According to geocaching.com, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. All you need to start geocaching is either a GPS or your smart phone. You can register for free on geocaching.com, create a new account, and once you have your account setup, you can search for geocaches close to your home, or your travel location.
I would suggest you read the geocaching 101 document that explains all the rules and steps for finding geocaches. My husband and I have been geocaching since 2006 and adding some geocaching activities to our travel has greatly enhanced our wanderlust trips. Here are 7 reasons to geocache while you travel:
1 – You will discover some very unique locations often not included in the local travel guides. Geocaches are placed by local geocachers and they often want you to see unique and different locations in their city. We’ve seen some caches that are truly one-of-a-kind such as the geocache at Barney’s Toilet Seat Cover Museum in San Antonio Texas.
2 – You could learn about the history of a certain location. We found that Texas seemed to have so many great historic monuments, statues, and cemeteries, and local cachers often included loads of historical information on their cache page. At the cache location, there often is a plaque with additional information about the site, and why it is historically important.
3 – You could learn about local heroes, artists, and political leaders. In Austin Texas, there is a large statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan, the first public monument of a musician in Austin. It’s a virtual cache meaning there is not actual log book to sign.
4 – You could follow the geocaches in a city and see many of the best sights. Many cachers want you to visit the big sights of the city, or the most popular areas, or the most historic areas. You can select your favorite types of caches, and narrow the search to easier caches or more complex ones.
5 – You could attend geocaching events in your travel location and meet local geocachers. We often set up a geocaching event at ports of calls of our cruise ship. Locals (and at times, fellow travelers on our ship) meet up at a set time, and on occasions, we have received offers of geocaching tours.
6 – Some caches are part of a series bringing you to various alike locations. For example, in Dublin, I had to visit 10 different bars to find 10 different caches in a series about the historic bars. I didn’t know they had things in common and would have likely not taken the time to visit those bars if it hadn’t been for finding the caches.
7 – When I worked out of town for long periods of time, I typically geocached on my own, on Sundays where I randomly picked caches that were located in areas I had yet to explore. It also forced me to be active given my week was mostly spent working long hours. Having geocaching as a hobby gave me something fun and interesting to do.
Consider adding geocaching to your travel experience. You may discover some very unique finds!