Geocaching is a sport or hobby that you can spend as much or little money on as you choose.
For example – you don’t really need a GPSR to find a traditional cache. As long as you have access to a computer you can easily make use of online tools like Google Maps, with satellite view and street view to locate a GZ (Ground Zero). In fact, Adventures in Geocaching recently wrote an article called Geocaching Without a GPS on this very issue.
But technology is just the start of caching – there’s the containers, the tradeables items, the trinkets and stuff – the general rule when trading is to always leave something of equal or greater value.
Thankfully – again, with some imagination – this can be a cheap (or even free) exercise. Caches themselves do not have to be special containers. You don’t need to buy an “official” cache box to be a player. We’ve seen caches made from used containers that would otherwise be discarded as rubbish – so yes, a lot of the everyday stuff in your life that you throw out can be useful in the world of caching.
And what about the trinkets – try unused or unwanted kids toys and stuff. Or cheap stuff that you can pick up at markets – but again, you shouldn’t need to spend too much money.
We’ve made a decision to stick to a budget with our new hobby – yes we can buy a few bits and pieces, but lets be sensible, and we found the best place to buy supplies is from a discount shop (known colloquially in Australia as a $2 shop). Thankfully there’s three of these in town for us to choose from.
Here we found some super-cheap goodies – including small notepads which will fit nicely into our caches as logbooks, a pack of 4 cheap pencils that we’ll cut up to make 12 short pencils from, and a few cache containers. The shop also had an array of interesting little trinkets we can use as trades – such as little coloured stars, ornamental stones, and the like.
All up we spent $20 on quite a lot of stuff to set up a few caches and keep us going for about 6 months, so hopefully as soon as next weekend we’ll have our first caches out there waiting to be found!
After a run of seven successive cache-finds this morning, TeamWolfie made their way to the last planned location for the day, appropriately named for the location: Not the Prime Ministers Hill.
Ironically, we were oblivious to the fact we’d left our Mio navigator just laying on the ground at the last cache location – we just both assumed it was in the backpack. Furthermore – on arriving here, we decided just to use the iPhone for this one because it seemed more convenient.
Another beautiful and scenic location with amazing views. After a 30 minute search we gave up. We had all the clues, the iPhone’s GZ seemed to be zeroing around an obvious location that matched the description and clues – but this cache was not to be ours today.
Nonetheless we had already had a very successful caching day – netting a total of SEVEN out of EIGHT attempted finds, so I guess we had to be happy.
We headed off, and decided to get a few caching supplies on the way home.
Within an easy and pleasant 300m walk from Diving’s Prohibited was our next GZ – Creek Shrub.
I’m going to list this find in our “Bad Experiences” category too – not because of anything about the cache – it’s a great cache, in a great location – but for the fact we left one of our GPS devices behind at the site – and we didn’t even realise it until the next day. I’ll write some more about that in another post soon.
Creek Shrub is located in the same string of waterfront parks as Diving’s Prohibited – although this cache is a little larger, given the better opportunities in this location to hide a slightly larger cache.
We were thrown off a little by our GPS at first. The clues for this cache mentioned a tree stump, and ironically our GPS guided us directly to such a stump.
Wolfie barking up the wrong stump
We were convinced this HAD to be the stump – after all, the GPS units were pinpointing it. But as is the case with GPS – you can’t always trust it, and sure enough GZ soon moved a little closer to the real stump we were looking for, and after a brief forage, we located the cache.
This was a great little find, we signed the book, left a Pokemon Hypno card, and we took a Travel Bug. We also left our Mio in-car GPS navigator on the ground when we left… but that’s another story.