Geocaching – An Activity for Thrillseekers and Families Alike

explorersGeocaching – it’s madly popular around the world.  It provides a range of challenges for extreme thrill-seekers, and can also be a great activity to do with the whole family.

What is this thing?

A form of treasure hunt using GPS, in which an item is hidden somewhere in the world and its coordinates posted on the Internet, so that GPS users can locate it.  Very simply….yes.  The most basic version hinges around a waterproof container being hidden somewhere in the world containing;
  • Log Paper
  • Pen
  • Tradeable Item

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Waterproof Container With Log and Small Items
The co-ordinates, map location and hints usually are posted to communities, forums and websites for people to go and find these “caches”.  You then enter your name in the log, take a photo of the log as proof, and swap out an item in the box, for something you have of equal of greater value.  It’s a really cool premise to get you out and about and having some exploratory fun!

It Can Be Done By Anyone?

Small Geo
Caches Come In All Shapes & Sizes
Oh yes certainly.  Most websites will detail the caches by location, size, and difficulty.  So if you’re keen to get out in the bush with a compass with nothing around, or on top of a mountain – you certainly can (I saw described as being “underwater” behind a waterfall, sweet!).  Similarly, if you’re after a REAL treasure hunt with the kids, people hide them in parks, under boardwalks etc.  Believe me when I say these things are EVERYWHERE!  Now the trick is to pick something inside your skill level and that’s also legal.  In the 30 mins that I browsed my local area I saw some on Airfields and behind police stations, so be smart about where you go.  Running across an airfield runway is not going to end well with local authorities (maybe you can ask the pilots to wait?) – also attempting to find one in a deep forest with no map/compass is also not a great idea :).  Push your limits, but be careful ok?  Thanks.

How Do I Get Started?

Easy as! You can find maps just by googling your local area with the word “geocache”.  These might not be as reliable but there’s certainly plenty of hits.  Now you can join a community too (for free in most cases) and they have GREAT information on what kind of caches are in your area, how far away they are, difficulty, comments from other people who have found them and little hints.  For a worldwide one with a free basic membership, head to https://www.geocaching.com , Geo Auswhich has a lot to offer it’s free members and also has an associated mobile app.  I joined this one and also headed to a local one for Australians which was http://geocaching.com.au/ and also has an app!  Hop onto Google, you’re sure to find some local Geo’s.

Equipment?

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Geocache.com App
Not necessarily.  If you’re heading for the local ones, all you really need is to look up the locations, read the descriptions and head off!  Some of the harder ones might require a smart-phone with gps enabled so that you are aware of when you’re getting close.  The extreme ones?  Well yeah, you probably want SCUBA gear, compass and GPS device for the ones that are sunk in shipwrecks – Grin.

Play Everyday

What I think is really cool about this, is that you can literally play this as you drive around your everyday routine.  We here at A.I.P have got 3 “easier” ones to try and pick up and we go about our Sunday and drive near the locations.  I really look forward to going to find the couple that I found on top of mountains though.  And the one that is sunk off an island nearby.  We’ll get back to you with how we go!

Have Fun – Explore Your World – Be Safe – Learn and Live!

Team A.I.P

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