Thursday, 8 January 2015

Geocaching


Last summer holidays, I bought a GPS unit off eBay for £40 to start treasure-hunting with the girls after we did a geocache trail at Harcourt Arboretum. The idea is to follow the directions and find the cache - usually a small container with a log book and maybe items to swap.


We haven't done lots, mostly local ones where they're buggy friendly but we've all enjoyed them and they've encouraged us to get out in the fresh air.

Harcourt Arboretum offered a couple of trails using their own units which you hire with a deposit and it was a great way to learn the basics and after we've visited the arboretum quite a few times with the girls, it gave them a renewed purpose for looking around and appreciating the area. The cache boxes also had activities to do inside them.

If you're lucky enough to have a smartphone (and not stuck in the dark ages like me!) you can do it just with this using your phones GPS.
You then need to visit geocaching.com to find locations nearby.
I save these to my GPS unit and as I don't want to pay to upgrade my account (!) I print out or write in my notebook the details, as usually there are clues to find the actual cache. The GPS position can get you in the right area but without a clue it can a little hard to find the object, usually a small container or smaller, that's been hidden.

After the post-Christmas cabin fever had built up and the rain finally stopped, we packed up our small buggy and headed off for one within walking distance of our house. We had three stiles to contend with, which with the folding buggy, was just possible! And then the three year old was content to walk over the muddy fields.
In hindsight, January is not ideal to walk over muddy fields, after it's rained! 


We nearly lost wellies to the mud in one particular field, but we laughed at the sight of a human naked footprint in the mud, so we carried on like adventurers, telling ourselves that this would make a good memory to look back on!


We enjoyed a great view over our town, making the title of the cache - 'View from the top' appropriate and we succeeded in finding the cache, happily.


After we've done a few more, we hope to set our own, TallGreenGiraffe has already been thinking about where to hide it and how it could help get her a Scouts badge.
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