Article by Stephanie M Scott
What’s a geocache?
Vancouver has over 4000 known caches, that’s one in every community.
With its increasing popularity and the accessibility made possible by GPS-enabled cell phone maps, this game of self-guided discovery has evolved and is now paired with plenty of variations to keep you mentally sharp.
Start with a basic search, or challenge yourself with an educational or puzzle cache.
Rediscover your zen with an environmental focus or take part in an earth initiative – it’s up to you!
Let me tell you a personal story. When I was younger my cousin, sister, and I invented a game – hide and seek but we hid our favourite stuffy instead.
Searching endlessly to find each other’s plaything was such a thrill and afterwards celebrated gleefully upon finding the hidden treasure. These experiences and memories have forever bonded us to one another.
Fast forward to adulthood, I learned of geocaching, the game of treasure seeking in communities.
People hide small treasures for others to find.
What a thrill. An exhilarating rush to find out that this community exists all over the world!
Join in on the fun!
Often all you need to begin are the coordinates of the geocache and an understanding of the rules of engagement.
- A geocache will never require you to trespass, break a law, or damage property
- A geocache is monitored by the community of cachers. Log your successes and “Did Not Find” ( DNF ) in the place you download the coordinates.
- A geocache is a shared secret, protect it by discreetly replacing your find exactly where you found it. No exceptions.
More of the Geo Cacher’s rules.
Choose Your Cache
The difficulty levels vary too. If this is your first look for a regular or medium size cache with a difficulty level of around 1-2.5. You should be able to find it within 1 hour once you arrive at the right area.
Many geocaches are in waterproof Tupperware. They can be as elaborate and thrilling as a hidden compartment that seamlessly blends into the surrounding environment.
Having The Right Tools
The journey is the adventure, and taking the time to immerse yourself is part of what makes geocaching a rewarding experience. Make sure to put these essential items in your day pack, as these adventures can take awhile.
- Water. Stay hydrated and stay safe.
- Sunscreen, a hat, or rain gear depending on the weather
- Bug repellent if the area requires it
- A flashlight to help you check dark places
- Download an App that allows an offline mode, just in case you are taking off-grid
- BYOP (Bring Your Pen) to sign the logbook
- A camera to capture your fun with friends
- A magnifying glass, or tweezers for small caches
- Or binoculars to spot high caches
- OR A decoder for puzzle caches
- a good attitude and friends
Log Your Results!
Geocachers have built a vibrant community.
The Apps and forums can give you hints to ensure you do not miss a cache.
Logging your experience, successes, DoNotFinds, and reporting missing or damaged caches helps others prepare for the best experience. By doing this, cachers into the future can experience the joy of successful discovery and the cache owner can share in your experience by reading the logs.
You can complement the experience by joining a local community
Love It? Level Up!
Geocaches are playgrounds for the child at heart, and a way to re-visit known locations and see them with enhanced perception. The goal of finding a cache forces your attention to look at everything in new ways.
Cultivate a feeling of expertise and accomplishment. Geocaches are being combined with all types of events, and activities, you’ll never be bored if you keep looking for these gems and the creative events that incorporate a cache.
Adjust the terrain difficulty, or look for remote locations that offer devastating beauty around BCs natural escapes.
Make it an all-day event with multiple connected geocaches where the location listed is only the 1st step in the fun or gives you clues to multiple caches or needs a code cipher to be located.
Do some good. Find a Cache In Trash Out® (CITO) experience to give back the environmental initiatives.
Try it with a group.
Geocache adventure tours around Vancouver are a great way to meet new people in your local time.
- Landsharkz,Geocaching store
- Richmond Geotour
- Gold Country’s GeoTourism Program
- The Amazing Places Project
- More GeoTour Hosts
What was your first Geocache?
Share a highlight with #BoredinVancouver, not the location!
Go get puzzling!