As I mentioned in my post about my yearly goals, A and I were hunting for a hobby we could do together because …
A) I am woefully, pathetically without a hobby, save for watching terrible television and terrorizing Toona and
B) I eat too many Cheetos and must get outdoors.
So A, being endearingly nerdy, happened upon “geocaching” as something we could do together.
We are having a great time exploring our new home through this hunt–and it’s so easy to do. Here are the basics on our couple’s hobby.
Geocaching is defined as “a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game” by geocaching.com–the authority on this hobby, which contains every resource for you to get started.
To find your first cache, visit geocaching.com and plug in your zip code on the home page. This will instantly connect you to the vast networks of hidden caches right outside your door, waiting for you to find and log online. Some caches contain “coins”, or specially designed trinkets that are also tracked online, each with a goal to travel across the state, nation or world.
- A GPS system is helpful to help log the coordinates given for each hidden cache. However, each is mapped out on the site, so a hunter could find a cache without a GPS, it just may be more difficult.
- The Internet to search for and track caches.
- A pencil/pen to note your name and the date on the pad included inside each cache.
- Inexpensive trinkets,small notepad or paper squares and a waterproof container if you desire to make and hide your own cache.
Tips from an Inexperienced Geocacher!
- Be patient–often caches can be displaced by other people, unknown to the wonders of this hobby, or, as we live on the banks of the recently flooded Mighty Mississipp, swept away by Mother Nature. Some caches simply cannot be found, but don’t be discouraged!
- Expand your region-As we have both dusted off our bikes for the nicer weather, A and I ride out to caches we cannot walk to, and take advantage of the beautiful bike trails caches are often hidden along. If you are planning a trip and are looking for somewhere distant to hide a coin or a new way to experience the place you are visiting, look up a cache before you go.
- Research-Often the owners of the cache or others who have found them log hints about each cache. If you’re having trouble finding one, check out the name given to the cache, the difficulty level, how often the hider has checked up on their treasure or if someone else has recently found it.
The empty Cheeto bag is glaring at me out of the corner of my eye, but our first geocoin is sitting jauntily next to it on the table. It’s fun to drive by a bus stop or fuse box that most would not know has a cache hidden around it–feeling like you are a part of a secret society, while getting a bit of exercise along the way. A and I are having a great time hunting around our beautiful new city and we would love to hear your stories!
(Toona says hello.)