Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online.
When Geocaching.com was launched in September 2000 there were only 75 known geocaches in the world. Today, there are a staggering 1,542,703 active geocaches with more than 5 million geocachers in the community to which M. and I now belong.
Geocaching has given me a reason to stop watching re-runs of Desperate Housewives on a Tuesday evening (there I’ve said it…) and get out of the house for some air after a long day at work.
It is an activity that M. and I enjoy doing together, especially because it has given us a more entertaining use of our beloved I-Phones. This game is the reason why we often get dirt under our nails and mud on our shoes as we follow the flashing blue dot on our I-Phones to locate the hidden container.
But why does geocaching merit mention on a travel blog?
Geocaching is a unique way to discover our region, which up until now we both thought we knew pretty well. Since my colleague Stefan introduced me to the joys of geocaching in August, we have discovered a park in Lausanne that ironically enough, M. drives past practically everyday. Just this afternoon, I was introduced to the Major Davel monument, a mere 500 metres away from where I worked for over two years.
You may be surprised to find, as we did in Canada, that people have hidden geocaches in your back yard – literally! And as Stefan has shown me, it’s a novel activity to engage in when travelling to other parts of the world.
Interestingly, there are a number of people in our entourage who already know about the game and have some experience finding these caches.
Others, like my brother-in-law to be Darren, are the type of geocachers who prefer the use of a compass and map rather than the facility of a GPS device. According to Darren, a GPS takes all the fun out of geocaching. (He hasn’t been in the family long enough to know about my legendary inability to read even the simplest of maps.)
If you have an I-Phone and want to try out a fun new activity, then this might be it. It’s a good way to involve the children and meet and interact with a new set of people.
Should you decide to try it out, write and let me know about your experience!