Do you have a difficult time to get inspiration for going on a phot walk or hike away in nature to take some pictures? Are you low on ideas of what to photograph? Do you have a GPS receiver suiteable for trekking/hiking (most car navigation systems are not, you want a smaller handheld device)?
Then this is an interesting hobby that you might want to check out! It’s called Geocaching and I will explain a little about what it is.
Basically geocaching is a treasure hunt. What happens here is that someone hides a ”treasure” for you to find. There is usually not anything valuable in it, it is just the location actually that’s the whole point of it. These treasures are referred to as geocaches and when they are hidden they are also published with GPS coordinates on this homepage.
Hunters go to the home page and find some caches nearby where they live – or where they wish to go hunting, then they download the coordinates, descriptions and perhaps also the hints – called ”spoilers” (they may spoil the fun of searching). Equipped with a GPS receiver, the coordinates, a pen they set out to try to locate the cache.
A usual cache is a container that contains a log book and some trinkets for trading. When you find a Geocache you write your date and name in the logg book (sometimes it is just a strip of paper) and then when you are back home again you log on to the webpage, look up the caches you have visited (and logged) and then let the cache owner know you have ”logged” their hidden treasures.
The trinkets inside are just for trading, if you take something you should leave something (and then report the trade on the cache webpage).
Now, what has this got to do with photography?
Well it is a brilliant way of getting ”out there” to discover some interesting places you never knew existed even in your neighbourhood! I hafe found many interesting places just around the corner from where I live by hunting for these caches.
So, dig out the GPS receiver, load you camera up, packa picnic lunch and off you go. There are caches almost everywhere in the world for people to find. And if you do not have a GPS receiver you can get a cheap one like the Magellan eXplorist 100 for almost nothing used on Ebay or similar places!
Caches can vary in size, there are some that are called micro caches and consist of an old 35mm film canister, some are old US Army ammo boxes, some are just small microwave plastic containers and similar ov varying sizes.
Once cache I visited was built like a bird’s nest on a tree.
There are also some special caches that are called mystery caches. In order to find the cache you need to solve some kind of mystery. Usually a clue is given but the coordinates shown on the webpage is wrong. The clue and some thinking could lead you right and you have to really think in order to solve some of them.
There are also geocaches where the cache is a location on the globe somewhere, could be a mountain peak or something like that. Some caches are multi-stage and requires you to go to the coordinates, find a clue or solve a puzzle that will take you to the next step and eventually you find the final cache.
If you happen to be a dog owner then you can geocache, walk the dog and take interesting photographs at the same time, isn’t that efficency for you?
Here are some interesting places I have found and photographed!