I’ve been seeing the term geocaching appear more and more on social media lately. I’ve had a clue what it is, but it’s one of those things I see and pass right over because I didn’t think the idea of running around in the woods with GPS looking for hidden objects was really my thing. My friends Josh and Liz of Peanuts or Pretzels have been posting a lot about their geocaching trips lately. So I decided to get the details from Josh. And what I found surprised me.
Trips By Lance:
Explain what geocaching is.
Peanuts or Pretzels:
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game. Geocachers use a GPS to navigate to a set of GPS coordinates, and then attempt to find the Geocache (container) that’s hidden at the location. It’s amazing because Geocaches can be found all over the world! Many “caches” are hidden in locations that are important to people, have historical significance, or are just pretty cool places.
How did you get into geocaching?
We started Geocaching on a whim. One day at work I had one of my co-workers drive up to my car in the parking lot and asked if I could help him find something. I said “No problem, but what are we looking for?” He explained that we are trying to find a Geocache. Not having a clue what he was talking about, I continued to look around my car and then he found the geocache. Right in front of my car in the park lot and the same spot I had parked for years. I was curious and hooked from that moment. Why Go Geocaching?
How do you feel it enhances your experiences when you travel?
We got hooked on geocaching while traveling on our first international trip as a couple to Scotland and Ireland. We geocached around the city of Dublin, Ireland, and loved the fact the geocaching was giving us a tour of the city. It was a great way to make sightseeing adventurous. Sometimes in major cities you will find small magnetic caches hidden all over. Geocaching is also a great way to learn about the history of a place. We have found that you will often find geocaches in parks or near monuments that may not be tour guides.
While in Northern Scotland, we followed an unmarked trail outside a small town, which led us to a local monument. This monument was nowhere to be found in our guidebooks, and it happened to be up on a mountainside overlooking a beautiful loch. This is what Geocaching is about. Getting off the beaten path and see what locals want to highlight to others.
How often do you geocache while traveling?
We honestly go Geocaching everywhere we go. Yes we are fully hooked and when we don’t find a geocache or two in a new place it feels like we missed out on really discovering a place. This doesn’t happen often. When we go to a new place we pull up all the geocaches in that area and see what caches people like the most. Then we can start planning our activities in the city around which cache we want to go after. Liz and I started calling this activity #AdventureCaching.
What are some of the more unique geocaching experiences you’ve had?
One of our most unique geocaching experiences would have to be when we found ourselves alone on a sandy trail, heading toward a broken-down temple in the Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia.
We went from being with thousands of other travelers to being completely alone. Being completely alone in the jungle was a bit unnerving, but eventually we made it to the temple. We had to climb over a crumbled wall, then make our way across large boulders to get to the center of the old temple, where the geocache was located. It is one cache that will always stand out to us. Check out the story here.
What kind of tools do travelers need to geocache, and can it be pricey?
Geocaching is not that expensive. It is actually FREE to start, as long as you already have a smartphone. You can set up a free profile at Geocaching and download the free app to your smartphone and then you are ready to start caching. If you want to enhance your geocaching skills, then you can upgrade your app to a $9.99 app, which reveals even more caches that you can go after. You may also choose to become a member at $30 per year (optional), but there are special perks and caches available to members. You can also create a combined profile and membership to save money; for example, Liz and I cache under one profile and use the same profile on our phones.
The game is based on using GPS coordinates, so eventually you may choose to move from your smartphone to an actual handheld GPS unit. Units vary widely in price, so it really depends on how much you are willing to invest in your new hobby. Check out our Geocaching 101: Getting Started with Profile & App for more details.
A special thanks to Josh and Liz for explaining geocaching. To follow along with their adventures, check out http://www.peanutsorpretzels.com.
Josh and Liz are married travel bloggers who absolutely love to travel around the world, and getting to know the culture and the people who live there.
“We are always up for laughter, a good adventure, and possibly a bit of geocaching! We enjoy sharing our travel experiences with others through our travel blog, and spreading the knowledge and cultural understanding that can help make the world a better place. Life’s about having fun, being open minded, learning from others, and enjoying every day … and we do!
You can follow Josh and Liz on Twitter @peanutspretzels.