Yesterday we had our company outing and before we got to eat dinner we went geocaching. I’d heard of that before, as one hears of things all the time, thought it cool, and filed it under “Sure, sounds like something I’d enjoy,” which of course means I never did it. Thanks to Benno (4th post down) I knew it was a global phenomenon, and now the global phenomenon had caught up with me.
Our group grabbed a GPS navigation device for automobiles and my iPhone and headed off to the starting point of the multicache. A regular geocache is simply a container containing (as containers are wont to do) a logbook and perhaps a doodad, hidden at an often noteworthy location, the coordinates of which are then published on the geocaching website. When you go on your treasure hunt, you note the coordinates, pack a pen, a doodad, and travel necessities, and follow your GPS device to the location in question, where you hunt for the “treasure.” In short: you walk to point A and look for the container (“cache”).
A multicache works like a chain of single caches. In our case, at every location mentioned in the instructions we had to count something or find a number. Once we had all the numbers, we plugged them into a formula to find the final location of the cache. We found the container without too much trouble, put in one of those bubble-blowers, and took out a coin. Once we realized it was a so-called “geocoin,” a coin with a tracking code on it made especially for geocaching, I volunteered to take it with me and drop it off somewhere else later.
Discussing the experience later on with our colleagues, one common sentiment was that it was a great thing to do with kids. I did another two this evening – the two closest to where I live – and one of them would definitely be fun for kids. (The other was in an overgrown area without a real path.) With this in mind, here’s one map of a location that might be familiar to a certain family attending a certain church and could be a fun first geocache for a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps, to get the kids interested, “geocaching” should be replaced with “treasure hunting…” Here is the map.
On a side note, I’ve noticed that my blog categories need re-working, seeing as I no longer exclusively blog on travels.