Geocaching is a pastime that’s perfect for widening your horizons while also enjoying all of the benefits of gentle exercise.
It encourages you to visit new places and to let other people know about the best locations you find. Combining walking, exploring and imagination, Geocaching is a great way to share an experience with strangers as well as your own family.
While you will need a little bit of technological know how to geocache, it’s very easy to learn and equipment is restricted to a GPS device – which is now included on many smartphones – and some good walking gear for more energetic excursions.
How to get started with geocaching
To geocache, all you need to do is a pay a visit to a location that has some special significance, whether it’s a beautiful view or historic remains, and then hide a small waterproof box with a few bits and pieces as well as a log book and pencil.
Once that’s done, you should then use a GPS device to work out your exact coordinates so that you can later upload these onto a website for other geocachers to see. They then set out to the same location to find the box and add a few bits and pieces of their own as well as filling in the log book.
Many geocachers are encouraged to go to the same location, meaning the log book can soon be filled with fascinating snippets of information. For the game to continue the seekers also have to set some new caches of their own and the setters should enjoy visiting other people’s locations. There’s a good, non nonsense guide to the activity available at Geocaching.com, which also includes a fun video. You might also want to take some time to read advice on buying a GPS device before parting with any hard earned cash.
Getting the most out of geocaching
You can set out on your explorations alone or with a group of friends and family, it’s completely up to you, but you’ll also be guaranteed the chance to be part of the larger geocaching community simply by taking part. Pay a visit to the GAGB association to find out more about the pastime and the friendly community that has sprung up to support it. It also lists some useful pieces of advice to bear in mind and has a forum for all of your questions.
Geocaching is a fun way to visit some of the UK’s most interesting and unusual locations and the National Trust has created it’s own excellent guide to geocaching. What’s more, they have chosen a variety of great spots and teamed up with Garmin to provide free GPS devices for you to use when you get there. Get started with geocaching and you’re sure to quickly find yourself hooked, there are few better ways to add a sense of fun and purpose to your walks – and to share your favourite places with other people from all over the world.
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