It's a secret world and you're invited...
You either know about it or you don’t, you’re either a cacher or a muggle… still confused, then you my friend are a muggle.
I’m not referring to the wizardly world where a bespectacled boy talks to snakes, no, I’m talking about the secret world of Geocaching.
If you’ve not heard the name before and you enjoy walking through the big outdoors then for all you muggles there’s a chance this could be an epiphany moment for you.
Geocaching is about finding hidden items by using GPS through an app on your phone, these hidden items range from the very small to the quite large, many also include a treasure of trinkets and treats.
And believe it or not, where you are stood right now it’s likely that within a 5 minute walk you will have at least one at hand. It’s also not just in the UK its global, at the time of writing there are more than 3 million active geocaches worldwide, hidden in 191 countries.
So while you’ve been going about your day to day life you will have been walking past hidden geocaches, while all the time a secret section of society have been discretely tracking them down.
Many reasons, for starters… everyone loves a good treasure hunt, especially kids.
Getting small children out for a walk can often be a challenge but tell them there’s a secret treasure at the end of it and your guaranteed more buy in. In truth the treasure is often what can be best described as plastic cracker toys, it also seems to be where parents look to rid themselves of the forgotten fads, loom bands to name but one.
But it’s not just what’s in them, its also the caches themselves.
With over 3 million you can expect some variety. They can range from the simple plastic tupaware clip box through to pretend rocks, logs and pine cones, even a snail. Some are simply hidden under some sticks, ‘stickaflage’ to those in the know. Others are up in trees with elaborate pulley systems, some are magnetic, some even require water to float them up a pipe.
Then there are the locations, you will find them in towns and cities, villages, countryside walks – they are everywhere. But the more stunning the scenery often the more stunning the location, a personal favourite is north wales and Snowdonia. Some of the caches found here led a bright young girl to refer to Geocaching as something that ‘takes you to places you need to find”.