If you’re looking for something different to do this weekend why not give geocaching a go? It’s a sort of big, secret treasure hunt that you can play anywhere. All you really need is internet access to start searching. And there are several geocaches in Rangiora.
Local mum and geocacher, Kate, first got into geocaching when one of her friends posted something about it on Facebook. She was ‘instantly hooked’. I asked her to tell us a bit about it and give us beginners some tips. Here’s what she told me.
-Where do you find out about what geocaches there are in the area?
You just go to the geocaching.com website and look at the map, or on one of many apps that you can get for your phone.
-What do you enjoy about it?
The fact that they are all around us and most of us have no idea! Maybe in your local park, or on the drive to work/school that you do every day. We’re surrounded! It’s like being a secret detective. You’re trying to find it secretly without the ‘muggles’ all around you knowing. It’s strangely addictive and exciting.
-What sort of things do you find?
Random, inexpensive, fun things. We’ve found small toys, a plastic cookie cutter, a monster truck thing. It really varies. If you take something from the geocache you must leave something of greater or equal value.
-Any top tips for those looking for their first geocache?
Yes actually. I had a few problems at first, I just couldn’t find them, which is very disheartening, especially with an excited then disappointed kid in tow. I was looking in the whole area (field, playground, whatever it was). I didn’t realise that you can get a much more specific location by looking close up on the map. For instance you can see which tree to look around.
Also, look very thoroughly. I’ve got better at this. You’ve got to stick your hand in those not so nice places to explore the hidden spots you can’t see. They won’t be on display or other people would see them and they might disapear. Dig in those leaves, and stick your hand into those old cobwebs!
Some phone apps are better for giving all the info than others. It’s not necessary to pay for anything like some try to get you to do. The best app I’ve found so far is ‘c:geo’.