After re-advertising my last geocaching blog post last night I thought I would update you on my baby steps into the world of Geocaching. It’s been a while since I’ve looked for caches but whilst out on a recce with work yesterday morning, my colleague suggested that I find a few. He’s a local lad and had previously found the caches on our route and I welcomed the timely reminder that I actually really like this activity! I found three caches yesterday: a small film camera type; a micro magnetic one and an entirely new type of cache, an earth cache.
It seems an earth cache is a natural feature and to log it as ‘found’ you need a take a photo of yourself there, upload it and answer a few questions about the cache. I found ‘Runcorn Erratic’ which is a piece of granite that was dumped in Runcorn as a result of glacial flow 10,000 years ago. An erratic is a piece of rock that deviates from the size and type of rock native to the area in which it rests; the name “erratic” is based on the errant location of these boulder. Everyday is a school day! So I duly obliged, added my find to the and was re-inspired to find more caches. Today I went out with the aim of picking up a trackable situated a 10 minute drive from my house that my colleague had visited recently. He told me that he’d left a trackable that he’d picked up in Australia and that no-one had moved it on yet. Mission accepted!! After a quick scout around in the area, I found the cache but there was no sign of the trackable – very disappointing indeed. A quick look at the log of the cache indicates that there should have been three trackable items in the cache but all were absent. I hope that some locals haven’t been picking them out and keeping them. This cache was a plastic storage container hidden inside a green waterproof bag and placed just inside a hedge line, it contained a log book, pencil, pen and some items to swap.
Having found this cache I decided to find a few more in the area, the second cache took me a while to find it – in fact, I almost gave up. I eventually found it concealed above head hight behind a bent fence post, phew! Geocaches really do range in sizes and some are really hard to find as demonstrated by the next one that I sought to find. I was looking for a micro, a small magnetic cache, but I really couldn’t find it and have to give up. I know my colleague was the last person to find it so I may have a chat with him to get some pointers. Last cache of the day was located above the M60 on a farm access road and was tucked nicely into the crash barrier.
I must have looked like a real wierdo today – wandering around, alone and looking suspiciously into hedges, fences and posts…. It’s definitely a way to see a different side to the local area!
As suspected, I have taken geocaching to my heart and it is now my new hobby – in fact, it’s now a reason to go out for a walk. Hunting for a geocache is now something to just drop in to everyday activities, a sneaky ulterior motive for just walking down that random path…
So Friday evening I rushed home from work, attached a lead to Luke and headed out to the woods that I’ve visited hundreds of times before: but this time I was seeing it with new eyes. This time I was on the hunt for ‘Maddie and Jamie’s Stash’. After 10 minutes of searching for it, I found it tucked away nice and safely – can you spot it under the tree trunk? Inside this cache was a logbook and some swappable items – I don’t carry things to swap but I might start because it seems like fun. I quite like this geocaching thing: such a simple idea, rewarding and very addictive. It’s not all rosy: I searched for a cache for ages on Sunday but couldn’t find it – such a disappointment.
I also stumbled across something even more exciting (hard, I know) – a Travel Bug. This little dog tag was in a cache I found in Cheshire, it was attached to a woggle and a plastic tag labelled ‘Swindon Sea Scouts’. The idea of this bug is that it has a unique trackable number that has it’s own webpage, as each person finds it in a cache they log it and move it on to another location. Each movement is mapped on its page and you can go see where it has been – it’s actually really cool. I shall be moving this Travel Bug on soon, I am aiming to get it out of the country…. I will let you know if I succeed.
Yesterday I ventured into a strange new world known as Geocaching. I’m not entirely sure that I am ever going to see life the same way again for now I have a new game to play. This game is basically an elaborate, grown up treasure hunt where the aim is to find a container know as a geocache. All of these caches are logged on a website and you can use this website (or phone app) to search for caches to go hunt.
There are many different types of geocache and each one is unique to the person who placed it. I have been shown this world by one of my new colleagues, he was being gently mocked for his love of geocaching but I made a note to speak to him about it. As fate would have it, we spent most of yesterday offsite together in Crewe and I asked him to show me how it all worked, he duly obliged and before I knew it we were off to find my first geocache. The cache we were looking for was placed by a couple who’ve put a series of caches around Crewe to mark their romance. This particular one was put in Jubilee Park to mark the place where the couple got engaged. The app was brilliant: it helped us to navigate to the geocache; provided a description of the cache and offered a handy hint to locating it.
The geocache we were after was a small magnetic type know as a ‘nano’, the hint we were given was ‘Never Behind’. Once we got to the park we began looking for the nano, it was pretty easy to find as the gates were metal and had the words ‘Never Behind’ written on the crest. Opening the nano revealed a tiny piece of paper inside – each time you visit a cache you should date and sign your username. In this instance the log was too wet to write on so we carefully replaced the paper and put it back where we found it.
It seems that there are geocaches everywhere in the world and thousands of people are playing this international treasure hunt. I quite like it.