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Geocaching is a treasure-hunting pastime where individuals use GPS-enabled devices – usually smartphones – to search out hidden containers called “geocaches.” And it can be surprisingly fun! Geocache containers are hidden all around the world – usually, they contain a logbook (for you to sign), or even items for trading, like toys or trinkets. It’s a real life treasure hunt!
To get started geocaching using your iPhone or iPad, you’ll need the free Geocaching app. Download and install it, then launch it on your device to see local geocaches – you’ll be amazed at how many there are!
The app typically defaults to the Map tab. Here, you’ll be able to tap on individual geocaches to learn more about them. Geocaches are ranked by difficulty, terrain, and size – so you’ll usefully have an idea of what you’re letting yourself in for before navigating to one. Owners of geocaches (the person who originally placed it there) will also have provided a short description and attributes (like whether the cache is wheelchair accessible, or recommended for kids).
Tap Navigate to set off on a quest to find that geocache. Once you’ve got it, tapping Log will add it to your virtual logbook. If the cache eluded you, you can also choose Did Not Find.
At the top of the Geocaching app’s interface is an option to filter caches by type, size, difficulty, or terrain. Caches can also be added to lists by tapping a “…” icon – this way, you can store up a bank of geocaches for you to seek out at a later date or time.
Geocaching can take you all around the world – special quests, like the Wonders of the World series, challenge you to find geocaches abroad. Finding all the geocaches in a particular series lets you unlock the associated souvenir, and of course comes with bragging rights aplenty. The Profile tab lets you keep track of your finds, hides, favorite geocaches, and souvenirs.
With most of us are facing (another) summer at home, there’s never been a better time to start geocaching. Download the free app now for your iPhone or iPad, and see what hidden caches you can uncover!