Geocaching is a way to take a walk in the countryside, which is a combination of both sport and game. If you are tired of just looking at flora and fauna whilst listening to the trudging sound of your footsteps on a walk, why not take a walk with a purpose that will keep your brain as well as your body fit?
With Geocaching, the idea is that with the aid of a handheld GPS receiver (using co-ordinates obtained from the Geocaching website), you follow what is rather like a high-tech treasure hunt. At the end of the hunt, hidden somewhere in the world, you will find a cache. The cache is generally a watertight box complete with logbook (the finder can document finding the cache), and ‘treasure’ inside, with which items can be swapped or added. Anyone can hide a cache and the location is made common knowledge via Internet. Once found the cache is returned to its original hiding place and your Geocaching stories and photos can be shared online at various forums.
So, it is also possible to choose the type and grade of difficulty of the Geocache; whether it’s a normal, earth, multi or mystery cache. The earth cache for example is educational, whilst with the multi cache a point has to be reached before the co-ordinates of the final hiding place are given. Another popular variety is the collation of information found at given points in a hunt, which lead to the end destination and, you guessed it, a cache.
The game has been around since May 2000; Dave Ulmer hid the first cache on 3rd May. In order to play the game one has to create an account and become a member, which is free. Currently there are Geocaches placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents including Antarctica.
So, dust off those walking boots and take your brain for a jaunt!
For the official Geocaching website: Geocaching. For the Dutch website: Geocatching (NL) . Sources: Wikipedia
First published in the Connections magazine#24 Summer 2009