Bank Holiday Monday – the weather was glorious! So we decided to make the most of it and get out in the great fresh air! We have lots of open countryside around where we live so initially we were just going to for a long hike and take a picnic. Then we remembered our neighbours telling us about their hobby of ‘geocaching’.
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing into the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value.
Our neighbours go all over the country doing this and really enjoy it. They told us there were quite a few walks near us so we decided on impulse to give it a go. My husband used to be a keen orienteer so he is a very good map reader (unlike me!!). We packed a picnic and his I-pad which had all the information we needed.
There were 8 caches to find on this particular route. We took it nice and slowly and ended up walking for about 2 1/2 hours. This meant we only covered about half the trail and found two out of the 4 containers. But in our defence, the hedges were very brambly and nettle-y!
The children were very excited when my husband found a cache, and were eager to see what was inside! Little cars, stickers and other knickknacks. We hadn’t been prepared enough to take little trinkets along with us to swap over but it was still like a little treasure hunt for the children, although persuading little chappie to put the car back took some time! Ava (aged 6) enjoyed writing a little message in the notepads for the next ‘finders’ to read!
This was a pleasant way to while away a few hours and get lots of exercise at the same time. The children had fun, my husband got to show off his orienteering skills (!) and I enjoyed just ambling along in the countryside and fresh air pushing the pushchair. And it’s free!
Go on – give it a go!!