Do you enjoy playing games?  How about solving puzzles?  Do you like getting outside and exploring new areas?  If so, geocaching was made for you. It is the perfect match that you can do solo, on a date, with the fam, with the dog, whatever configuration.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game.  You use a GPS unit, stand alone or app on your cell to lead you to a set of GPS coordinates, and then you attempt to locate the Geocache, often a container of some sort that’s hidden at the location. It’s a blast because geocaches can be found all over, not only here in Maine but all over the world!  Many “caches” are hidden in locations that are important to people, have historical significance, or are just pretty cool places.  Also it makes for a great road trip game for those long road trips.

For me the locations are half the fun and very diverse. They could be at a local park, at the end of a bike path, even underwater or on the side of a road. You would be amazed at how many caches you can find right in your neighborhood that you may never had even knew existed. It's a great way to find really cool places right under your nose, maybe a waterfall, or a great view from a ridge, or a new public path that you didn’t know was there.  Now, when you find a cache, there is often a log inside that you can sign and date.  Then you put it back in the same location for the next person to find. Truth be told, sometimes you never find the cache, maybe it has been moved, maybe someone didn’t put it back, ect, ect. But for me, locating the cache is only half the fun, I really like the exploring aspect of looking for the cache. I can’t even count the number of unique places geocaching has taken me, cache or no cache.

There are sites online and apps to get you started, some free, some have a small fee. There are also logs so that you can track your caches over time.  And it has a social element; you can leave comments, photos, travel bugs, etc for other people from the cache that you found. When my kids were younger, they would take a toy from a cache and leave one of theirs. It’s a give and take kinda thing, on the honor system, so be honorable!

So if you are looking for a little motivation to get outside now that the great weather has arrived, give geocaching a go. You just might enjoy yourself…a lot!

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