Thoughts on Geocaching

For years, I’ve been telling Hubby to find a hobby. I have lots of hobbies and enjoy them all. They give a sense of purpose and fulfill a need to accomplish something. Everyone needs hobbies during retirement. Hubby was introduced to the hobby of geocaching by his uncle and now he is enjoying searching for geocaches.

Don’t know what geocaching is? It’s a recreational activity where you use GPS coordinates posted on a website to hunt for and most of the time, find an object that was hidden by someone. The activity only requires a handheld GPS and maybe some gas. Seems like an odd hobby for someone who sometimes can’t find the butter in the refrigerator or his socks on the bed. Of course, I can’t be too critical on that account since I am guilty of the same things. I guess it’s the thrill of using an electronic gadget and the challenge that he finds appealing.

There are caches all over the world. Literally. Boise has several thousand geocaches hidden around the valley. We’ve walked to a number of them from our house.  Anywhere we go (grocery store, mall, doctor’s office), Hubby will look up the caches in the area and while I shop, he’ll go hunting. It keeps him busy while I take my time doing what I want to do.

Some of the caches are as large as toolboxes and others are called micros and may be a half-inch by quarter-inch. Micros are no fun to search for—they are too hard to find. Geocaches vary in size and appearance, everything from large, clear plastic containers to film canisters to a fake rock with a secret compartment. Most that I’ve found are inside prescription bottles or little plastic containers that are small, but easier to find than micros. They are hidden under logs, bridges, rocks, benches, and a plethora of places. Sometimes they are disguised as electrical boxes going nowhere or pieces of bark on the side of a tree. Some are under the bases of light poles or inside a hollow screw. Sometimes they are so well disguised that you can’t find them.

Inside the caches, there’s a log with the names of other geocachers who found it. Some caches have trinkets in them that may be taken and placed in another geocache. Travel bugs are common. A travel bug is a trackable tag that you attach to an item and it’s carried from cache to cache. You can follow the travel bug’s progress online to see the places where it’s traveled. Hubby picked up a travel bug from the wilds of the Black Hills in South Dakota that started out in Virginia. He deposited it in a geocache in Washington State. It wasn’t long before someone else took it and it’s making its way back to the Midwest.

I like this hobby for Hubby. It’s not that expensive and it’s challenging. It also provides opportunities for brain and physical exercises. We’ve walked a lot looking for geocaches. He calls me his “secret weapon” because if he can’t find it, sometimes I can, even at home. If you want to learn more about geocaching, go to www.geocaching.com.

 

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