A Brief Guide to Geocaching

Join the world’s largest treasure hunt. Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world.

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a real world GPS based treasure hunt. In fact, the largest and most widely used treasure hunt in the world! All over this planet are hidden little boxes called Geocaches. They might be as tiny as a bottle cap, or as large as a treasure chest. Some are obvious, others are disguised as rocks, or tucked inside bricks in the landscape where nobody would think to look. By solving a series of clues, or following the co-ordinates, anyone can find and log these Geocaches, wherever they are in the world.

How does the app work?

Prospective Geocachers create an account on the website and download the app. Then, by enabling GPS co-ordinates, players can see all nearby Geocaches (or caches, as they’re refered) labelled by a different icon for each type. Players then navigate to the geocache by GPS and, when close, must search their environment or make use of the clues to find the location. Once found, players can log the cache on their account in the app.

Players may also find a logbook to sign, and items hidden within the cache. Trackables are a certain type of item that enjoys travelling between geocaches. Players are encouraged to collect these items and drop them at the next geocache they find, to help the Trackable travel the greatest distance.

Types of Geocache

Traditional Cache (Green)These Geocaches are straightforward and may be any size, and any difficulty to find.
Puzzle Cache (Blue)These Geocaches involve puzzles to find – your initial location may take you to a place in which a puzzle must be solved to find the correct location of the cache.
Multi Cache (Orange)Multi-caches are Geocaches where more than one location is involved. The co-ordinates may take you to a start point, but a series of puzzles must be solved to take you to the next location. At the next stage, you receive a clue for the following, and so on.
Earth Cache (Earth Symbol)Earth Caches are places of unique geological significance, or places of great natural beauty. There are no physical caches here – you log it by being present!

In the past, other caches including Virtual Cache and Webcam Caches were great fun, but are sadly retired today! Trophies and awards can be collected for claiming certain caches, or a certain number of caches on specific days.

The Escape Roomer’s Favourite Geocaches

Mostly in London (sorry!), here are my favourites:

  • The British Library | London | Multi-cache
    • A fabulously puzzling experience that takes you all the way around the British Library, finding clues and solving puzzles. It ends in the largest Geocache I’ve ever seen.
  • 16th Century Pub | London | Virtual
    • A brilliant trip through history with a few great puzzles to boot!
  • InglenookBrew’s Caches | Auchencrow | Traditional
    • The most charming and surprising hides I’ve ever seen. Expect quirky mechanisms and brilliant reveals!
  • The Smoothe Field Mystery | London | Multi-Cache
    • A step back in time with an excellent series of puzzles around Smithfields, London.

(Please note: This list is NOT exhaustive. Have I missed a brilliant one? Let me know and I’ll add it!)

Is Geocaching safe?

Quite safe! Although some Geocaches will encourage you to row a boat, or even deep dive to find them, the average Geocacher will find all Geocaches accessible and within reach unless otherwise marked. As usual, have some common sense when it comes to any unregulated outdoor experience – please don’t tresspass, or Geocache after dark! If it feels unsafe, it probably is.

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