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Geocaching: An Outdoor Treasure Hunt that Anyone can Play

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Geocaching is a great outdoor activity that can be done absolutely anywhere, and is free to do aside from a GPS device (which most of us can use our cellphones for).  If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt.  That’s right,  geocaching is happening all around the world.  How cool is that? The purpose of geocaching is to find the hidden objects by following GPS co-ordinates, all while enjoying time out in nature.

Of course, that makes it sound easier than it is.  Many of the geocaches are challenging to find. 

To get started you will want to head over to the geocaching site and create an account.  You can start a basic account for free, or open a premium account for a fee.  The basic account is more than enough for those just starting out.

Once you open your account you can search for caches available in your area and get the GPS co-ordinates for the one you want to find. Then you will take your GPS device or cell phone with the downloaded app out into the location the geocache is hidden. You may have to search high and low to find it depending on how well it’s hidden, and how big it is.

It might be in a tree, or under a rock or shrub.  It might be the size of a plastic lunch container, or it might be as small as a film canister (you know, those things we used to use to get our pictures developed before the digital age).  Many geocache containers are painted in dark colours or covered with camouflage duct tape to blend in with the surrounding area. Some geocaches are fairly easy to find, and others are like finding a needle in a haystack. 

If you are really struggling to find a geocache that you are looking for, there are clues you can find online to help you narrow down the exact location of the geocache.

So what’s in the geocache container once you find it?  Often you will find a logbook where you can write your name, as well as some little knickknacks like keychains or little toys that people put in there for fun.  You can actually take one of the trinkets if you want as long as you replace them with something else of similar value.  If you don’t want to leave a trinket, just be sure not to take one from the geocache.

If you choose to leave something in a cache, you do need to make sure it isn’t food that could attract animals, or something dangerous. You also want it family-friendly as many kids find geocaches with their parents.

When you get back home after finding your geocache you will want to log your find on the geocaching site.  Not only is geocaching a fun activity to do outdoors, but you also become part of a community online by logging your experiences and reading hints and experiences from others.

After you’ve been geocaching for awhile you can create and hide your own geocache for others to find.

What I love about geocaching is that it can appeal to all ages in all locations.  While there are a lot of geocaches located in rural areas, there are also urban geocaches for those who prefer to stick to the city.  You can find geocaches on all seven continents and in 191 countries.  In fact, there is a really good chance you can find a geocache not too far from where you are right now. There are so many caches right here at home in Hastings county which makes it a perfect activity to do while we can’t travel, yet it’s something you can also continue doing all over the world once travel becomes possible again. If you are looking for a new hobby that involves fresh air as well as exercising your mind and your body, try geocaching!

Once you completed your search for the day, and worked up an appetite, make sure to stop at one of the many restaurants and diners in Hastings, a way to shop local and contribute to the local economy while enjoying a very inexpensive activity such a s geocaching.

For a map of Restaurants and take-out options, visit our website.

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