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
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.
These are usually small toys, key rings etc.
The only rule for swapping!
If you take something please leave something of equal value.
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.