A few years ago I read about Geocaching, an outdoor treasure hunt that goes on around the world. The caches are hidden literally all around us and we need only log onto the website and create a free account to start the adventure.
Over the weekend, I took my 5-year-old nephew hunting with me up near his house. We started with an easy cache–they are rated for size and difficulty–and I didn’t know what to expect. After an hour of traipsing through a field and some trees with the help of my iPhone, we were no closer to finding the box than when we started. Feeling a bit let down, we vowed to come out again in the morning to find the cache. As we headed back toward the car, my nephew spotted the cache by chance.
After we signed the log book, my nephew asked if we could go out again in the morning. I spent some time that night looking for some easy caches in the neighborhood and came up with two. We headed out pretty early, but after two hours of searching, we came up empty handed. It dawned on me that it might be easier to work with the coordinates (latitude and longitude) on my phone’s GPS, so I downloaded an App*, and we tried again. No dice. Finding four-leaf clovers quickly took precedence.
We returned home for lunch and convinced my sister to come out and hunt with us. I guess she was our lucky charm (or at least daring enough to climb a rocky path) and found victory–a cache inside an old ammo box.
After this cache, we headed a few miles away for another one which was found quickly. We signed the log book, but my nephew reneged on his plan to swap a treasure with one of his own small toys (some caches have little items that can be swapped or carried to other caches).
On Saturday, Ant and I found two caches locally and it made for a nice day out. Geocaching is a great way to get outside and sate your treasure hunting urges.
Is anyone else out there in book-land doing some Geocaching? Have you ever hidden a cache? If you’re interested in learning more about the hobby, check out the website. It’s really a great adventure and perfect for weekends or summer days.
*I originally downloaded Motion GPS but later went with the free trial of the Geocaching App which was much better. Just be sure to shut the program down when not hunting or it will drain your phone’s battery in a flash.