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Geocaching is a popular outdoor treasure-hunting activity where you use a GPS device, like a smartphone, to search for hidden containers. Geocaching is an extremely family-friendly activity and is a great way to get the whole family exploring the great outdoors. Once more, it is completely free.
A trip to Devon’s beautiful countryside will not disappoint any ‘geocacher’, from a novice to an expert. With hundreds of miles of public footpaths, beautiful coastlines and an abundance of countryside, it will come as no surprise Devon is home to over 25,000 hidden containers.
Geocaching is similar to the 150-year old “letterboxing”, where people would follow clues and landmarks in a story to locate a hidden container.
With the improved accuracy of GPS technology, in May 2000, geocaching as we now know it was born. Dave Ulmer, in America, took the initiative to bury a container in the middle of a woods and post the coordinates on the internet. Inside was a collection of items, including books and money.
Geocaching is a free activity the whole family will enjoy. As with any outdoor activity, you will need to pack sensible items and be safe. Along with reading the Ordnance Survey’s “A Beginner’s Guide to Walking“, here are some of the things you should take:
Geocaching can be done with a map and compass, however, if you’re new to the game, then we recommend you get one of the apps. Geocaching.com have a very good app. If you are a competent map reader you can view the geocaching locations on their site prior to setting off.
There are a few different variations you can try, some of our favourites include:
Once you’ve picked what type of geocache you want to do, you will need to select your first treasure hunt. There are two ratings you need to consider to determine the difficulty of the geocache, they are:
(Both ratings are on a scale of 1-5, with one being the easiest and five being the hardest.)
The great thing about geocaching is that there is often treasures to be uncovered. Whilst these may not have a monetary value, they often are valued possessions to the people that left them. Although not necessary, part of the fun is exchanging one of your possessions for an item in the container. The only rule here is that you leave something of equal or greater value. All containers will have a logbook for you to record your visit.
It is important to leave the container as hidden as you found it so it doesn’t become “muggled“. This usually refers to a non-geocacher, also known as a muggle, dismantling or removing the items from the container (the name was inspired by J K Rowling’s Harry Potter).
1. Traditional: Choo Choo Cache
“Overlooking the Dartmoor Railway this Choo Choo Cache awaits.”
2. Multi-Cache: Church Micro 1954… Mortehoe
“A Church Micro at St.Mary’s, Mortehoe”
3. Mystery or Puzzle: Blackmore Gardens
Located somewhere in the gardens…
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