Monday, June 9, 2014

geocaching 101

when i say i like to go geocaching, most people look at me strangely, and say, "what's that?".

geocaching is a global scavenger hunt! participants obtain coordinates for caches - usually small, waterproof containers - and then go hunting for them. many caches are like puzzles, including hints & tricks needed to successfully locate the cache. all caches contain a log book for you to sign, but many contain small trinkets you can swap with other geocachers.

the most surprising thing about geocaches is that they're everywhere, and unless you know about it, you'd have no idea. caches are expertly concealed so they aren't disturbed by pedestrians - or "muggles" as they're called in the caching community. from where you're sitting, i guarantee there's a few caches within 5> miles of you, probably more.

i was introduced to geocaching by my dad. waaaay before the days of smartphones, my dad would visit the geocaching website, print out the coordinates + hints for the caches we wanted to visit, then we'd use our good old gps and go searching.

and now, a decade later, i've rediscovered geocaching as a hobby for myself. of course, there are smartphone apps these days that make it super easy. you can make an account & immediately get to caching.

why, you ask? geocaching is a great way to get outside! any excuse to be outdoors, i'll take, even in the ridiculous alabama heat. geocaching is a way to explore your city and visit areas you might not otherwise. many caches are tied to the history of the area, or hold a significance that teaches you about the place they're hidden.

here are some things to remember if you start caching:
  • some caches are super tricky, and some you just won't find. i went caching at railroad park and found one of the three caches there. i'll return again eventually to give it another shot!
  • people will look at you strangely wondering what the hell you're doing. if anyone asks questions, fill them in! the tenants of caching are to not disturb nature, trespass on private property or cause any issues in public. if you're approached by law enforcement or a "muggle", don't be surprised, just explain what you're up to.
  • it's addictive! once you find your first cache, be prepared to be hooked! last week i was sitting in my office & discovered there's a cache a block away. my first thought was, "hmm, better head to that one on my lunch break."
try it! i think you'll be surprised how much fun it is. last weekend, i discovered king's spring in avondale park, a beautiful natural spring that's flowed for over 100 years. would i have gone here if a geocache wasn't there? maybe not!

for more info, visit www.geocaching.com! the app is a couple dollars, but i promise it's worth it.

have you ever been geocaching?


  1. I love geocaching ! You do get some strange looks from time to time but it's worth it. My boyfriend's dad taught him and he taught me. We try to grab a few when we travel, and we don't do it nearly enough. It's a great excuse to get outside!

    1. That's what I haven't tried yet, grabbing caches on vacations. Hoping to do that this summer in Colorado!

  2. Hi Meredith! I reached you though Kayla, and the google + creative circle. It's nice to meet you and I'm looking forward to connecting with a lot of new creatives. I was drawn to this post because I've just started geocaching myself. I've found 3 so far and it's so much fun! It's interesting to hear that it was around before the smart phone app, but I guess that makes sense. I was talking to my friend I was doing it with that it's a weird mix of new age technology and also be out in the open.

    1. Hey Hannah! I can't wait to get to know everyone in the Creative Circle. So happy to hear I'm not the only person on the planet who geocaches - sometimes it feels that way! It's great that people are still being introduced to it after a decade.

  3. Oh my gosh one of my best friends and I did this a few times back in college and it was seriously so fun! It was crazy how many were hidden around our small university town, including on campus. When I found my first one I seriously felt like I'd found a hidden chest of gold

  4. I've heard of geocaching but never actually done it: I don't know why, though- come to think of it! I think I might actually give it a go pretty soon, though- you've inspired me! We're going on vacation to Chattanooga in a few weeks, and I have a whole day planned just for exploring so this might be the perfect activity, right?

  5. Geocaching is so much fun! My husband and I did it once for my birthday and had just a great time! Your post really makes me want to go out and do it again soon!

  6. I just started hiking - this will give me even more incentive!


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