What is Geocaching?

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game with a gps.

Geocaching on the Hamilton Niagara Escarpment
Geocaching on the Hamilton Niagara Escarpment

Geocaching can be a lot of different things to a lot of different people.

For me being somewhat of a techie, it meant bringing electronics to the outdoors. I have always loved the outdoors and searching for those places that haven’t been well traveled or finding those little places that I would never have seen otherwise. It’s the adventure and the technology that has lead me there. The sense of awww with the find and moving onto the next awww. The slight adrenalin rush that sometimes is apparent when you know you are close. All of this wrapped into one and moving onto the next for the next rush.

It is a way to get the kids out and away from all the technology that keeps them in the house. My 8 year old son always groans about going, but once we are out there and he starts finding them before I do (some that I let him and others that he REALLY does) he normally starts loosening up and really gets into it. We went on a full day excursion in March of 2010 near Bolton. He still talks about it to this day and asks when we can go next so we can watch the sun come up. It was a mini vacation for the both of us. If I promise he can take his bicycle, he is all over it again and raring to go!

My 14 year old daughter now on the other hand, well lets just say that some days she is up to it and other days she wold rather hang around the house in hopes that her friends may stop by. She is at that age you know. The times she does come out she ends up enjoying the drive by’s (mostly because she doesn’t have to get out of the van) and takes the odd walks with my son and I. But of course she is glued to her cell phone and would rather sit in the van at times and listen to music.

So the other side of the coin that I enjoy is the family time that we get to spend when all three of us do get out. The memories are there and always linger on.

Another aspect of geocaching is that it can be relatively cheap to start up. You can get a fairly cheap gps for around $75 CDN. The geomate Jr comes to mind. It is apparently loaded with over 5000 caches when you first purchase it. How close are those caches to your home is another question. My Garmin Dakota 20 cost around $400 CDN when I purchased. That was the biggest expense.

Then next expense is gas. At first, if you live in an area with a high saturation of caches, you may be able to travel 10 miles in any direction to find 4 or 5 caches for weekend for a month or two. But once you clear out the area closest to your home, of course, more gas.

found a geocache
You can find geocaches sitting down too!

Well that is isn’t worth it, your probably thinking. But. The further you get away from home, the more interesting things you may find. Like a trip I took with a group to Ancaster Ontario, which is about 70 Km’s from my home, we found about a dozen different waterfalls. I would never have seen any of them if it wasn’t for geocaching.

So to say that basically it is a scavenger hunt with a gps is really not doing the sport/hobby any justice at all. You can make it what you want to make. My kids and I make it a new adventure every time. Just because the day is over doesn’t mean that the adventure is over. It just means that next time we have a whole new adventure the next time we all go!