Activities for the introvert: geocaching

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The peoples’ pocket-sized pastime. martin lostak via unsplash

Have no fear, geocaching is here

Looking for something contactless to do this fall? Don’t like people? Like being outside? Well, if you answered yes to any of the above, geocaching is the answer for you, my friend.

Think about all the scavenger hunts you went on as a kid – some could have been during Easter, or some could have been set up at birthday parties. Geocaching takes this to the next level. It takes scavenger hunts global by using a GPS system where you have to seek out each of the cache stations. Unlike the scavenger hunts you went on as a kid, geocaching is a give-and-take prize event. When you find each of the stations, you have to take what is in the container and then put something of yours in to replace it.

The beauty of geocaching is that even if you are studying remotely this semester, there are geocaches all over, so you can still participate even if you are not on campus. All you have to do is download the Geocaching app, lace up your shoes, and get tracking.

Geocaching breaks down into a few simple rules: when you find the geocache, don’t re-hide it in a different location – others will not be able to find it! Take the item within the container and leave another one, then sign the guest book and put everything back into the container, making sure it is hidden but not buried. These rules are set in place to so that geocaching goes smoothly for others – so that fellow geocachers don’t travel all the way to the location to find nothing.

Finding caches depends on a couple of different values; terrain, which means how complex the landscape is to get to the container; and difficulty, which is how easy it is to find the cache. Some caches can be tricky, such as multicaches or puzzle caches which rely on doing more steps for one go.

Geocaching shouldn’t be all about finding extravagant treasures – but it is exciting when you find something that is really cool. I have seen different items such as buttons and stickers on the smaller scale, all the way to larger-scale items such as Pez dispensers to small strings of Christmas lights. Try to steer clear of things that are just garbage – nobody wants your Starbucks coffee lid – leave something small such as a poker chip or a hair clip. In order to geocache, you do not need to break the bank to get your cache items. Look no further than Dollarama or Walmart for small items that you think would be good to receive.

If you want to create your own geocache station, you can become a volunteer by registering on the Geocaching app. It is recommended that you find 20 different geocaches before you plant your own station, just to get a feel for proper placement and good hiding locations. After that, you need to find out the proper GPS locations and put them close enough to monitor the location regularly. For more information, head to the Geocaching website, where you can find more information under the heading “Geocache Container.”

The University of Regina has piloted an intermural “geocaching” challenge from January to February and March to April, which has proven successful. The third challenge attempt will go from October 4 to November 15, where individuals can compete and be entered into a draw to win different prizes. 

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