit for their scenic value alone. We found wherever we went, in general all the local beauty spots had a cache . I would definately recommend geo caching to people as a excellent way to visit all of an areas natural beauty locations or places if historical interest.
A few years later I began to place my own caches and being a full time sea stack climber and in keeping with what i do for a living. I have placed caches in the most difficult to reach places in Ireland. This was off course enormous fun and is a nice wee collection of very difficult to reach caches.
The summit of Dun Briste sea stack in county Mayo being a great example. Only 7 people have stood on its summit in the 700 years since it was formed. It is also one of the most visited visitor attractions on the west coast of Ireland.
For me geo caching is about having a reason to perhaps visit a place you would not normally go. With most geo caches in Ireland being located at local beauty spots or places of historical significance it is always worth the effort to get there.
--Iain Miller, Unique Ascent