Education

Earth Science Week day 3: what on Earth is geocaching?

Earth Science Week is a great opportunity to explore the geology in your area – especially as we’re experiencing some unseasonably good weather!

A great way to do this is by ‘geocaching’ (pronounced geo-kash-ing). A growing hobby in the US, here in the UK geocaching is still fairly unknown. Let me explain – or take a look at this video to see some experts in action…

How does it work?

Geocaching is a real life, outdoor treasure hunt. Geocachers try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS devices. Most smart phones are GPS enabled these days – just put the coordinates into the map search. Alternatively, you can pick up a GPS receiver for around £80.

The containers have been left behind by another geocacher, usually in a place of special interest or natural beauty, and might have anything inside them – sweets, games, maybe even some money! There will also be a logbook and a pen or pencil, so you can record your find and leave something behind of your own.

Once the cache has been placed, it is logged on the Geocache website, so anyone can find out the coordinates and go hunting for it…

There are sites literally all over the country – I was amazed to find so many near to me. This means it’s a game that can be played anywhere when you have a free moment – and the perfect activity for geologists!

The Geocaching Association of Great Britain was set up to promote caching in the UK and to help new cachers learn about the game. If you’re interested in trying it out, the GAGB will try to find a cacher in your area who is willing to help you out on your first geocaching trip.

Let me know how you get on…happy hunting!!

3 thoughts on “Earth Science Week day 3: what on Earth is geocaching?

  1. EarthCaching is also an exciting part of the game of geocaching. An EarthCache is a type of geocache that takes people to sites of geological interest where they undertake a logging task. EarthCaches have no container or log book…the treasure being what you learn about the Earth from visiting the site. Currently there are over 19,000 active EarthCaches around the globe. For more information visit http://www.EarthCache.org.

  2. Pingback: Earth Science Week 2012 | Geological Society of London blog

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