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Updated on April 13, 2016

Geocaching: Modern Day Treasure Hunting

My Wife and I stumbled across a movie one time that was titled, "Splinterheads". We saw a couple of Actors in it that were familiar to us so decided to view it to see if it was any good. The part of the movie that really stood out to us was when 2 of the main characters took part in an activity using GPS coordinates to find containers hidden throughout different locations. This phenomenon was referred to as Geocaching in the movie which is generally pronounced as geo - cashing by many who participate in it. Some describe Geocaching as a sport, hobby, outdoor fun or passion. Most who get into it are majorly hooked and are constantly on the lookout for caches. Caches are what the containers are referred to that you have to find and as a Geocacher you not only find them but you also participate in hiding them also.

Towards the end of 2015 I discovered that you could now become a Geocacher without having to purchase a GPS device and that due to smart phones having built in GPS functions you could start by downloading an app and get yourself under way. Of course those who get right into it recommend purchasing a GPS receiver at some point but in all honesty, the phones do fine. The only time your phone may not be super reliable is if your network hasn't great reception in a particular area, otherwise getting a GPS receiver may be the way for you. The thing that is great about Geocaching is you feel like your on an adventure and if you have kids, they really get into it which is great for everyone. It also teaches everyone about longitude and latitude coordinates so it is educational as well.

When Geocaching first started they would hide what is classed as Traditional caches which is where you are given coordinates for where they are, you use the app or GPS device and it helps point you in the right direction, not long after looking around you will end up discovering the hidden container everyone has been completely ignorant to. Then there are puzzle/mystery caches where you have to work out clues to puzzles such as sudoku or answering questions that are based on tv shows. Some of these caches are educational and will teach you about local history which are great as a tool to teach your children about historical events that took place near where you live or somewhere else. Then there are Multi Caches which leads you to point to point until finally you gather up all the clues you have discovered along the way and then you work out the coordinates of the hide and find the cache. These ones can be lots of fun but can also become infuriating if you allow it to. There are more things related to types of cache but these are the main 3. Personally my favourite to do are the Traditional caches but thats because thats the side of caching that stirred my interest to begin with. When you meet other Geocachers that will try to steer you towards their way of doing things but you really just have to remember why you started doing it in the first place and stick with that. Every time I go caching I generally see myself as an Indiana Jones styled character running around National Parks seeking out caches. Of course not all caches are hidden in bushland and thats when I go James Bond in the city areas.

The best way to get into Geocaching is by of course starting simple, dont over complicate things for yourself, dont take on board others way of doing things just because they may have more experience but do listen to their advice on finding caches. I started Geocaching as an example because for me it reminded me about all the childhood movies or books I enjoyed watching/reading as a kid such as, The Goonies, Indiana Jones, Inspector Gadget, The Secret Seven, The 3 Investigators and the list goes on and on. I do my best to think of those things while I go out Geocaching and when I think of those things it helps me to enjoy it when I'm searching for caches.

I highly recommend everyone having a go at Geocaching, not only is great to do with family or even on your own but you can include with things or activities that you may already do as apart of your outdoor lifestyle. You can go to the beach as an example, have a great day swimming, sun baking and then check your Geocaching app to see if there are any caches nearby, go and find a few and then head home. I would find caches while out for work which was great and the best part was alot of co workers got into it a little bit also. If your reading this and are interested in getting started yourself, just pop over to sign up for a free account and see how you like it. If you become super hooked and decide you want to be able to experience all caches ever published then you can pay to become a premium member and have access to every single caches hidden from all over. The reason they have the premium account as a paid option is because in my opinion they want to give people who do pay, the option to make it public to everyone or not and also to try and weed out the serious verse the not so serious.

The best part is they have a training section on their website describing the rules and guidelines of Geocaching and where and where not to hide a cache. The videos are of course corny but great as you dont forget it in a hurry. There are also Geocaching groups that meet once a month and encourage each other and hang out together. So get involved, it not only takes you to places in your backyard you have probably never thought to go, but you also discover new places to visit all over as Geocaching really does help you to explore around.

So what are you waiting for? Get involved with this great hobby, past time, interest, sport or whatever word you would use to describe it. Check out the Geocaching website for more accurate information.


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