What is geocaching?
People often ask me to tell them about such a game as geocaching. Well, I’ll try to describe it in a way that after reading the article you will immediately decide to join our team!
Tell me please, did you love such books as «Treasure island» when you were children? Dreamed to be a traveller and to find hidden treasures with help of an old pirate map? Or maybe in your adulthood you are fond of books about spies? How they pass on secret information with different caches? Maybe you just want to add more sense to your trips? In all these cases I’m sure you’ll find geocaching interesting.
The essence of this game is to find different caches, hidden in various places of our planet. When you become more experienced, you will be able to create your own caches. A usual cache is a container with a mandatory geocaching notebook inside. If there is enough space, there can be a pen and some souvenirs. There are samples of geocaching boxes:
Where you can get the information about that caches? Of course on maps. There won’t be old pirate maps but modern ones. On a web site of a game you can find coordinates, a description and maybe a photo of a place with a cache. However, many geocachers don’t try to facilitate your search. They can hide caches in mountains, under the water, in caves and old castles. In any place which is not private or closed. For sure, in cities you can also find a lot of caches. But all of them are hidden. And it’s not easy to find them. You should use all your skills and intuition. Do not forget that a lot of muggles are around you! Yes, geocachers use the word «muggles» from Harry Potter to name strangers. Muggles are not our enemies. But they can steal or destroy a cache intentionally or accidentally. You must keep looking around you so as not to attract too much attention. Isn’t this a good task for a real secret agent? Children also love this game. It’s so thrilling to get to an old castle and to take an old box with treasures from a hidden hole in a wall!
Are you interested? Want to know more and join the game? So, keep on reading. First of all, you must sign up on a web site of the game. There are several web sites depending on the region:
- geocaching.com – the largest geocaching web site. Caches are all over the world. Because it’s an international site, most of the descriptions and notes are in English. Some articles can be in a local language of an arena.
- geocaching.su – a Russian-language web site. Caches are mostly in exUSSR area. But can be found even in other countries. The rules are a bit simpler than on geocaching.com.
- shukach.com – a Ukrainian project with a vast variety of cache types. The project is quite new, so the number of players is small.
There are other local geocaching web sites in different countries. For example, geocaching.pl is in Polish. But if you like traveling, it’s better to choose a game with the highest coverage.
You need to read the rules after the registration. They are quite simple, but they allow the game to live and develop.
What you must do first after finding a cache is to write down a date and your nickname from a game in a notebook. Then, when you come home, you must visit a web site of the game and log your visit online. With this you fix the fact of finding the cache and tell future «seekers» that the container is in a good state, it isn’t stolen or destroyed.
If you find any souvenirs in a cache, you can take some of them with you. But you must follow one simple rule – if you take something, put something equal in return because the next player may also want to take a treasure. It can be any souvenir, magnet, page or something like this. It is prohibited to put food or something which can go bad or deteriorate outside.
There is a minimal set of rules to start playing. While geocaching you will find out a lot of other interesting things like travel-bugs, virtual or multi caches and so on.
One more thing about equipment. Some time ago to play geocaching you should have had a gps navigation device. But today you only need any kind of smart phone with the navigation function. There are many different geocaching applications for different devices which allow you to download the information about caches, show a way and even log your visit. So, we have examined the rules, signed up and downloaded caches coordinates. Let’s go!