Confession: Geocaching was an unfamiliar term to me prior to this course.
Solution: I decided to do a little investigating.
Saturday January 24, 3:30pm: I set out on my very first geocaching adventure.
Here’s what I learned:
1. Geocaching is surprisingly popular. According to geocaching.com, there are 719 464 active geocaches around the world.
2. You can search for geocaches by entering postal code, latitude and longitude coordinates, province, country, keywords, username, or waypoint. The website will display coordinates of geocaches within the search area. Geocachers typically use GPS (I used Google maps before I left the house because I don’t have a GPS system) to locate the cache.
3. A geocache is a small container containing a logbook (usually a sheet of paper) for people to record their name and the date that they found the geocache. I didn’t record my visit but the last person to visit the geocache I located had been there the day before. The cache also might include small items such as keychains or crayons. When you find the geocache, you’re supposed to take an item and replace it with something of equal value. I hadn’t planned to exchange an item – this was strictly an investigative outing – but I lost a quarter from the geocache in the snow. Luckily I had dog biscuits in my pocket so I replaced the quarter with a biscuit.
4. After finding a geocache, you’re supposed to record your find on the website. You should also record the item you took, and what you replaced it with. I didn’t. You can also share stories and photos online.
5. Crucial: Don’t let muggles see you. Apparently, geocachers have borrowed J. K. Rowling’s term for non-magical people and applied it to non-geocaching people. The geocache that I found was in a small group of trees off of a walking trail. Luckily I had my dog with me, so I don’t think I arose any suspicion. ;)
My first geocaching adventure was a success. I found the small container hanging from a tree branch near the Iron Horse Trail behind Vincenzos in Belmont Village. Here’s a picture of the geocache I found and some of it’s contents: