Last weekend I finally had the chance to try something I’ve wanted to for ages…. Geocaching. While Luc was spending some time with grandparents on Sunday I decided to cease the opportunity to spend some time with Trystan. With four children it can be so hard to find time to spend one on one with each of them and with Trystan being a bit out of sorts in recent weeks I thought some fresh air and space from his siblings would be good.
I’ve seen lots of friends and others talking about Geocaching for a long time now and I have mentioned several times that I would like to have a go at it. So on Saturday following a trying day of moaning and tears from Trystan I decided to download the app and have a look. I did a search in the apple app store and found several Geocaching apps but opted for the Geocaching Intro App which is the free version. You can pay £7.99 for three months subscription to the Premium app which will show you the location of Premium caches as well as all the ones on the Intro app. I wanted to have a go first before spending the money! I then spent some time looking at the caches nearby to us and told Trystan we would ve going out the following day on a treasure hunt.
Having dropped Luc off at my parents house on Sunday, Trystan and I headed off in search of our first Cache. When we reached the first location there were several other cars parked up enjoying the view so we sat and waited. With Geocaching you have to make sure that you’re not spotted finding the caches by others. It can be a bit tricky depending on the locations but I think it makes it more fun. Having read up a bit about the different types of caches to be found I had taken some swappables along with us to use. Swapables are found in some caches, you can take something from the cache but it must be replaced by something of the same value. I had found some key rings, gliders, a small colouring pencil set and Trystan had added some loom bands he’d made and some Moshi monsters he had duplicates of. While we waited for it to be safe to start searching for the cache we had a look through our swapables and took in the view.
After fifteen minutes it was safe for us to start searching for the cache. Using the app and by selecting the cache we were searching for and then we followed the hint to the location. The app even alerts you when you are within 30 feet of the cache so you know to start searching. It was a bit hit and miss with the first one but after ten minutes of searching and having to stop and pretend to take in the view when cars passed, we found it! Trystan suggested we take it back to the car to complete the log book ( you generally have a log book to sign in every cache and sometimes the cache is so small only a log book will fit!) as there were lots of cars and people passing. Back at the car I completed the log book with our user name and date we’d found it and replaced it in the cache. We had to wait a further minute or two for a car passing before replacing the cache were we had found it.
Back in the car we looked at the app to decided which cache to go in search of next. We opted to head to another local place were there were three close together. This next spot can be quiet busy but due to it being a Sunday and also cold and showers we were lucky. Trystan quickly located the first cache which contained our first swappable much to Trystan’s delight. The second cache proved tricky and we couldn’t locate it, so after fifteen minutes of searching we decided to give up for now and move on to the next one. I logged our experience on the app and selected the next one.
On our way we got caught in a brief shower but were graced by a rainbow over the castle. We stopped to watch a family of ducks who had started swimming along side us as we followed the path. Trystan thought it was great that they seemed to be following us!
Trystan wanted to navigate us to the location of the next cache so I gave him my phone so he could follow the directions. After a good fifteen minute walk and a bit of scrambling around in trees we found it.
I realised that we had already been out for an hour and a half and needed to collect Luc. Trystan was also wanting to go home because he was cold! I explained I wanted to find one more on the way to collect Luc.
The next cache also had some fantastic views to enjoy while hunting for the cache.
We headed off to collect Luc from my parents and Trystan told them all about the caches we’d found. We stopped for a break at my parents and then asked Luc if he wanted to do some Geocaching with us before we returned home. At first he said no but when Trystan told him about the one we hadn’t been able to find he wanted to join in. He also knew where the cache was we couldn’t find having found it with the cubs last year. So we headed back and Luc found it straight away!
We went on to find two more caches before finally returning home some three hours after we had left. The boys excitedly told their dad about the caching and then asked to look at the app to see where other caches were nearby. I didn’t realise how many there were in our area and also how many friends also Geocache until I posted on my facebook about the fun we had had.
We’re planning to head out in search of more having enjoyed so much and will take dad of 3 and the younger children too. It’s such a great way of getting out in the fresh air and also exploring places you may not visit otherwise.