Have you heard of the free international treasure hunting game called geocaching? Geocaching is a worldwide hobby in which participants search the real world for hidden containers called geocaches. Containers include a logbook where the finder will sign their nickname and after that they are eligible to log the find online on their account. Geocaches are located all over the world, and Skopje also has 63 caches waiting to be searched!
Starting geocaching is easy and free – all you need is a smartphone that is GPS-enabled (most phones nowadays are)! The first step is signing up a free account on the official www.geocaching.com website. After that you can download an app on your phone and sign in with your geocaching account. For android users c:geo is the best app whilst Cachly is recommended for iOS. With the mobile app you can now browse through the selection of geocaches in your desired area and see where they are located on the map. Besides the cache showing on a map, they also have a description and some attributes that will give you an idea on what to search for.
There are different types of geocaches. The main three types are traditional cache (green icon), multi-cache (yellow icon) and mystery cache (purple question mark). Traditional caches are most common, and they are located on the coordinates they show on the map. Multi-caches on the other hand consist of two or more steps before you get to sing your name on the logbook! You visit several places during a multi-cache and collect information on the places according to the caches instructions before finding your way to the end-location. The final type is a mystery geocache. Like the name suggests, the cache requires you to solve a mystery before finding the logbook. The description of the mystery will give you an idea where to get started on solving them, as the vary from answering easy trivia questions to solving complex equations. Mystery caches are never in the location shown on the map, so don’t waste your time searching for them there!
The combination of the coordinates, geocache’s attributes and the difficulty level together will give you an idea of what to search and where. There may also be some hints in the description that will help if you’re struggling. Containers are usually small waterproof cases, but their size and shape can range anything from a bucket to a tiny magnetic screw. Be on the look-out because sometimes geocaches are disguised as realistic-looking mushrooms or fake rocks that have storage space inside them! Not all geocaches are meant for everyone. Where as difficulty 1 and terrain 1 rated cache should be an easy and accesible find for anyone, a difficulty 5 and terrain 5 cache may require special skills, like climbing a 10 meter tall tree or even going diving! Be mindful of your limits and only search for geocaches you feel comfortable with.
The nature of geocaching is being stealthy – search only when no bypassers (who are called “muggles” like in Harry Potter) are watching. Curious people have been known to take or damage geocaches. Geocaching is a great activity to do with friends or family. Searching is swifter when there are more pairs of eyes looking. A great place to try geocaching is Vodno mountain as there are several traditional geocaches waiting you in the beautiful and relaxing atmosphere of the forest side!
- Geocaching is a worldwide outdoorsy hobby, where GPS-enabled devices are used.
- A geocache is a container which has a logbook inside. It may also include a pencil and possibly some exchangeable items.
- Geocachers find secret containers that are in given coordinates and write their nickname in a logbook there.
- You can find geocaches after registering to www.geocaching.com and/or using apps for android and ios-devices.
- Geocaches are located in various terrains and levels of difficulty. You can find them both in cities and recreational areas.