Geocaching is an exciting (and sometimes addictive) way of exploring the countryside with the use of modern technology. It is a form of modern day treasure hunting which is played all around the globe.
The goal of geocaching is to hunt out carefully hidden containers called geocaches using latitude and longitude coordinates from maps and satellite navigation devices called GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers. It is really easy to get involved and is a great fun family activity which can be done for free if you have the use of a GPS unit or a mobile phone that you can use to download a geocaching app.
When you find a geocache you will see that they contain contain a log book and small trinkets or trade items. The idea is that when you find a cache you can take something as long as you leave something of equal value and fill in the logbook to record your visit. Some caches are easy to find whilst others are more difficult. Once you return home you can log your visit online and describe your experiences to other people via the international geocaching website: www.geocaching.com.
To find out more and to locate your first caches log onto the geocaching website where you can register for free. The easiest way to find your nearest cache is to search using a postcode. Once you have found the co-ordinates and clues for your nearest cache you will need to download or enter the co-ordinates manually into your GPS receiver.
As the hobby has grown standards and guidelines have emerged to protect players and the environment. To find out more please look at the Geocaching Association of Great Britain website: www.gagb.co.uk.
Geocaching is a great way to explore the South Pennines and during the Watershed Landscape Project we delivered some introductory geocaching training sessions to help get people started. We also worked with our artists and writers in residence to put some exciting new caches into the upland landscape. These combined art, poetry and modern technology to explore the fantastic uplands in a family friendly way.
Remember, geocaching is an outdoor activity. Always make sure you have the appropriate clothing, footwear and supplies before setting off into the landscape and leave sites as you found them.