This weekend we met a friend and her son for a walk and she suggested we go Geocaching. It sounded like fun and my friend has done it many times, so we set off into the woods on a little adventure.
Geocaching is a worldwide phenomenon and wherever you are in the world, even locally to you, there are bound to be a series of geocaches waiting to be discovered. I believe you need an iPhone or Android phone to load the App onto and you need to be able to pick up a gps signal, but otherwise it is free to use. I am personally not a great fan of children using mobile phones or gadgets ( I am quite electro sensitive myself and my children are generally very sensitive), so I don’t think we will be doing this regularly, but my friend’s young son is quite experienced with the phone and enthusiastically showed my daughters how to find the geocache sites.
Each time you are given the distance to the next cache and there is a compass to show you the direction. I am not too sure if we were using it perfectly as we went in the wrong direction a couple of times 🙂 but we soon discovered that the distance from the geocache was increasing and turned around. There is also a small clue to identify the cache site, for example: ‘a gate to a meadow’.
The cache is usually in a little plastic box , hidden from sight so only someone in the know would find it. The idea is to write your name in the log book and the date you visited and then also to log it online.
There are often useful facts inside the box and some geocachers leave little souvenirs, such as trinkets, toys etc.
Ideally, you are meant to be very discreet when you have found the cache so no-one else knows what you are doing. We did our best 🙂 .
Some caches were relatively easy to find, whilst others were quite a challenge. We found them all eventually and rewarded ourselves with a well deserved ice-cream at the end of it all!
We really enjoyed our Geocaching adventure; the time flew by and the children were very engaged in finding the caches. I do think that you could miss out a bit on appreciating your surroundings when you so goal orientated and distracted by the phone, but I would recommend it if your children find walking a chore and you would like to do more adventurous, longer walks.
There is whole world of geocaches out there! 🙂