Why you need to try geocashing
Everyone has dreamed of finding a treasure map and following it to a huge pile of gold at the end (even if it was only in our childhood.) Even if we never did find that pile of gold, scanvger hunts still make for popular party games, and who doesn't love it when they find their missing keys?
If you love the thrill of discovery and the search for new adventures, geocashing may be the sport for you. This popular game of global hide-and-seek has been going on since 2000, and involves using GPS to locate hidden “treasures” left behind by other players. Treasures are small prizes such as toy cars, action figures, or even marbles. They're just there as proof you found the cache.
Geocashing shows you the world in ways you've never seen it before. The cashes are hidden everywhere, and range from fairly simple to find to extremely complicated.
What do you need to play?
All you'll need is basic hiking gear, a GPS, and a trinket to replace the one you'll be taking from the cache. Trinkets should be environmentally friendly, and should be nothing that could alarm passerbys who aren't playing the game.
Geocaching can be done alone or with a group of people, but if you're planning to go alone you should bring a cell phone just in case you run into trouble or sustain an injury.
You can find geocashes to visit, as well as record your finds at http://www.geocaching.com/ . You can also hide your own cache and log in to see who has found it and what they thought of it.
Some stores such as REI even sell 'Travel bugs' which you can take and move from cache to cache with the bug's goal being to move around the world. You can log into the geocashing website in the same way you do for caches in order to see where it has been before. It's a fun little extra that adds to the game.
Making the world a better place
Most geocachers also follow the motto of, “Cache in, trash out.” That means geocachers often bring along a trash bag and help clean up beaches, hiking trails, and other areas where the cache is hidden in. This both keeps the site clean for other guests, it also does the environment a favor.
This can be done alone, or as part of several events held by geocachers held all over the world. There are over a dozen events held each month from Finland to Colorado, so keep watching the geocaching website if you don't see one near you this month.
Geocashing is a fun way to stay fit, exercise, and let your sense of adventure take you places. You never know what you're going to find, or quite where you're going to find it. The next time you're looking for a way to spice up your hikes or fill up a long weekend, try geocashing a try. You might just find it the hobby you've been looking for.
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