Have you heard about geocaching? This fun pastime is a mix between modern-day treasure hunting and high-tech hide-and-seek.
The popular hobby challenges participants of all ages to find caches using GPS coordinates. It started in 2000 with one person placing a single spot in Oregon and now has grown to than three million geocaches throughout 190 countries. In Macomb County alone, there are more than 10,000 of all types.
Common types include:
- Traditional - this type of geocache is the most basic and just simply has a container at the given coordinates.
- Multi-cache – these geocaches involve two or more locations, with clues at each until the final destination, which has the physical container with a logbook inside.
- Puzzle cache - this type often involves complicated puzzles that must first be solved in order to determine the correct coordinates of the cache or to open a cache container.
- EarthCache – these geocaches are found at a special geological location that people can visit to learn about a unique feature of the Earth and often include a set of educational notes along with coordinates.
For a full list of types of caches, for a full list of types of caches, click here.
Now that you know more about geocaching, are you wondering how you can get started? To gain access to the maps, lists and information needed to find the caches, first visit the official geocaching website and sign up for a free membership. Once you’re a member, all you need is a smartphone with a geocaching app (such as Cachly for iPhones or c:geo for Androids) that utilizes data from the official geocaching website or a handheld GPS unit that you can plug information into manually.
Equipped with your membership and GPS tool in hand, you’re ready to go! Among the thousands found in Macomb County, you can begin with a trail or a centralized pocket. For more information on where to find local trails and pockets, check out the Geocaching page on the Make Macomb Your Home website. When you have joyously found your first geocache container (and most subsequent ones), be sure to sign the log book in person and/or online – which is the common component of all caches. Sometimes you may even stumble upon a geocache that utilizes trinket swapping. You can take something found in the cache container in exchange for something fun you leave – which can be a keychain, toy, gift cards or many other things in between. Once you’ve got a hang of the popular pastime and want to get connected to others who enjoy it, get in touch with the Michigan Geocaching Organization, more commonly known as MiGO.
A famous poet once said “fortunate are the curious, for they shall have adventures” and we couldn’t agree more. Once you’ve had a chance to try out our tips and have some geocaching quests of your very own, be sure to let us know what your favorite spots are in Macomb County are in the comments below or on social media. We’d love to share your insights with others in search of a special kind of fun this unique hobby provides.