Dean and I started geocaching around the middle of 2014. We were living in England and looking for something to make our long walks through the forest that much more interesting. After our first geocaching outing, we were absolutely hooked.
Almost three years and more than three hundred and fifty geocache finds later, we’ve never looked back
Ok, So What Is Geocaching?
Basically, geocaching is a treasure hunt that plays out all over the world using GPS. Geocacher hiders hide caches in spots that they want to share with others, or locations that are significant to them, or just because, and other players come and find them. Finders log their finds using geocaching apps and programs, leaving their own name behind both digitally, and in the form of written logs that are left in each geocache.
Geocaches can look like almost anything, but generally need to be weather sealed and hidden out of sight of muggles (a.k.a. non-geocachers, yeah we’re all geeks). We’ve seen caches of all sizes, some so big we were surprised they were hidden, others so small we were amazed that we found them. We’ve geocached all over the world, from England to Australia, and even in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and more.
Geocaching is a something that people from all walks of life, and from all locations around the world, participate in. There are millions of geocaches that have been hidden over the years, meaning there are millions of opportunities to get involved and have some fun. And when I say millions, I’m not joking. There are almost 3 million geocaches now, and that number grows every day!
Becoming A Geocacher
If you’re interested in getting into geocaching, I totally understand. It sounds pretty cool right? Well, getting into it is as easy as downloading the geocaching app on your smartphone, signing up and getting a username, locating the nearest cache to you, and walking out the door!
Bring a pen with you (not all geocaches include them), and be prepared to be a bit stealthy and a little bit dedicated in finding your first one. It can often be hard to know what you’re looking for when it comes to geocaching, particularly for your first find. Always read the description that accompanies each hide, and if you get stuck the comments of other geocachers who have made the find should help you out.
When you’ve made your first find, you’re officially a geocacher. Congratulations! Write your geocaching username (now your identity for evermore!) on the log along with the date, log it on the app, and go on your merry way. You may have discovered something new in a spot you’ve walked past a thousand times, hiding just out of sight.
Geocaching Rules + Etiquette
Of course there are some rules that you should work to stick to when you’re geocaching. It’s not difficult stuff, and most of it is just commonsense once you’ve made a few finds, but geocachers know that any game works better when everyone knows the rules.
- Always Bring A Pen: Geocaching means always being prepared with a pen, so you aren’t left unable to sign the geocaching log when you find it.
- Write A Good Online Log: I’m guilty of not always doing this, but geocachers who have hidden caches want to read the story of how you got there, so make it a decent one! Don’t just write something super short, say something that helps them feel appreciated.
- Be Eco-Friendly: When you geocache, the entire world is your game board, which means you should always treat the environment you’re in with respect. Pick up rubbish if you see it, and leave nothing behind unless it’s suitable SWAG (something we all get, things that are swapped and traded) in the geocache.
- Put It Back: Geocaches should always be put back exactly where and how you found them. Remember, someone put that geocache in that location and in that way for a reason, so you should replace it in the same way.
This is just a basic introduction to geocaching, perfect for anyone who wants to dip a toe in and see what all the fuss is about, and whether geocaching is for them. If you have more questions, and I’m sure that you do, I highly recommend the Geocaching.com FAQs.