Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cache talkin

I was never one to have a lot of hobbies.  I mean, I read, I cook, I craft, pretty typical stuff.  Then I met Hubby, and he introduced me to the fantastic fun of geocaching.

Actually, the first time he explained to me what geocaching was, I thought it was the most stupid thing I had ever heard of.  They a year later, I asked him to try explaining it again, and suddenly, it was the most cool thing I ever heard of and I demanded he take me the very next day.

Geocaching is sort of like a grown up treasure hunt.  First, let me explain what a cache is.  Basically, a cache is a container that holds a log book, a pencil, and some "treasures", usually small things like yo-yos, stickers, bracelets, you know, the equivalent to a grown up cracker jack prize.  There are also micro caches which hold no treasures, just a place to write your name.  You join a site that lists the GPS coordinates for different caches, such as, which is what we use.  There are, literally, caches hidden all over the world.

So, you get the coordinates for caches in the area you want to go geocaching.  Often the listings will include hints, or helpful info, as well as the difficulty level.  You see, the GPS coordinates get you within about 50 feet or so, and then, you have to search.  Once you find the cache, you open the log book and write the date and your name, and a little message.  You also wrote what item you took out, if any, and what item you left in it's place, if any. 

Hubby and I have gone several times, and we try to do a cache each time we go on a trip, in the trip location.  When we went to Deep Creek, we went geocaching on my birthday and the cache we found had some awesome and interesting stuff in it, including a guitar pick from Texas, and a mad of Rome.  However, the coolest thing in it and the thing which we chose to take was a travel bug.  A travel bug is a little dog tag that you buy from a geocaching supplier that is trackable through the website mentioned above.  You can set a goal for it, like, my goal is to have the bug travel to all 50 states, and then you can track the progress on the web site.  So, we took a bug from Maryland, and recently placed it in a cache in Pennsylvania. 

Not all our attempts have been successful.  There are times you do not find the cache, or caches get removed and never updated on the website.  Caches not properly weatherized will get ruined, etc.  Many people make their caches in old metal ammunition containers.  In fact, I bought Hubby a kit to make our own cache, and it was an ammo container with a sticker denoting it was an official geocache.  We have yet to plant the cache, still trying to decide where.

It is just so cool because you get to play with a GPS gadget, and when you find the cache, you can see how people from all over have found it and written in the log.  Sometimes a series of caches are placed as riddles or puzzles.  We have yet to try something like that.

So anyway, now you know for certain, as if there were ever any doubt, I am a big nerd at heart.  A big nerd who loves geocaching.