“Never mess with a Geocacher. We know all the best places to hide a body.”
If someone had said to me a year ago, “Do you fancy going on a really long walk?” I would have said no. Honestly, hand on heart. Walking (or any form of exercise, to be quite frank) was shied away from by me because I always wanted to do other things. Going outside when it was freezing cold was definitely not my idea of fun.
About 6 months ago, I was introduced to a little thing called Geocaching at work one day. I worked in Marketing for a games store (which was the ultimate geeky paradise) and it was suggested to me that I research this wondrous pastime, as they were doing a fancy little promotion with Magic: The Gathering. Okay, cool… but what’s Geocaching?
I Googled the term, not having a clue what I’d find and not understanding any of the terms presented to me on screen. What is a trackable? And what on Earth does FTF mean? Was this a whole new language, a completely different race I didn’t know existed? Thankfully, it wasn’t, and it wasn’t just me being stupid. Geocaching, according to my research, was what could only be described as the equivalent of an immense, global treasure hunt. Where do I sign up?!
Geocaching is an adventure. A hobby which allows you to (purposefully!) explore the outdoors, finding caches that other people have hidden around the world. These ‘caches’ can be in the form of Tupperware/film containers, boxes or even something as small as the teeny-tiny magnetic cache.
The aim is to use the Geocaching app to locate them using the map. When you’ve found the right area, you frantically search for the cache (without looking at the hint, of course…) which could be under that rock, up that tree, or even in a river. Yes, be prepared to get your wellies on. When you finally find it, sign the log book, (don’t forget your pen!) leave a surprise for the next person if you can and return the cache to where you found it.
After telling Case about Geocaching, we were eager to go on our first adventure. We weren’t entirely sure what we were looking for, nor were we feeling at all confident about finding anything. All we knew was that it sounded fun and we both felt a little exercise would be good for us after all. We downloaded the Geocaching app, got to grips with the basics and set off to find our first cache.
And it took FOREVER. Where was it? What did it look like? We were most definitely attracting all the attention of passers by, or “muggles” in the Geocaching world. We must have looked extremely suspicious, searching in the bushes and through the grass. However, we weren’t going to let this stop us, and as the rain started to pour, we still continued to search.
We’re quite lucky to live in a place where Geocachers are quite active, and there must be hundreds around us, just waiting to be found and signed. When we finally found our first, we were delighted 🙂
Trust me, when you find that first cache, you’ll have caught the Geocaching bug. You’ll want to find more and more and you’ll not be able to stop yourself! The only downside to adventuring is that there really isn’t enough daylight. It’s safe to say Geocaching is such a great hobby to get into, but why are we so addicted, and why do we get all sad when the awful weather comes?
The one thing I didn’t do for years was any form of exercise, and Geocaching has encouraged us both to get active again. Even if it’s just to pick up the odd cache or two around a field, getting out into the fresh air feels great, especially at the weekend after a week of being cooped up at work. It doesn’t even feel like exercise – you’re spending all your time and energy on finding caches, that you don’t even feel the 3 miles you’ve walked!
When you’ve spent an age looking for a cache, to finally find it in that one place you’re sure you checked 3 times is such a great feeling. Signing the log, leaving a treasure and setting it back where you found it is good enough, but when you finally log it on the app and see a nice little collection of smiley faces on the map? Priceless. (Unless you buy Premium membership… which I would definitely recommend! 😀 )
It’s a great group activity.
Geocaching is something different. Instead of doing the usual thing with your other half week after week, do this. It’s great fun and a really good activity which requires teamwork and a little bit of thought outside the box. Communication is actually a crucial part of Geocaching I’ve found, and other people may think of location ideas that you didn’t think of initially!
It’s amazing how creative the Geocaching community is. They don’t just stick to to a Tupperware box with a bit of paper inside. They create the most amazing containers, and even use things as caches that you really wouldn’t expect! We’ve seen some delights over the months that have really made us smile.
I always look forward to going on adventures and exploring the countryside now. It’s surprising how much more I want to go for a walk these days, now I’ve found something that has sparked my interest. I’d definitely recommend trying it! If most of the time you feel a little reluctant to do exercise or can’t find something you enjoy, then this is the perfect way to start up.
Don’t just stick to one place. Make sure you travel far and wide and you’ll be very pleasantly surprised at what you find. Nothing beats getting lost in the most beautiful of places with your best friend. ❤
Next stop, Tenerife! 🌞
Have you ever tried Geocaching? How many caches have you found? 🙂