One thing we wanted to do on Staycactions California is to find things that are unique to do and do them ourselves and report back, or just let you know about them. There are the normal things like concerts, sports events, etc. that you can easily find information about and we will do those too. However, we look to do and find things out of the norm and let you know about them.
We found something that you can do at any time. You can do it on your way home, you can do one after work, on the weekends, or set out for the day to do this. If you are bored and want to get outside but have no idea what to do, this can be great because there are hundreds of thousands around California alone. The marks on this map show you where they are.
It is called Geocaching.
From their website at: http://www.geocaching.com
Geocaching is 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.
The only necessities are a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone so that you can navigate to the cache.
Geocaches can be found all over the world. It is common for geocachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest or skill of the cache owner. These locations can be quite diverse. They may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, underwater or on the side of a city street
Members of the geocaching community hide and maintain all of the geocaches listed on Geocaching.com. You can hide one too!
During our Saturday lunch were talking about it and decided to go look for a few afterwards. While driving home we saw on the Geocache map that there were at least 30-50 on our route alone and in fact In Oceanside, California there are thousands. We didn’t go too much out of our way to find the places either.
The first one took us a little while to find the general location which was at a park. We followed the clues and found it pretty easily. The clue said it was by a guard rail and a yellow sign and nearby was a tree stump in the rail. Once we found the location, it didn’t take long to find the canister. Inside the canister was a piece of paper and a Halls cough drop. You can take things out of it and put things back, so someone had a cough drop and put it in there. On the paper, we signed our name and then logged on to our internet map and typed in that we found it. You then get a smiley face on that location.
We decided that was fun, so on to the next one. I guess the idea is to find places kind out of the way from the public so no one sees it and removes it. So our second location was behind a small shopping center. Our GPS took us to a utility box and we looked around and could not find it. On the web site you can view comments from other people who have been there and although they never give it away you can gather information from what they said. As an example one lady said she hit her head on a box while looking for it because a dog barked in a back yard. One guy said it was super small, another said there were spider webs all around it.
So that can help you if it is a tough one. We didn’t find this one but as rookies we may get better as it goes along because we weren’t sure what to look for. Also on the web site they will tell you if a cache has been removed or is no longer there.
On our third site, a lady came out of her house nearby and told us it had been removed and a few others were there earlier. So we could report that it is no longer there to save people the time and effort.
So why do this, what is the point? There is no money reward, no trophy, nothing. I thought of this too but then I thought about video games like Fly Over on Wii. The object was to find icons and collect them all and at the end you got…pretty much nothing, just the satisfaction of completing the task. Or Candy Crush, there is no prize, yet we do it anyway because it is the challenge. Or any other game we play, we do it for the journey, for the challenge and for the fun of it.
At least Geocaching gets you outside, and you actually get some exercise trying to find some of them. As an example, there is a trail along a river bed in Oceanside and we saw at least 20 cache spots along the trail in our area alone. Plus you get to solve clues on some of them.
Give it a try and again, check this web site for more information: http://www.geocaching.com