Vacation differently: Find new interesting places using Geocaching

This has absolutely nothing to do with security but is a lot of fun: A few years ago, I read an article about Geocaching. Basically, this is a treasure hunt using GPS. Wikipedia describes it like that: Geocaching is similar to the 150-year-old game letterboxing, which uses clues and references to landmarks embedded in stories. Geocaching was imagined shortly after the removal of Selective Availability from GPS on May 1, 2000, because the improved accuracy of the system allowed for a small container to be specifically placed and located. The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon. The location was posted on the Usenet newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav as 45°17.460’N 122°24.800’W? / ?45.291°N 122.413333°W? / 45.291; -122.413333. By May 6, 2000, it had been found twice and logged once (by Mike Teague of Vancouver, Washington). According to Dave Ulmer’s message, the original stash was a black plastic bucket buried most of the way in the ground and contained software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot.

There are people who are really addicted to and found thousands of caches all around the globe. For us, it is more a family-fun-event and we are up to a few dozens till now. However, the reason why I wrote this post is more that we started to use it during vacation to get to know space we would never have gone to.

Let me give you two examples. Last year we went to a camping at Costa Brava in Spain close to Barcelona. Close to where we stayed, there was a national park where a lot of people go to. So, we went looking for a cache called Monastery of Sant Pere de Rodes, basically a really touristic attraction.

However, the cache itself was not located there (the picture was actually taken on the way up to the cache). It was about a 30 minutes hike up the mountain to an old castle up there with an outstanding view on all sides – something we would never have seen without the wish to find the cache:

Another example is just form our latest vacation in Crete. We were looking for Crete – Akrotiri – “3 Monasteries Cache” – again monasteries. The first one on that list was the one, the buses stopped. The last one was about 30 mins later… Look at the pictures:

Worth it – wasn’t it? I know that I am a simple person: I just do not want to be in the big masses of people and I love toys (like GPS). But Geocaching led us to spots we would never have gone to. We did not even know that the center point of the state we are living in (and I was even growing up here) is just about 2 km away from where we live.

So, this is definitely something I would recommend you to look into. Just visit the Geocaching website and have fun


Comments (1)

  1. Chris says:

    Geocaching hasn’t taken me to any place so exotic yet, but your point about new places is well taken. We have found the loveliest parks and getaways all by finding a geocache. Helps that locals who know the area well are the ones placing the caches.