Print This Post Print This Post

Another way to enjoy our Waterway

Geocaching – A report from Steve White

Do you already enjoy walking, running, cycling or even canoeing along the Cotswold Canals?

Here is a novel way of adding some excitement and purpose to such journeys… Geocaching

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor, treasure hunting game.

It is a hi-tech treasure hunt where all ages can enjoy the thrill of finding and claiming hidden treasure.

What you need to play

Players endeavour to locate the treasure in hidden containers, known as 'geocaches' using GPS-enabled devices such as a smartphone, Satnav, or a dedicated GPS unit. 

Access to the Internet then enables players to share their experiences online.

The Cotswold Canals are an ideal place to start this hobby. There are already a number of geocache sites along the towpaths.

Most sites are accessible on foot or bicycle.

Fun for All

As well as being an ideal way to get the whole family to enjoy the the thrill of the chase in the great outdoors, the hobby provides exercise with a purpose for people of all ages.

You can guarantee that, even close to home, the hunt for treasure will take you to places you have never been to before.

The experience may even educate you as to the history of the area and the scenery can be wonderful.

Steve and his family are pictured right in the Wye Valley.

Below right Steve's treasure hunt has taken him alongside the River Thames.

How to Play Guide
  • Visit one of the Geocaching websites. geocaching.com is by far the most popular
  • Create a FREE account
  • Once you have an account you will be able to search the website for a geocache treasure-trail near you
  • The 'treasure' is contained in a container known as a 'geocache'
  • There are 1.6 million geocaches worldwide – there should be something near to you!
  • Once you have selected a geocache trail that interests you, take the time to read the description, understand the clues, and information about the area
  • Next enter the co-ordinates into your GPS device, and then head off into the world to make your first find
What you will be looking for

The 'actual treasure' can vary. There should be some indication of the size and type in the website description.

Typically the cache will be a plastic container ranging from a 35mm photographic film pot to a two-litre lunch box.

Other containers may include very tiny magnetic pots right up to old ammunition cans or in some extreme cases barrels!

What to do when you have found the geocache

All physical geocaches contain a logbook for you to sign to prove your visit.
Containers large enough often contain trinkets for swapping.

These are usually small toys, key rings etc.

The only rule for swapping!

If you take something please leave something of equal value.
Remember to re-hide the geocache as you found it, for others to find.

When you have returned home you can then return to the web pages and log your finds online.

A Cryptic Clue

Steve hinted, "Whilst Wallbridge Upper Lock may be quite big, the geocache near it, on the towpath side, is very small".

Click on the icons below to find out more about this new way to enjoy the waterway.