Getting started with geocaching in Adelaide
Geocaching is an activity that combines today’s navigation technology with the excitement of an outdoor adventure. It’s basically an outdoor treasure hunt, starting off at level of 1 and increasing in difficulty up to level 5. The basic idea is to use a GPS or a smartphone to locate a hidden container (a geocache), record the find and then share your experience online with the rest of the Geocaching community. To begin you choose a geocache you want to find, then with your chosen device head off in search of the hidden item, located somewhere within your surrounding environment.
Geocaching is for everyone, and it continues to gain popularity as more and more people join in around the world – there are over 6 million geocachers currently registered. It’s perfect for primary aged children and older, so long as they, or someone they are with, are able to understand the location coordinates which will consist of two attributes – the latitude and longitude.
Geocaching is described as –
A real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.
Geocaching Intro App – iTunes (free)
At its simplest level, Geocaching requires these 8 steps:
- Register for a free Basic Membership
- Visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page
- Enter your postal code and click “search”
- Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name
- Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device
- Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache
- Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location
- Share your geocaching stories and photos online
Some Geocaching Facts and Tips:
- A geocache consists of a waterproof container, a logbook (for the finder to sign) and depending on the size of the geocache may include a pen or pencil to write in the logbook and items to swap
- A geocache can vary enormously in size, from extremely small to quite large (think 44 gallon drum)
- Once your GPS receiver has guided you to the geocache location, you will typically be within 3 to 5 metres of the geocache
- A geocache is camouflaged or placed somewhere to prevent non-geocachers finding it, but they are not usually hidden
- A geocache should be replaced as it was found
- Learn how to operate your GPS or smartphone before you start and be sure it is fully charged
- Read the description carefully, read previous comments and check to see if three are any hints
- Keep in mind the environment you will be searching in and dress accordingly
- Pack for an adventure – supplies like water, snacks, sunscreen and extra clothing
- If searching somewhere remote (such as bushland) let someone know where you are going
Geocaches can be found in an array of different places all over the world – they may be at your local park, at the end of a walking trail, in a pond underwater or on the side of a street in your suburb or city. Geocaching is a fabulous way to bring family and friends together, have fun working as a team and and enjoy unstructured, free-range play. Make it an activity for the weekend or the next school holidays. You could even set up your own geocache and monitor how many people find it.
On The Nature Play SA’s list of 51 Things To Do Before You’re 12, number 6 is “Find a geocache in your neighbourhood”
Our first attempt at geocaching in Adelaide
Our first attempt at Geocaching was very hit and miss….we didn’t find the first few we were looking for as it was late in the day and we didn’t have a lot of time to search. The kids were very excited when we did find our first one and I have to admit it is rather addictive! We often take a look at the app now to see if there are any around when we are out and about. This is such a fun activity and a great way to spend time outside. Next time we will head off for a few hours and be prepared with some little items to swap with or add to the contents in the geocache.
In the image above you can just see the geocache on the rocks, hidden amongst the foliage.
This geocache was a good size and easy to find!
Geocaching in Adelaide
The following two councils provide information on Geocaching in their area:
City of Charles Sturt | Charles Sturt Opal and the City of Charles Sturt are bringing the exciting world of geocaching to your door step | Find out more
City of Playford | Get exploring and find hidden treasures in Playford | Find out more
The largest and most popular geocaching listing website is Groundspeak’s Geocaching website, but there are also several others. You could also try:
Geocaching SA Inc | website
Geocaching Australia | website
To get started or to find our more about Geocaching, visit the official Geocaching website.
If you like geocaching then…
Check out our post on Pokemon Go : tips for beginners
Find out more about Treasure Hunt for Nature
When: Anytime – 24 hours a day
Who: All Ages
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.