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What is Geocaching?

Somewhere out there is buried treasure, and I’m going to find it.

Geocaching is a phenomenon that started only a few years ago with the availability of consumer GPS devices. It quickly gained momentum as it swept around the world, as a fun, family friendly way to keep active and enjoy the outdoors. It’s an equal mixture of adventure, treasure hunting and community.

The concept of Geocaching is simple. Something is hidden and you have to find it. Amazing services such as geocaching.com provide lookup functionality to help locate caches in your area. If this is your first time checking out the site, you’ll be surprised at how many caches are near you. Almost any trail I can think of has one or two hidden treasures, just waiting to be found. Many, you’ve probably passed over before, unaware of what lay nearby.

Armed with your GPS and the coordinates to the treasure, you make your way to the destination. What you’ll find could be anything, but in most cases you’ll have to keep your eyes peeled as Geocachers can be quite clever in choosing their hiding places. If you’re having trouble locating the cache, you may be able to refer to the caches “Hint” to deduce where it’s hiding, but that’s only if the owner of the Cache chooses to provide one.

When you find your cache, carefully open up the container and you’ll find a log of some sort inside. This is used to track how many people have found the cache. I enjoy reviewing the log to see how long it’s been since someone last found the cache and in some cases I discovered that I must have missed a fellow Geocacher by mere moments. Rarely have I found a cache that had not been logged for more than a month. If you find a bunch of toys or objects inside, feel free to take one, but be sure to also leave something. Geocaching is all about community and giving back to the community ensures that it continues to thrive.

When it comes to inexpensive outings, Geocaching is one of the cheapest. Best of all, it can be combined with any other outdoor activity that you can think of. Biking, walking, running, climbing, Hiking… You're always close to a hidden treasure.

 

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