Yes! We are officially geocachers! WOOHOOO! Why did I discover this game so late? It’s super duper fun!
Don’t know what is geocaching? Check out geocaching.com to find out! Let me quote from the website: 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.
A month ago, I casually mentioned about this global treasure hunt game to the kids and they were very eager to play. Had our first geocaching outing traveling via public transport and walking a lot. Found and logged 2 caches.
Our very first geocache log!
This cache had a magnet attached. Guess where we found it?
Did our 2nd geocache outing with hubby, on Mother’s Day. There’s where we found our first trackable – Dottie the Gingerbread Man.
Trackables are something like game pieces with a tracking number that you can log on at geocaching.com. That way, the owner (aka the one who releases the trackable into the geocaching world) can track where it is now and how far it’s travelled. Dottie came from the UK. It’s been to many countries before landing into our hands.
We’d since dropped it into another cache. Last I checked, it had been picked up by another geocacher who said he/she would bring it on more adventures.
These are from another cache from our most recent find.
There were 2 travel bugs (one kind of trackable) and souvenirs. We didn’t take the key (don’t know what it’s for) or the red hairclip. Kids took a bouncy ball and a coin from the USA. In return, I dropped a geocoin attached to a Pluto soft toy, and 2 other souvenirs.
Pluto found a new home! Haha. It’s been with me for quite long because I couldn’t find a cache big enough for him.
Bought these and kept some in a small container which I bring along everywhere in case I need to drop souvenirs into caches. Hehe. Placed a blue shell and a marble in exchange for the ball and coin.
The TB (travel bug) that we took.
There are many different types of caches. Traditional ones are the simplest. Mystery caches require you to solve a puzzle to obtain the correct coordinates. Multicaches bring you to different (nearby) locations to gather hints before you can find out the final coordinates of the caches. Earth caches do not have a physical cache but will give you a lesson on history, culture, geography etc on a specific location. Typically, you have to go to the location, then answer questions posed by the cache owner, before you can log it.
We’ve been to one earth cache, Sembawang Hot Spring. 2nd time there actually, only this time, we had a mission! To measure the temperature of the spring water. What’s cool about this is that just a short distance away from the hotspring is a traditional cache called the Hotspring Tool Cache. Some geocacher took the initiative to hide a specialised thermometer in that cache so others can retrieve it and use it for the mission at the hotspring earth cache. Of course, the thermometer has to be returned to the traditional cache after use. Isn’t that SUPER cool?
Measuring the temperature of the hot spring water.
Our geocaching adventures have made some other friends interested in this treasure hunt too. Now, Trixie and her family are geocachers too! And after a mega cycling cum geocaching trip at East Coast with Trixie and Calynn’s family, Megan is now interested in geocaching too. I say mega because we were a very big group. All 12 of us searching for a small container at one area. Haha. I was concerned we weren’t discreet enough. So it was a relief when I logged on and saw that there were other finds logged after us. Those caches didn’t get muggled (as in discovered and removed by muggles aka non-geocachers. haha) because of us! Whew.
Our logs that evening!
A successful log will turn the dot into a smiling face. Different color stands for different type of caches. I have 9 smileys on my map now. Looking forward to more! 🙂
What I love about this game is how it brings us to places we’ve never been. I love the sense of adventure that it brings and how it connects people, even those from another part of this planet. It’s really quite cool to be holding a trackable that you know had toured the world before you. And you wonder where it’ll be going next.
I also love to see the creativity involved in hiding the cachers, or creating puzzles. We found caches that were perfectly blended into the surroundings, one was in a fake rock! I have read the descriptions of some of the earthcaches. They were truly fascinating history and geography lessons. A bit too cheem for my kids. But I will love to study some of these locations and log them one day.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t remain a muggle, go be a geocacher! Adventures are out there! 😛