Geocaching – kinda like a worldwide treasure hunt.
BEFORE THE DATE: Dialog Between Denis and Emma .
Denis - “ABC Dating, we’re up to O. I’m choosing to do orienteering, or rather Geocaching. Ya, I know it really should be G, but I’m bending the rules a little.”
Emma - “Really? Sounds geeky, isn’t geocaching on par to those who dress up in medieval clothes and role play?”
Denis - “LOL”
So I’m excited about this date idea, I’ve already downloaded geocaching app (by Groundspeak Inc) for the iphone – $12.99 and I’ve created a free profile. Go to geocaching.com to set up your profile and details on how to get the app on your phone.
I announced the geocaching date idea to Emma, clearly it didn’t sound like her thing, and it receives the welcoming (see right) most people give to date ideas they think will flop. Before any of our geek friends are offended it’s important that I point out Emma is a geek at heart. Don’t let her cutsie girlie appearance fool you – she’ll probably out-geek anyone reading this blog.
WHAT IT GEOCACHING
Use a GPS device to find something small like a box or container, this is called a cache (see pics). Inside you should find a log book and possibly a novelty item. You sign into the log book, and can take the novelty item IF you replace it with something else of equal or greater value.
Hardcore enthusiasts will use a standalone GPS and plot the cache location via coordinates. This is perfect for the bush – if they want to log their find they’ll then go to geocaching.com and add the details to their profile.
I on the other hand am going urban – using my iphone via an app (android phones have an app too) that tells me where caches are located in my city, google maps guides me. Easy? Not so, even tho you know where the cache may be located you still have to find its secret spot, usually not in plain view. The iphone lets me log what I’ve found and can give me tips, hints and even spoilers if it’s getting hard to locate a cache.
Some caches include travelling items… items that may have a mission. You can get involved and help the item get to its mission by finding out where its next home should be and get it there. Of course everything you do can be logged at geocaching.com, or you can play anonymously and just search.
Sound like fun? I think so… I’ve downloaded the app, I’ve set up my free profile and I can see there are caches less than 200 metres from my house… now Melbourne if you could only stop raining so I can set this date night up…
Ok, ready? Let’s Go!
Melbourne has finally turned on the weather today… a beautiful 28 degrees Celsius, perfect for urban Geocaching. With coffee in hand we started looking for the first cache, we worked our way to ACDC lane, named after one of Australia’s rock band pride and joy – AC/DC. The iPhone app said that the cache was easy to find, but we had no idea what we were searching for, 20 minutes later we used the cheats via the app and found the cache.
Second cache found us only a couple of blocks away… this was different type of cache all together, called a nano cache and it’s super tiny! Inside is a rolled up piece of paper in which you log yourself in and then put it back. (see very top pics)
We missed a few other caches because there were too many people around and we didn’t want to expose the caches, or look like baffled fools staring at pipes and walls. And one cache in particular was simply too hard to find. We spent 25 minutes looking around but no prize
It’s been an awesome day, trotting around the city checking out the lane ways, graffiti art and playing secret squirrel in the warm summer sun. After the purchase of the Geocaching app, I still had $17 left in the budget to blow. Enough money for a fine lunch Laurent Bakery – cnr The Causeway and Little Collins Street.
We loved this date idea so much that we’ll be making our own $30 Date Night caches for Melburnians to find. I’ll keep you updated.
Ideally, I would have liked it if we got up earlier and searched the city around 8am. All CBD’s are super quiet on weekends at that time but Emma enforces a strict no getting out of bed before 11am policy on weekends. If you’re trekking through the city geocaching take a camera, you’ll grab some beautiful shots amongst buildings and artwork. Have breakfast afterwards, use that time to enter in your finds and photos to share.
Guys, get into it! It’s a lot of fun exploring your city… there are millions of caches all over the world, and highly likely that you’ve got some in your city. Some caches will include interesting facts/history about the location and surrounding of the cache.
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