What is Geocaching?

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Geocaching is on the rise, and is quickly becoming a family favourite activity 

Take the health benefits of a good walk, the thrill of exploring and add in all the fun of a treasure hunt and you’ve got an activity that is fun for adults and kids alike. That’s geocaching, and it’s on the rise here in the UK.

What is geocaching?
Geocaching is the practice of using your GPS to hunt out packages or ‘caches’ in locations and recording what you have found. Caches can also be moved on and recorded so that it’s a new experience for the next person. If you take something, you must replace it with something of equal or greater value.

The first cache was planted in 2000 filled with cash, beans, a log book, DVDs and CDs to test whether US military navigation satellites were accurate enough to help people locate items by new GPS, these days a cache can be anything from a piece of paper to record your name, to a coin or really any item that the previous cacher chooses to leave.

Who is geocaching for?
Cache locations can be literally anywhere, there are hundreds of thousands available to find in the UK alone, there are over a million worldwide and they range from hidden in the wilderness to inside street signs in busy city centres. The sheer amount of caches available mean that the hobby is really open to anybody who owns a GPS. Geocaching is becoming more and more popular with families as parents find the element of the treasure hunt is a fantastic way to get children interested in spending healthy time outdoors.

The geocaching community
One of the best things about most outdoor activities is the sense of community you feel with others who take part. There are busy forums and sites across the internet for camping, walking, running etc and geocaching is no different.  It’s a fantastic way to find new caches, encourage others and speak about your experiences while you were out. It’s this growing community that has helped drive the rise of the hobby as there are always new caches cropping up that you can find.

How to get started with geocaching
The only essential equipment you need is a GPS enabled device. This can be anything from the variety of dedicated smartphone apps available on both Apple and Android, or a dedicated handheld GPS specially made for this type of activity.

Register yourself with geocaching.com or any other online geocaching community. This will help you locate caches, find coordinates and register your finds.

As with any hobby, start off simple. Find caches local to you, and if it peaks your interest then try your skills further afield and make sure you’re kitted out correctly.

 

Recommended kit
If you choose a handheld GPS device for your geocaching adventures, we highly recommend checking out the brand new Garmin Etrex Touch 25.

This great little touchscreen GPS is part of the Adventure Bundle which is exclusive to GO Outdoors and features some accessories that you won’t get with the basic package elsewhere. The unit is described as being ideal for geocaching newbies due to it being preloaded with a stunning 250,000 geocache locations for you to check out.

Features:

  • 2.6-inch color capacitive touchscreen
  • 3-axis tilt-compensated compass
  • GPS and GLONASS satellites for faster positioning
  • 250,000 preloaded geocaches from Geocaching.com
  • 4 GB memory to hold more maps
  • Box includes x1 Garmin Birdseye Voucher – 3000sqkm OS 1:25K Mapping
  • Box also includes – Garmin Handlebar mount, cable and quickstart guide.

While stocks last, this package will also come free with a limited edition GO Outdoors and Garmin geocoin.

This means that you can set up your own geocache, with the added benefit of a competition that will crown the furthest travelling coin as the winner of some fantastic GO Outdoors and Garmin prizes. These coins are limited to the first 1000 units sold, so they truly are limited edition.

 

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