Geocaching
by Dave

Couple Trying Geocaching as a Creative Date
You may not know it but there's hidden treasure all around you! It's true, and the only thing you need to find it is a GPS and a spirit for adventure. Geocaching is basically a big game of hide and seek where some people have hidden containers (caches) and others try to find them using a set of coordinates and a GPS. To be honest, the so-called treasure isn't really worth finding, but the neat spots you'll explore and the fun you'll have looking for caches together is.

Geocaching was a popular news item a few years back, but while the buzz has come and gone, it's still something that most people will have fun trying out at least once. It all starts at the geocaching.com website, where you search for a cache or two that sound fun (check the ratings and reviews) and download the coordinates into your phone or handheld GPS. There will probably be a bunch of so-so caches nearby, but take a little extra time to find ones that have been very well-reviewed even if they're a bit of a drive. The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses latitude and longitude to get you within a few feet of the listed spot, although most geocache coordinates are only reliable within 20-40 feet or so, which means you will probably have to do some searching when you get there. But that's ok, digging around for a cache is half the fun! The caches are generally small sealable containers that can be hidden easily, and will have little trinkets (called swag or geoswag) you can trade for something of your own, plus a log book. You don't have to bring anything for trade, but it's kinda neat to read the log book and leave a note for future seekers. Good swag should be small and includes things like toys, interesting pins or stickers, and such. Use your imagination!

It used to be that you would need a special handheld GPS to find caches, but these days iPhones, Blackberries, and other phones are fitted with GPS capabilities. The geocaching home page has software for the iPhone and check the Links section for other popular phone software. If you don’t have a GPS-enabled phone, pick up a cheap handheld GPS for about $80.

Many of the geocaches are hidden in scenic outdoor locations that may be perfect for a picnic, think about packing a small lunch. As with all outdoor activities, a few damp washcloths for your face, neck, and arms can make you feel much more refreshed and comfortable for lunch.

If you have fun, consider getting involved by setting up a cache of your own at some nearby spot that only you know about.

Take a look at our Treasure Hunt and Mystery Date for similar date ideas!



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Comments

Tips

Caches are usually in hard-to-find spots, dress as you would for hiking.

You'll Need

A handheld GPS or GPS-enabled phone

Links

geocaching.com website
Geocaching software for iPhones
Geocache Navigator software for GPS phones

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