Geocaching was previously an activity I had heard mentioned but with little idea of what it was. Clearly I needed to catch up with the 21st century and get familiar with this fascinating outdoor recreational activity. I was introduced to it in more detail in my Digital Literacy specialism and did some research on it and found that there were over 5 million worldwide with one of these actually situated on the University campus. We immediately set out to find this one and managed to locate a small pot container with numerous logs of it being tracked.
For those who are unsure what it is, it’s a treasure hunting type game, similar to orienteering, using a Global Positioning System (GPS) to hide and locate geocaches, which usually come in the form of a small container. When visited, the person logs that they have found it with the date and their code name. The caches can be situated in all sorts of places such as underwater or in a High mountain range.
It is an excellent activity to do with children because the treasure hunting aspect of it really does appeal to them. They thrive on the excitement and challenge of hunting down these caches and it gets them to explore their outdoor environment. Within an educational setting with a class of children or as a family activity, it will give the children a sense of pride at locating a cache.
I caught a glimpse of how regularly it’s used recently as we used geocaching as our theme for a Geography locality study where we were required to go around the local area of Plymouth and gather resources relevant to a local theme. We located several geocaches and took images and when we present our findings, this will help to spread the word about geocaching to a wider group of people. On introducing what we were to do to the geography lecturer, she responded by saying ”yes I have came across roughly 1100 of them!” Also I saw a man using an orange GPS device to find one when I was out walking too. It’s evident that it appeals to all ages.
I would strongly recommend at least giving this phonomenen of Geocaching a try. If you need an exciting new hobby that allows you to combine your love of technology with nature and exploration, geocaching is definitely for you. To find geocaches and find out more imfornation on giving it a go please visit http://www.geocaching.com/