Fitness

Geocaching

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“Time for some bush-bashing! Don’t worry, it’s less than a two.”

This is what my friend said as we peered into a steep incline of densely grown trees and shrubs off the side of a highway near Halifax, Nova Scotia. She meant that the difficulty of finding the oldest geocache in Canada was considered to be “relatively easy” (within 30 minutes) and “along well-defined paths with no significant elevation change or overgrowth,” as per the standardized geocache rating system.

“Where is the well-defined path?” I asked.

My friend smiled. “It’s a joke among geocachers that you find the path to the cache on the way out.” Then, she disappeared into the bushes.

About Geocaching

Big Blue Switch Day), there are over 3 million geocaches around the world. A free and family-friendly activity, geocaching offers a combination of treasure hunt, recreational activity, and exercise.

Caches are hidden everywhere. It’s likely there is one of over 20 different types of caches within 161 metres of you right now. A geocacher places a cache, shares location information and maybe a hint, then other geocachers search for and log the cache when they find it.

Africville museum and park. As we walked around and read the information plaques in the park, Alispice explained that the caches there may have been set up to attract geocachers visiting Halifax who would not otherwise know about the history of this mostly Black Canadian community.

What Geocachers Do (and Do Not Do)

When geocachers are not caching, they may be stocking up on supplies (purchasing log books, travel bugs, O rings, etc.). Or, they may be meeting together at local and international geocacher gatherings called “events,” and participating in Cache In Trash Out environmental initiatives; these activities help to preserve existing cache areas, beautify outdoor spaces, and minimize the stereotype that geocaching is “littering.”

etiquette and courtesy rules when placing and locating caches. In what is described as the geocacher’s creed, respect for place, property, and other people is of the highest importance.

More About Geocaching

The best way is to learn more about geocaching is to get out there and try it, but here are some general info sites for Muggles (what geocachers call non-geocachers like me):

I had a great time, and got plenty of exercise, trailing a geocacher for 3 days. I’m not quite ready for the cognitive load of a ever-present, never-ending, world-wide treasure hunt. But I will be sure to cheer on the next people I see searching the bushes in unexpected places, hoping they are close to their geocache discovery!

Alispice and Elan at the oldest geocache in Canada. Trees and a sign that says Geocache Lane behind them.
Alispice and Elan at Geocache Lane in Nova Scotia, the oldest geocache in Canada.

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