Geocaching season is open!

Ok… not that it ever really closed. But this was our first opportunity to get out and do a little caching this year.

For the uninitiated, Geocaching is an activity where an object of some type is hidden at a specific location. That location’s lattitue and longitude are published on a website, along with a the approximate size, difficulty to locate, difficulty of the terrain you’ll travel to get there, and whatever other information the cache’s owner decides to provide you to help you find it. There’s almost always a log inside for you to sign in conjunction with logging the cache online, and often items to trade as well. To find a cache you plug the coordinates into your GPS and off you go!

Now… it sounds easy enough, right? How hard can it be to find an object when you have exact coordinates and a GPS which can in some cases get you within 5 feet of those coordinates? Well, that’s where the creativity of the cache placer comes in. We’ve found caches in the removable panel of a park bench. Several have been strapped to or hidden in trees. Some are in plain sight, but you don’t realize it because often you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. One in particular we’ve tried to find on three separate occasions with no luck.

Amanda likes to say geocaching makes hiking more fun by having a purpose. Some caches require multi-mile hikes to get there. There are a few that only mountain climbers or scuba divers will ever be able to log. But fear not if you’re interested in trying it for yourself. To give you an idea of how prolific this sport is becoming, there are approximately 150 caches within 10 miles of our house. You can see from my stat counter below… I’ve logged 36. And that includes a few we found in the Outer Banks last year, and one I found while in San Antonio on business in December. You won’t run out of caches to find!

If you don’t already have a GPS, the prices have dropped so that they’re affordable for most people. You can get a basic GPS for under $200. I use mine not only for geocaching, but for driving and biking as well. You’ll be amazed by all the places you pass by every day and never realize they’re there.

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