Monday, 5 September 2011

Geocaching

A friend of mine recently got me into Geocaching. Put simply, Geocaching is a geeky treasure hunt. Geocachers hide treasure (caches), containing - as a minimum - a paper log so that finders can record their visit.  Once the cache has been hidden, the co-ordinates of it's location are published on a website (Geocaching.com) for others to find.

Other Geocachers then use their GPS' (these are surprisingly cheap, alternatively some smartphones can also do the same job) to track down the co-ordinates and find the cache.  Amazingly, there are over 500 caches hidden within a 10km radius of my home.  Even more amazingly I (unknowlingly) passed by two each day on my walk to and from work.  With the aid of my GPS and a good deal of heading scratching and poking about I was able to score my first finds.

The inventiveness of the folk hiding the caches is to be believed. Hidden in fence posts, children's play areas, I even heard of one hidden inside a snail shell.

The next stage was to involve my pre-schooler, as it is a good excuse to spend some time with daddy. I also look less of an idiot on my hands and knees if their is a little one alongside me.  Geocachers are mindful of the adult / child connection and the larger caches are used to exchange proper treasure between the kids.  At our first find together he was over the moon to swap a plastic soldier for a yo-yo.

It is also a great excuse to go exploring parts of Canberra that I would not otherwise be visiting.  Just watch out for muggles!

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