Friday, 26 May 2017

Fancy a Go at Geocaching?

Last Saturday, I spent the best part of the photo an hour evening stuck under a snoozing toddler. I had access to a computer and my phone so spent a bit of time attempting to solve some puzzle or mystery geocaches.


 
But what's geocaching I hear you ask?
 
I know there's quite a few other bloggers into geocaching (Sarah and Rachel spring to mind) but for those not already in the know...



It's a bit like a real life treasure hunt but played by using access to multi million pound satellites. Sometimes the treasure is a large ammo box containing all sorts of goodies and sometimes it's an incredibly tiny metal can containing a soggy bit of paper.



Remember the other year when everyone was using their phone to play Pokémon Go? Well imagine using your phone and GPS signals to navigate your way to a precise location and then try to locate a an actual (not virtual) container where you can sign your username to say 'I woz 'ere'. You log your found geocaches online too so you can have the satisfaction of watching your number increase each time you find one. 

 


Granted, it doesn't sound like much but it's a strangely addictive hobby. There's over 200,000 geocaches in the UK alone (with over 3 million worldwide) and and you've probably walked or driven past hundreds without ever knowing they were there.

Just a few geocache hiding spots!

 
The idea behind geocaching is that it gets people out and about usually taking them to spots which have some sort of significance - anything from a historic site to a beautiful view to a personal story. The containers are sometimes things like 35mm film canisters, plastic boxes or even more elaborate items such as fake stones or flowers.

One geocache spot - believe it or not, this is the River Thames!


Lots of geocache containers!
 
 
It's essentially free too (basic membership and the app is free) but you can pay extra for a premium membership for special features and access to more caches if you fancy. Years ago you probably would've needed to invest in a snazzy GPS device but nowadays, your mobile phone will work just as well.

A gorgeous view from one geocache hiding place.


There's lots of different types of geocache: traditional caches are the most common (ones where you just follow the co-ordinates and find a container) but multi caches (following a trail to find answers which lead to the right co-ordinates) and mystery caches (completing a puzzle to find the co-ordinates) can also be quite good fun. And there's other types too! You can learn all about it on Geocaching's website where they've put together a comprehensive intro guide.

We learnt a lot about Rowley's House and Mansion in Shrewsbury by heading there to find a geocache...
 
 
Like any hobby, it comes complete with it's own lingo and culture: geohusband, geowife, geowaggon, geotot, etc. are all fairly obvious but there's also acronyms such as TFTC (Thanks for the cache), SL (Signed log), TN,LN (Took nothing, left nothing) and TB (Travel Bug) amongst others. Non-geocachers are called "muggles" and there's even huge geocaching conventions (or "mega events") you can attend.
 
Yet another gorgeous view from a geocache spot.


We're relatively small fry in the geocaching world; we're only on 169 finds compared to some people who've found thousands. I did become a member back in 2009 but we only really got started with it in 2015 and then in 2016, geocaching took a back seat compared to looking after a newborn.

We've just hidden our first two geocaches though - with plans for a few more and it's quite interesting to see people finding them and enjoying the stories behind where we've placed them .

Just a few geocaches in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset area then!


We're called 'familyduckadventures' on Geocaching if you're also a geocacher and fancy adding us a friend.

A sleepy geotot after finding 5 geocaches!


And if you're intrigued and want to know more about it all, there's this handy little official video explaining everything.




Why not take a look at the map and see if there's a geocache near you?




10 comments:

  1. I have always been curious about Geo ~ cashing but have never tried it. Thanks for sharing such an informative post. :)

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    1. Thank you! Give it a go at some point and let me know how you get on! :-) xx

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  2. I love geocaching! It's a great way to bring purpose to a walk and fun to finally find something that you have been searching within 10 metre squared area for like 20 mins. It has lead me to some lovely places and made otherwise mundane roadside walks more bearable. Great introductory post and some cool caches you have pictured there.

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    1. It's fab, isn't it? I agree, it's taken us to some places we'd have never found otherwise and we've learnt quite a lot about the areas we've visited. We've started having a go at puzzle caches this year - which brings a whole new level of fun (!) :-) xx

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  3. this is brilliant, I put geocaching on my Day Zero Project list, but didn't really know what is was about. Now I know how to get started and am really looking forward to it - thanks :)
    x

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    1. Yay! Let me know how you get on - it's very addictive! :-) xx

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  4. Oh I love this, and it's definitely something I want to try out! I just love the fact it's like a mini treasure hunt as you said, and the joy of finding out what's inside each geocache is just part of the fun too! I must try and get out over the summer to do this. Loved this post! - Tasha

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    1. The summer is definitely a good time to start! Start off by looking for some easy ones (I think the geocaching website search lets you filter for beginner caches) and soon you'll be hooked! :-) xx

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  5. Love this post!! I've seen quite a few people talking about this over the past few years and would love to give it a go. I think once we have a car again it would be good to get the 3 of us out together.

    Danielle xo

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    1. Definitely, it's such a good way of learning more about the world! Lots of geocaches can be done as "cache and dash" ones - where you can literally park the car, lay your hands on it fairly quickly and then be off to the next one. That's how we started geocaching; when you start looking for them, you realise just how many hundreds of the things you've driven past on all your local roads! :-) xx

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Thank you very much for all your lovely comments; I do have every intention of replying but sometimes life with a baby gets in the way...

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