Words and pictures interfered with by a "real" job
Published January 28th 2016
Pirates never had it so easy
Looking for a cache
Geocaching uses a handheld GPS or the GPS features on a smartphone to find hidden treasures. There are over 2 million geocaches hidden around the world and there are probably some lurking close to you right now. Caches vary in size and type and have a difficulty rating to give an idea of how hard they are to find and get to. They can be found anywhere from deep in the wilderness to tiny caches hidden on a lamp post or park bench. some are easy to find and others not so easy.
Geocaching is a great way to get outdoors and get some exercise. And let's face it, luring the kids away from the gaming console can be as hard as catching fish in a shark suit. Having a mix of technology and outdoor activity may be just the right bait to get them outside and moving around. Kind of like a nicotine patch for smokers because they still have a little screen to hold back the cravings.
A trig point on a mountain used as a virtual cache
The best way to start geocaching is to go to www.geocaching.com and signup for a free account. The geocaching site has links to download an app for Apple, Android and Windows phones; also free. Once you have an account, a search on the site or app will show the caches that are in the area you wish to explore. Just pick a cache and hit the treasure trail. Using the navigation features on your phone can run the battery down faster than normal so don't forget to charge.
If you have a GPS unit the caches can be loaded to the geocaching function within the unit rather than a phone.
Using a handheld GPS
Some caches have treasures that you can swap for something else. The etiquette is to always put something better in than what you take out. Once you find a cache; sign the logbook, check out the trinkets and then hide it exactly as you found it. When you're finished you can log your victory online.