Recently my family and I have been introduced to a new hobby, geocaching. Not that it’s a new idea, because it’s been around for quite a while, just new to us.
When asked to go geocaching I wasn’t sure what to expect as I wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I had heard the term, but never really looked into what it was or what it involved. After talking to other people about it I realize I wasn’t alone and that there are more people who aren’t sure of what geocaching is.
I won’t pretend I’m anywhere close to an expert, as we’ve only gone a couple times, but I’ll try to explain the basics and hopefully get some other people interested and show you where to find out more.
Geocaching is described as a modern day style treasure hunt. It is a great way to combine technology while still getting out enjoying nature. People all over the world have hidden what are called geocaches. Typically a container of some sort filled with a treasure. There is usually a log book for anyone who finds the cache to sign, and there are sometimes other little treasures which you can take and leave something in its place.
Once the geocache is hidden the latitude and longitude are captured using a GPS device and put online so people can find them. We’ve been using a site called geocaching.com. You can sign up for a free account and search for geocaches to find. Once you find one you input the coordinates into your GPS device and use it to make your way to the treasure.
Our friends have a hiking GPS device which works great, but instead of us going out and buying a new device we tried it out with my iPhone. When you find a cache on geocaching.com it has a link to driving directions which opens up Google Maps on the iPhone. You can then use it’s GPS to guide you to the destination.
After we tried it a couple times we downloaded the iPhone app offered by geocaching.com. This gives an easy to use way of finding caches on the go.
There are literally hundreds of geocaches hidden throughout the Annapolis Valley, and it is a fun way to get out and see some of the beautiful sites we have to offer. There are many along well known nature and hiking trails so we find it works well as an added bonus for the kids. It gives them something to look forward to while out on the trail.
Have a look at this geocache map on geocaching.com where it shows just some of the caches hidden throughout the Valley.