The way geocatching works is simple. It can be compared to a modern, digital version of a treasure hunt that pirates on TV or young children did with the help of an old, raggedy map. Except instead of a map there are now directions or detailed instructions on the web, and instead of a compass and an “X” that marks the spot, we have a GPS unit or a smartphone with GPS functionality.
The game begins by someone creating a “treasure chest” of some sort, which can be a small container, a box, or even a real treasure chest buried on a beach (if the person was dedicated enough to bury it) and filling it with some minor possessions. The next step is to record the GPS coordinates of this treasure and upload it to the web for the next person to find it. Once found, this next person will take a few of the treasured items and leave some in exchange for the next person to find.
The cool part of this game is that it is played by millions of people in over 100 countries, making the prizes you find as varied as all the people in the world. And it is definitely a break from the familiar everyday activities that soon start to feel boring. Geocaching also introduces you to an area in much more depth. A neighborhood that you only visited because of your favorite restaurant or bar can now become a source of adventure and fun, and who knows, maybe even a small fortune if the person to reach the geocache before you was a charitable millionaire.
For more information on geocaching and getting started, visit geocaching.com, or simply Google geocaching and see which local results come up for you. Give it a try and have fun.
Also, click the “PC Mag” link below for one writer’s experience with geocaching.