Sunday, August 06, 2006

Gee... oh what is geocaching?


What is geocaching you ask? That's what I wondered a few months ago when my husband wanted a new, expensive GPS.

He rides bikes with our daughter on Sundays and would tell me of geocashes they looked for here and there. Actually, they found a couple, even without a GPS. That's when he started to want a sophisticated GPS system because it's what you really need to find these well hidden statches. And, even the exact coordinates still have you searching.

I really didn't get into it, but figured if I wanted to spend some time with my husband, I'd better at least give it a try. I love Treasure Hunts. Have any of you been in one of those? You are given clues and puzzles to solve to find items that will give you clues to the next item, etc. etc. The winner who find the most clues the quickest is the winner and usually wins a prize. It's a big undertaking to plan a Treasure Hunt. With geogaching, it's like everyone pitches in.

You can find where these cashes are hidden at The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site. The biggest clue in finding these cashes is the GPS address. In case you don't know what a GPS address looks like, here is an example: N 39° 38.155 W 084° 09.460 You can get further clues if you wish at the site. Believe me, you will need them...

They are graded at different levels as to how difficult they are to find. There are many different kinds such as Traditional Cache, Multi-Cache (offset Cache), Letterbox Hybrid, Event Cache, Mega-Event Cache, and Mystery or puzzle caches, each having their levels.

My husband and I trekked off in search of a few traditional and one Letterbox. We found a couple micro where there are only little tubes with journal logs, 2 regular, which have trinkets in them, plus the log, and one Letterbox, but I still don't understand the differences for this type. The journal type is simple. All you do is put the date and sign your name. Lots of work to just sign your name on a rolled, often beaten-up piece of paper I think... Perhaps if you read all the names you might see someone you know I guess.

My husband had the GPS contraption and would go off in that direction. I kind of wandered in the vicinity looking under rocks, in trees, feeling under nasty metal rails where I was sure I would find a nest of something or another... My husband found all of them dang it. Actually, I'm so blind that even when he pointed one out to me snuggled in a dark corner I didn't see it.

What I found the most fun were the caches with trinkets in them. It was interesting to dig through the "junk" in the containers and make one of them your special treasure. We didn't come prepared with "gifts" as it were, but I pulled a beautiful gold hairpin with a rhinestone on it from my hair and placed in one of the containers. I thought it was beautiful and hope someone finding it will pull it out and use it. In a silly way, it will be like a part of me sharing someone else's life without really meeting them. Weird (as my husband likes to call me), I would feel that way. We dug around in the car and came up also with a little sample tube of sunblock for men. I know someone will find that special...

After our "hunts" we decided it would be nice to get some little gifts to place in the larger cashes with trinkets. We had so much fun buying this "stuff." It was an excuse to buy all those little "how-cool-is-this-but-do-I-need-junk" for other peoople. We placed a $.50-$1.50 limit on everything. We now have a little bin of about 75 such precious gifts as little flash lights, wind-up toys, puzzles, baby slinkys, playing cards, little balls that explode each time you bounce them, marbles, little frisbees that fold up into the size of a coaster, christmas ornaments and other such useful items. The bin looks like a bucket of party favors for a kid's birthday party.

Now, by this time, after trekking around in just a 10 mile radius of our home for over 5 hours and shopping I was shuffling along at a slow pace. I have dealt with a lot of physical pain issues for the past few years (in another blog of mine) and I should have given it up after tromping through the woods for one cache where my husband pretty much had to drag me around over creeks, up hills, etc. I can't believe I actually got sucked into this "hobby" of my husbands. He just enjoys it so much and with my physical limitations these days I figured what harm could be done in just walking around? haha He is bike riding with our daughter again today and since he is usually home by now I assume he geocashing with her. Has this GPS system created a monster?

Finally, the last step in geocashing is to log on the web site whether you found the cashe or not. Although, I could hardly move by then, I resolutely finished the task by creating my geo account and giving a summary of each of my finds. I know I shouldn't really claim them as "found" because my husband found each of them, but I did give him credit for the find in each of my posts.

Long post, I know, but wanted to blog this out in case anyone out there in blogland also has done this and would like to share their experiences. I'm hoping we can get some friends and/or family involved and go on road trips in search of bigger cashes. This just might be a way to bond with others...

OK, now I'm sore in places where I wasn't yesterday. Guess it's time for a whirlpool bath?

3 Comments:

At August 07, 2006 6:31 PM, Blogger Canbush said...

We've got some friends who are into this and we made a start ourselves back in May - so far we've bagged just one, near St Tropez in the South of France. No point starting at the bottom!

 
At August 08, 2006 9:31 AM, Blogger Gambo said...

Sounds like a complete waste of time to me but I typed in Cardiff and it seems loads of people are at it in Wales! I must mix with a very different crowd.
I just got back from France Canbush and I never saw you!!

 
At August 09, 2006 2:50 PM, Blogger GypsySavage said...

Canbush - I was truly amazed at how many actually do this. Personally, I'd rather do the hiding and let others find it.

Gambo - it sounded rather dull to me also at first. I did it to spend time with my husband. But I found out #1 that is is great exercise for someone (like me) who hates to just "exercise." Plus, I found lovely areas in our city I didn't know even existed just by searching around. I think this type of "treasure hunt" activity could be combined with travel and actually be quite fun.

 

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