A travelblog? And then an entry about geocaching? A big ‘yes’ – because this modern version of treasure hunting requires to get up and travel around, looking for clues and treasures!
I heard about geocaching before, but it was due to friends that we left the house one day and tried to find some hidden secrets near our place.
First of all:
what is geocaching?
It basically is a modern way of treasure hunting.
The Geocaches or just Caches are hidden things – sometimes these are bigger boxes with real treasures in them. Some have DVD’s, or even money on them. Others are smaller and have nothing more in them than a piece of paper where you can sign when you found it and who you are. The spot where these Caches are hidden can be found via geographical coordinates which are written down online.
Once found, the finder writes down their names + date, which can also be added online as well. The treasure is then put back to where you found it and you walk on.
At first it may sound boring, finding boxes hidden somewhere with sometimes nothing else but the gain of having found something. But exactly that is what makes it so interesting. To read the tips given online and checking out the coordinates to find a hidden treasure. The search is often real fun and sometimes the treasures are even hidden in a city where you need to be careful that no one spots the treasure. It’s exciting!
The term ‘geocaching’ was suggested in 2000 and a bit later that year geocaching.com was up.
Everyone can start with this hobby when they want and as long they want. I formed a group together with two friends and we sometimes check if they’re a Cache near the place we are right now. Sometimes we spot some and try to find them.
All in all there are various kind of Caches. Some give the coordinates and that’s it. For other’s you have to solve a riddle to find them. The box can be different as well, there are nanos, which are usually under 1cm in diameter and only carry a logbook where you can write your name and date in. Micros or Minis consist of a small box, usually carrying paper and pens. Small ones offer a bit of space for little things apart from the logbook. Regulars or Mediums are considerably bigger sometimes and last but not least there are the large ones which can even carry such things as DVD’s.
Apart from the usual objects which can be found in these boxes (stones, marbles, little figures), there are also other objects which are called Trackables. These are carried from cache to cache and the users usually want them to be carried around as far as possible.
Travel-Bugs are one option and were the first kind of trackables. They are the most commonly used option and look similar to dog tags. There is a number on that travel bug which can be signed in online when you write down that you found the cache. Usually the finder does write down that they took whatever trackable out of the cache so that the owner and others know that it’s no longer inside.
Geocoins are another option, but they are also sometimes more or less trophies which are kept by the owners and can be seen by other geocachers during events.
There are other versions of trackables, as the trackables from geocaching.com have to be paid.
What kind of variations exist?
The traditional geocache is the most common, where you just find the coordinates and hints online and look for the spot. There is the Multi-cache which consists of various spots and every cache gives a hint to the next one. Mystery-Caches are secrets which need to be solved right there or beforehand, and some of them are really tricky. And there are also Virtual Caches which don’t have logbooks or boxes – it’s questioned if these caches are considered geocaches at all. EarthCaches sometimes lead the curious to geologically interesting spots. There are a couple more and if you’re interested check out the homepage!
Happy treasure hunting!