Scattered all around the world lie gems hidden in the most unexpected places. From trees to caves to even bodies of water, these “geocaches” can be found just about anywhere.
The 21st century outdoor game of geocaching allows its players to find each cache by following coordinates, hints, and photographic clues posted by other geocachers or the original cache-hider.
Geocaches can be found in the most unlikely of places, from the neighborhood park to the fence or signpost that you drive past on the way to school every morning.
No matter where you live, you are likely to find at least a few caches within walking distance of your home.
To locate caches nearby, you simply have to go to the official geocaching website, geocaching.com, create a username and password, and type in your address. Then, a menu will appear with the geocaches in your area along with a lot of useful information to assist you on your quest.
First, the website tells you how far a cache is from your location as well as the exact coordinates of where the cache is located.
You can also find the date the cache was last found; this is important because it may give you a clue as to whether the cache is still in its reported location or not.
The difficulty level of the cache and the roughness of the terrain are also ranked. Caches that are located in more populated and commonly-traveled areas are usually ranked lower in difficulty and in terrain.
However, some of the more difficult caches require you to stray off the beaten path and into “the wild.” These caches tend to be a bit dangerous and riskier to find, but they are also more exciting and give greater rewards.
For a more in-depth explanation, participants can buy the app Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc. for $9.99. It includes extras like access to special mystery and multi-step caches, offline lists, and search filters.
Most geocaches are hidden in plain sight, disguised to look like everyday objects or even pieces of trash.
An unsuspecting “Muggle,” the term for a person who is unaware of the geocaching world, could walk by a geocache every day and never realize that they are passing a hidden treasure.
Geocaching is an adventurer’s dream because it forces players to think outside the box when hunting for a cache that can be smaller than a coin or larger than a trash bin. Usually, geocaches contain inexpensive items like books, CDs, pins, toys and logbooks so every geocacher can sign his or her name once they find the cache.
There are also special items that can be found in geocaches. For example, travelbugs are items whose locations can be tracked online. Oftentimes, when you find a travelbug, you will be surprised to see that it has been to several different countries.
When you find a geocache, there are a few rules you should abide by. If the cache just contains a log, simply sign it. If the cache contains items, you may take something you like, but you must replace it with another item so that the cache never runs out of goodies.
If there is nothing in the cache that you like, you may still leave an item and add it to the cache’s collection of goodies. Then, sign the log.
If you successfully locate a cache, it is helpful to go back on the geocaching website and report the date that you found the cache and whether you took or left something. It is also beneficial to report whether the cache has been moved from the location that was described on the website or if the cache is in bad condition.
Geocaches are found in places where you least expect them to be found. So, next time you are at a neighborhood park or are bored and have nothing to do, look up the geocaches in your area. You never know where you are going to find one of these hidden treasure.