By Oceana Setaysha
It’s A Camping Activity You’ll Love!
If you’re an outdoors person, if you love camping, hiking and long walks out in the wilderness to nowhere in particular, then we have a new hobby you’re going to love. Not only does it fit perfectly into all the things you already enjoy, it actually improves them, helping you find unusual and hidden places you may not have come across otherwise.
It’s called geocaching.
What Is Geocaching?
Geocaching is the world’s biggest treasure hunt.
Or at least, that’s what how the largest community of geocachers describe it. Basically it’s like a game of hide-and-seek that you can play on a phone or GPS out in the world, but instead of looking for a person you’re looking for a ‘cache’. Caches are containers hidden in all kinds of places, and they are the playing pieces of the geocaching universe. Globally there are more than 2.7 million geocaches, varying in just about every way. Sometimes they’re the size of a fridge magnet, other times they’re as big as a moving box, always hidden just out of sight.
The aim of geocaching is to find a cache using the GPS coordinates, or the Geocaching app, and then sign the logbook inside. When the cache is a bit bigger, geocachers often leave behind little knick-knacks to trade and swap. These are called ‘swag’ and are an unnecessary but fun part of geocaching.
Ok that’s the basics, of course there is more to learn, but we’ll cover as much as you need to get started!
Why Will Geocaching Improve Your Next Camping Trip?
Geocaching might sound a bit geeky, but the truth is there are so many reasons to try geocaching, and so many ways for this cool activity to make your next camping trip something really spectacular. Here’s just a few of them:
You’ll See New Places:
Geocachers are placed by passionate hikers and campers just like yourselves, except unlike you they’re often local and have a strong knowledge of the area.
This means they know about amazing little places ‘just off the beaten track’ that you might never have found yourself.
It’s A New Challenge:
If you love hiking in one area, but you feel like you’ve done all the hikes and camped in all the places, geocaching will give you a new lease on that environment.
Almost everywhere is home to at least a few geocaches, meaning you can ‘discover’ a location all over again through the game.
There’s A Sense Of Adventure:
Finding things is just fun, that’s why Easter Egg hunts were always such a ball. The same goes with geocaching, and when you join the game there’s a new sense of adventure to every place you go to.
It’s hard to stop yourself from checking nearby caches, and you’ll always be on the lookout.
You’ll Join A Worldwide Community:
Depending on where you cache, geocachers might not run into each other that often. But as a community they are tight-knit, friendly and always happy to share a geocaching story or experience. Joining the geocaching universe unlocks a whole new group of outdoor lovers to share your passion with.
Are There Really That Many?
Yes, there absolutely are.
Instead of chasing numbers about how many geocaches are in each continent or state, we thought we’d just show you. As we said before there are about 2.7 million geocaches hidden all over the world, and that number grows every day as more and more people join the game. Here is a map of the United States (and surrounds) that shows you just what that means. You can see this yourself on the Geocaching.com website, and the more you zoom in, the more caches appear.
What Are The Costs?
Upfront, the costs for geocaching can be absolutely nothing. Geocaching.com offers their own free app so you can try the game out for absolutely nothing. If you like it, you can buy the paid app, which has more functionality, or even get a premium membership. The cost of the membership varies from country to country, but in the United States its $29.99/year. If you have your own GPS, you can program it quite easily to find geocaches, and you’ll need a premium account for this.
When Can I Start?
Why not right now? Jump onto Geocaching.com and see what caches are near you. Familiarize yourself with the game and then get planning for your next trip. Believe us, it will change the way you camp!