The best thing that happened this week was putting out a Geocache. I’ve been Geocaching for a couple of years now and I think it is a fun way to go out and enjoy nature. I’m still not very good at it but I have fun trying to find a cache even if I find it or not.
What is a Geocache? A Geocache is kind of like a treasure. You use your phone or GPS to find it. So it is some sort of treasure hunt. You can use your phone by downloading the official Geocaching APP. You need to make an account and then you can see all the caches close to you. You can even search for an area, say Glasgow, and thereby see all the caches in and around Glasgow. You can also zoom out and see where you can find caches in the whole of Scotland or the whole world if you’d like.
If you want to use a GPS instead you need to find the coordinates on the internet. You go to the Geocaching website, sign up and it will work the same as if you’re using your phone. You find the coordinates, upload them to your GPS and you go treasure hunting.
There are different types of caches. Most caches are smaller or bigger boxes with things inside. All caches will have a notebook inside. In it you right your name and when you found the cache. If you use your phone, you can log the cache online and you will be able to see how many caches you’ve found total. The same applies to using a GPS only you have to update it when you come back from the trip and go online. If you find a cache with things inside you can trade it for another small thing. Some people like to save the things as a trophy while others might exchange in another cache.
Another type Geocache is a so called micro cache. The micro cache is a very small container only containing a small notebook. A micro cache is a container smaller than 100ml. These are often harder to find.
A third Geocache is a multi-cache. This is a cache involving more steps in finding the treasure. Often you need to follow the first coordinates then you might need to as an example count benches or maybe find a date on a tombstone and so on, which will somehow give you another set of coordinates. After you’ve done this a couple of times you will find the actual treasure in the end.
Not only are there different caches, but also different ways of hiding them. The caches are judged on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1 is the easiest kinds of caches and 5 is the hardest. A level 1 cache is often found with limited amount of searching. Furthermore, they are often a small or large container – so again, very easy to find. A level 5 cache is very hard to find. Personally I Haven’t yet found one. Sometimes you need to climb really high up into a tree. Sometimes it can be hidden underneath a piece of bark that doesn’t look like it is loose. It is really different how creative people can be. The hardest cache I’ve found so far is a level 2 cache. So quite easy but still kind of hard if you don’t understand the mind of a Geocacher – which I haven’t quite been able to do yet.
A Geocache is not allowed to be dug into the ground. It has earlier caused Geocachers to dig up a whole area and destroying private or public grounds. Furthermore a cache cannot be screwed to a tree. It will damage the tree. The purpose of Geocaching is for people to go for an interesting walk outside, not to destroy nature. However, you can stumble upon a cache with magnets on it stuck to a sign, a fake stone glued to a micro cache and even a tree stump cut in half hiding a cache inside. It is limited only by imagination.
On a last note I want to tell you that our Geocache is a level 1 cache called Tree Badger.
Carina Marcussen – Volunteer Assistant Ranger, Scottish Wildlife Trust
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