Some people are natural-born adventurers. Others need a little more incentive. If you’re looking for a way get out and explore new places, geocaching might be the answer. This high-tech scavenger hunt will take you around the world and can even help you discover a few hidden gems close to home. So what exactly is geocaching?
We spoke to geocaching fan and manager of the Garden City AAA Travel call center, Johnny Erato, to learn more.
Q: What is geocaching?
A. I like to describe geocaching as a high-tech treasure hunt. You use your hand-held GPS or smartphone to navigate environments and find different sized containers (geocaches) of cool items all around the world.
I once heard a fellow geocacher describe geocaching as “using multi-billion dollar military defense satellites to find Tupperware in the woods.”
Some containers are tiny and can be hidden behind street signs with a magnet; others are quite large and usually found in wooded areas. Each traditional geocache has a log sheet that you sign and then enter on your computer or smartphone app.
Q: Where is geocaching done?
A. There are geocaches all over the world. Street signs, bushes, trees, wooded areas, parking lots – you name it!
Q: How can people join in on the fun?
A. The best way to join the fun and learn more is by visiting the Geocaching.com website. You can sign up for a free account, download the app and start exploring. After that, you can attend official geocaching events where fellow fans gather for meet-and-greets, educational seminars, environmental cleanups and more. At these gathering you’ll meet plenty of experienced geocachers with lots of info to share. You can even join the local and specialized geocaching Facebook groups and pages out there. You’ll find people excited to talk about their latest discoveries.
Q: Are there different types of caches?
A. Yes! There are currently over a dozen “cache types” that act as different variations of the game and bring their own fun and unique challenges.
Traditional geocaches are the most straightforward. You can find them at a given set of coordinates. And although the container sizes may vary, all of these geocaches will at least have a logbook to sign. Some larger geocaches will even have items that you can trade.
However, other cache types like mystery or puzzle caches get a little more difficult. These types involve solving complicated puzzles before you can determine the correct coordinates to find your prize.
Other types send you to a location to learn more about the environment. These are called EarthCaches and are all about helping people discover the cool ways our planet has been shaped by geological processes.
But these are just a few of the many geocaches out there. The list is always growing and changing. Check out this full list of geocache types.
Q: What’s the best part of geocaching?
A. For me, the best part of geocaching are the incredible places the geocaches take you. Places you otherwise would not have seen or experienced. It’s also fun to see if a geocache is present in an area that you just happen to be visiting.
There are few things more exciting than visiting a place you’ve never been before. And when you add the thrill of finding hidden treasures, discovering new destinations becomes that much more exhilarating. So join this modern-world treasure hunt and start exploring!
For more information on geocaching, visit this online geocaching guide.
Have you ever tried geocaching? Does it sound like something you would like to do?
AAA Exclusive Vacations is hosting a Geocaching Adventure cruise from New York to Bermuda on the Norwegian Breakaway Sept. 10! Visit MyExclusiveVacations.com or call 844-205-6226 to learn more.