I am going to ask everyone , how many of us like walking? I don’t think, I see many hands up in the air ..
So, I ask again, how many of us like Treasure Hunting? There you are, all hands up in the air!!
Imagine, if you had a treasure to discover on your walks. Would you go walking?! Oh, I totally would!
No, I ain’t kidding!
I am talking about real life treasure hunting, real life adventure walking. I am talking about ‘Geocaching’!
It was the highlight of my weekend.
Are you confused?
So was I, when the Glens first mentioned it to me.
[Just a slight introduction, ‘The Glens’ are my geochaching ushers.You will soon be familiarised with them as not many weekends are not in Neesik (You don’t know what I am talking about, keep plugged in for more on Neesik!)]
So, what’s this again?
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game where all you need is a GPS enabled phone and your walking boots. It’s a great way to be out in the nature , to plan a day out, to do fun stuff with family especially kids. A great way to discover some amazing landscapes where you would not generally wander to, unless you are lead on! The bonus is, it keeps you active too!!
Geocachers use GPS to play hide and seek around the world. A typical treasure is hidden in a small waterproof container, that has a log book and treasures usually would be some toys, pens, stamps, badges or trinkets of small but wonderful value.
Only I knew, how happy the child in me was when I found my first hidden cache and the ‘you found it’ smiley!
Look, I think I found it!
And for all this, just one rule to the game – the take & give rule. So if you take something from the treasure box, please give in the box, something of the same value if not more.
Coming back to the title of this post! Did you know about Muggles? Again, the Glens came to the rescue and I was educated..
Based on the harry potter series, a Muggle is the non-magical person, in other words a non-geocacher! You are ‘muggled’ and you are puzzled when you bump into a geocacher searching for a cache, or when a muggle (a non geocacher/non magical) accidentally finds a cache. This is serious business, not just muggling around !!
After some more reading, I found out that it is actually a fairly new concept and was introduced only about 15 years ago in 2000 in America. Before then it was called the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt.” The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.
Three interesting facts about Geocaching
- Under Bill Clinton’s command on May 2, 2000, the switch controlling selective availability—aka the Big Blue Switch—was turned off. Prior to this date, GPS signals were only accurate for U.S. Military purposes. GPS receivers around the world had an instant upgrade.
- The International Space Station Geocache, hidden in 2008 by Richard Garriott, is literally “out of this world.” It orbits the earth at 17000 MPH at an altitude of 250 miles. To this date, only one other geocacher has found it.
- Dave Ulmer hid the first geocache, GCF, on May 2nd, 2000.
Thank you Mr. President for making this fun hobby possible! It is a delightful combination of treasure hunt, nature and technology. And it is worldwide!
The fun doesn’t end here. You can track your treasure. So, the treasure I find hidden in Shetland might be found in India, continents apart, at some point! Wow! That’s some travel bug! You could also log what you find, where and your comments on the geocaching website. It’s simple and it’s fun!
Each travel Bug has a goal set by its owner that are mostly travel-related. So my travel bug goal was to visit 8 countries in 80 months (I was tempted for 80 in 80!). The last I checked it was in Korea!
To me the best thing about this whole geocaching concept is that it will take you to places of beauty and interest that you may not have ventured, that may be at your door step or that you thought never existed!
That was one of my Geocache Sight! Breathtaking, isn’t it?
So if you like a bit of thrill in your life, if you like being in the big outdoors, if you enjoy a hike or a motor bike ride, if adventure is in your bagpack, Geocaching might be your thing!
But NO spoilers please.. Do not tell the hidden treasure places to who are yet to find , let others enjoy the find, let others feel the joy of the hunt too!
Just like this wee girl found hers , she picked a rubber stamp and kept a minion eye in exchange ! How exciting for who finds that eye..
PS- Can you see the subtle excitement in the young blue and caring mature peak? That clearly tells Geocaching is for all ages..
Note to self- My next soon to be holiday will be a #geochaching #holiday after all we need to celebrate the 15years of geocaching 🙂
Hope you enjoy GeoCaching and/or being muggled soon..
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leave me your questions/comments ! I had loads when I first learned..