As a kid I always loved a good treasure hunt. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt that's not just for kids – it's for the young at heart and anyone who enjoys intrigue and wonder. Best of all it's free.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt for 'Geocaches' – containers (usually Tupperware or metal) filled with all sorts of treasures for swapping, and a log book so that you can leave your mark wherever you are in the world. Some of the things I've found include: a bus ticket, a toy dinosaur, a friendship bracelet, various collectable cards, stickers and foreign currency.
To get started, download the Geocaching app to your iPhone or Android, create an account and then simply navigate your way to your first Geocache. While there are Geocaches to find all around the world – there are 2,664,204 currently – the best place to start is in your own neighbourhood. I was delighted to find that there were so many located within walking distance of my home. Who knew there were so many treasures right under my nose!
Once you get close to the Geocache you're seeking your phone will chime and up pops a message and information about it. More often than not in this information you will find clues to help you locate it, including its size, the level of difficulty in locating it, and if you really need it, an extra hint.
Be prepared to look high, low, under things, and sometimes a little digging or pulling aside dropped foliage is involved to find your Geocache. At times, you might feel a bit like the neighbourhood weirdo, with passers-by (muggles we call them in Geocaching) giving you the odd strange glance or puzzled look, but set these aside as the feeling you get once you find the hidden treasure is well worth it.
Log book example from a Geocache
This activity is best undertaken on a sunny day, and don't forget to take a pen with you to complete the log book – a rookie error I made the first time. Also take something to trade, the smaller the better, something flat you can fit into the palm of your hand works well every time, but then again, don't limit your imagination.
The first official Geocache was laid in 2000 in the United States, but the concept of using clues and landmarks to hide and seek objects goes back centuries.