Know what the terms ‘geocache’, ‘muggle’ or ‘trackable’ mean? If not, let us let you in on a cool little secret that’ll turn your school holiday downtime on its head…
There’s a very addictive pastime that’s taking over my children (and maybe even the ‘big’ kids in our household): Geocaching.
As readers of this story, you’ll probably fall into one of two groups: You’ll be shaking your head in disbelief that my family hadn’t discovered the addiction of geocaching before now (because it’s apparently been a ‘thing’ since 2000). Or you will be looking at this page quizzically wondering what-the-geo I’m talking about.
In geocaching, participants commonly use a GPS-enabled smartphone to hide and seek containers called ‘geocaches’ or ‘caches’ at specific locations, marked by coordinates, all over the world. You simply download the app to your phone, create a profile and you’re away. A typical cache is a small waterproof container holding a logbook, among other things. A finder of a cache signs the log and dates it, in order to prove they found it. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. The beauty of larger caches is that you can also trade small items – you take a trinket from the cache and replace it with one you brought with you. That’s the cherry on top for my kids. They have scored some fun and odd little treasures in their geocaching travels and have quite the collection growing. The only thing you have to beware of are “muggles”. This is a term for non-players who might see you uncover a hidden cache and, unknowingly, tamper with it. It’s part of the fun – playing the game in stealth!
For our family, geocaching has become a popular school holiday activity. We’ve spent full days on the road chasing caches. Geocaching has had us out bushwalking new territory and discovering local parks that we didn’t even know existed. It gets you out in the great outdoors in search of adventure – we love nothing more than geocaching new ground while on holidays in different areas. And, trust us, once you are in the geocaching fold, you will never look at a hollow log the same way again!