I’ve heard about it, I’ve seen people do it, but I’ve never tried it! It’s geocaching, and it is a huge phenomenon with over 1.4 million geocaches in existence around the world. Over 4 million people, along with their smartphones or other GPS devices, have found these geocaches, and more people are searching them out everyday!
Geocaching has been around longer than today’s smartphones. It originated in 2000 as GPS devices and improved signals were more readily available to civilains. Its creation is credited to Dave Ulmer who hid the first geocache and posted the coordinates online. When it was found and reported, the online chats spread and so did the hobby! The United States and Germany are the leaders in this hobby, with the Czech Republic, Canada and the United Kingdom rounding up the top 5 countries.
Today, along with Auntie Victoria (my sister-in law and avid geocacher, her username is yyj86 ) we got a lesson in geocaching and found our first treasure. Mattias, who just turned 4 loves pirates and hunting for pretend treasure so we thought this would be a perfect 21st century activity for him and while he is no where near old enough to be getting his own phone, he is never too far away from an adult who has one!
What do you need to go geocaching?
- a smartphone (or a GPS enabled device)
- a geocaching account (to find the coordinates of the caches)
- a pen (to record your name on the capsule log)
And we were off! With Mattias in the lead, we wound our way along Victoria’s inner harbour in search of our first geocache. “I don’t see it yet,” he exclaimed with cell phone in hand, “we need to walk all the way along the water!”
When we got close to the coordinates, the phone alert told us we were close. We then looked at the clue that was included with the coordinates, and followed the directions. It told us to take one step down and to look where a lobster might hide. We found the geocache hidden under the walkway, under a pile of rocks! Mattias was ecstatic! He had found the treasure! We opened it up and signed our names! There were two other names from today’s date as well! It definitely is popular! We then carefully put it back under the rocks and climbed back onto the path. After logging in on my phone that we had found the cache, we were off to find the next one!
Mattias was excited to tell passer-by’s that he had found a treasure and was eager to show them where it was! With Victoria being such a friendly place, an older couple was happy to follow him as he ran back down the path to point to where the buried treasure was hidden! Even they had heard of geocaching!
As a kid I remember making time capsules with my friends and hiding them in trees, or burying them under ground and unearthing them the next time we went out to play (we never had enough patience to wait the 10 years we always promised). We would put candies, notes, trinkets and anything else we had at our disposal and when we found them we would pretend that a long time had passed and we had forgotten all about them! I’m excited to be able to take my time capsule memories to the net level and geocache with Mattias and Markus. I’m sure in no-time they will be showing me how to use all of the features of the app and I hope that their love of maps and adventure will continue as time goes on!
Lindsay is a wife, a mom to two little boys, a soccer player, a lifetime traveler and a lover of learning. Lindsay resides in Langley and is currently searching out new ways to enjoy every minute she can with her family, while balancing the pressures of living in our fast-paced society. Check out Lindsay’s blog at www.carpediemourway.comTags: devices, geocashing, GPS