So for a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of going geo caching, for those that aren’t familiar with the geo caching this is where someone has left a container/cache in a hidden location and then you have to go out and find said cache.
So I installed the application and off I went thinking to myself this could be awesome. That was until i found you need an account to start geo caching… ok i can deal with that, so i registered, with my spam email, and off I went again.
Looking at the map in front of me I could see maybe 6 caches within a mile and more beyond that, this left me thinking that it may be a great way to get myself out walking. So I decide to start small and head to the nearest cache… until that is I try to view the cache info, at this point I was told that to get an exact location and information about the cache I would have to pay £25 for a 12 month subscription!
OK I know that £25 isn’t a great deal but why, these caches are placed and paid for by members, the only thing the site does is list them and make them available in an app. After looking a bit deeper into this i find that the reason for this is because people were going to these caches and stealing them so by making people pay they are less likely to do so. At this point I am thinking “in for a penny, in for a pound” so I subscribe.
Now I am installed, registered and paid up so I can finally head out to the cache! Woooooo. Phone in one hand, umbrella in the other I head out to the cache located by my local church. When I get to the church I re read the description on the cache and find a couple of terms I am not familiar with, muggling being my favorite, and decipher that the cache is located somewhere near the bottom of the road behind the church.
15 minutes later, I have searched every bush, rock and other possible hiding place I can think of to find this cache and I am stood there scratching my head, has someone stolen the cache? There are signs someone has recently trimmed the bushes in the area maybe it was found/destroyed when they did that, maybe another read of the post. At this point I spot the clue on the post which is a string of random characters that don’t mean anything to me. It is at this point I decide to go home and do some research and figure it out when a police car pulls up next to me and two police officers approach me.
One of the people who live on the street had apparently seen me in the bushes looking suspect and had called them out to deal with me. Thankfully when I explained what I was actually doing and showed then the app with the cache location they were very understanding and let me go on my way.
All of this aside I did some more research on Geo Caching today and figured out how the hint had been encrypted, I then headed to the location this evening and found the cache and then went on to find a second one.
I’m not sure if I will keep doing this for a long time but it certainly was fun anx even a little gratifying finding that tiny cache that very few other people know is there.