geocaching real life treasure hunt

Geocaching: Real Life Treasure Hunt

Back in college, my now-girlfriend (one day – wife) introduced me to a new game. One that I didn’t know anything about, never mind even hearing about it before. The game was Geocaching.

Essentially it’s a real life treasure hunt, in that you are searching for these items called ‘caches’, which can be hidden almost anywhere. On any given day you’re likely, unknowingly, walking past several of these caches. Whether you work in the city, in the country, or what have you, members of the Geocache community hide these treasures for the thrill of others finding them.

A part of what makes Geocaching so exciting is that geocaches (what you’re searching for), themselves, can range in size from minuscule (micro containers) to massive (typically, large Tupperware containers). As a result of this, it can make finding a cache harder or easier to find – while still remaining fun and challenging.

To participate in seeking these ‘treasures’, you need to make an account (FREE) to be able to search caches that are in your area. You’ll also need an account if you want to officially log your finds. There is also a paid version, in which these premium players have access to exclusive caches.

When participating in Geocaching, it’s requested that every player maintain the integrity of all geocaches. Essentially, players should re-hide each cache as they found it, and to take nothing – unless you leave something of equal or greater value.

Since I have started playing about 6 years ago, they have even created a Geocaching app, that allows you to see any surrounding geocaches, and a profile of sorts for each. Each cache profile contains GPS coordinates (where the cache is physically located), a description, and sometimes a clue to help when hunting.

geocaching, real life treasure hunt

There are a couple reasons that I’ve really grown to enjoy Geocaching, even if I don’t always have time to track one down.

One of the main reasons I enjoy this, is because it encourages people of all ages to get outside and explore their surroundings. Kids, and adults, of any age can join the fun in seeking out the hidden treasures. Whether you have young children, teenagers, or don’t have any kids, it’s a great motivation to get anyone outside.

Not only does it get you outside, but it promotes physical activity by requiring players to venture outdoors – into familiar, and even unknown places. To branch off of this idea; this is another great benefit for playing – you get to explore new places.

This is truly one of the best reasons for playing. When you explore these new places you open the opportunity to discover nature trails, parks, landmarks, and other areas of interest that you may, or may not, have had the pleasure of enjoying before. And if you haven’t been a particular area, it opens up your world by bringing you to new destinations that can often lead to incredible views.

Another reason I really enjoy Geocaching, is that it promotes teamwork when playing with others. When you team up with your kids, friends, or family members, it encourages teamwork as you both follow clues and work together to hone in on ground zero (commonly, GZ, in Geocache community – location of the geocache).

Often, as you follow the clues to find the cache, it leads to multiple areas that could potentially be housing the geocache. What you may think is the hiding spot, often is not. This is where teamwork really comes into play, when each cacher scours an area in hopes of finding the coveted treasure.

Upon finding the cache, a rush of excitement flows through your body as you finally unearth a treasure, known only to a few. Open up the geocache and log your find!

iceland-geocache-log-book

Considering there are tens of thousands, if not more, hidden throughout the United States, it makes sense that the game stretches even further than that. Geocaching can be found throughout the entire world, which can make vacationing even more exciting when searching for international caches!

In fact, according to the Geocaching website there are: “More than 2.8 million geocaches are waiting to be found in over 180 countries”.

This shows there are Geocaches waiting to be found around every corner of the planet.

Get up, go outside and do some exploring – happy caching!

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