Geocaching During the www.women course, as a class we went to Tanglewood to geocaching. It was quite an interesting activity to engage in and demonstrated how fun geocaching can be. You might be asking yourself, what is Geocaching, and if so click on this link (Geocaching link).

It is a neat activity that people should really try. There are some “dangers” that need to be mentioned before you go out doing this (some things that my group suffered on our Geocaching trip). At the top of the dangers is that you might not find the cache. While this might not sound so bad, if you have an intense desire to find the certain item, you might be out in the forest or street for many hours. Sometimes caches are taken from their GPS location by people (children) or by groundskeepers. Sometimes the GPS directions may be extensively off and you may be on a wild chase look for something that is many yards off. Finally, what happened to us, you may not be on the right path if you are at a park, which may take you quite far away from your target GPS location. Consult your map regularly and do not assume you are on the right path.

This brings up another big danger of geocaching, and that is DO NOT LEAVE THE TRAILS. This is important and should be repeated…please do not leave the trails. While you may assume the worst of the person who made the cache, when you have been out searching for hours, going off the trails is very dangerous. Our group had to learn that the relative hard way. Why we were following the right direction, we went on a “questionable” path that was not a trail. It was terrible and we were marked up by the bushes that we had to go through. In addition , we almost got lost on the “questionable” path and that would have been really bad. There were also signs that were on the path later that said, “stay on the path, there are rattlesnakes.” To summarize, do not go off the trails, it is very dangerous and can lead to some very big trouble.

Another danger is that the places that you are searching can be not that safe if you are not paying attention to where you are. If, a cache is near a street (like one that we tried to find), you need to make sure that there is no on coming traffic. When you are looking down at the GPS, you tend not to be as aware of what is going on around you and this is especially bad when you are standing on or near a road. Even you are in a forest, by looking down at the GPS unit, you may step somewhere that is dangerous (like in a hole or in a big area of mud). You can twist your ankle or worse out there and as such you really need to pay attention to where you are. Again you need to make sure that you know where you are stepping and what you are paying attention to. Pay attention to where you feet are and not the GPS system because it is more important that you come back from an activity injury free that that you discovered the cache.

Yet another danger is that you will get scrapped up and dirty. Wear old, comfortable shoes and do not wear anything that will get caught on the bushes. Also pay attention to how wet the trials are, for if they are really mud you might what to go another day (instead of getting your feet stuck in the mud and your clothes full of mud). You also want to be careful of what you are doing. Try not to step in flower beds and make groundskeepers angry. You really do not want to have charges against you so try to be careful.

While there are many dangers of Geocaching, if you follow the simple instructions that you have been given something that my group tended not to do), it is a very enjoyable experience. While you may not find the cache, while you may get all dirty and torn up…it is a very neat experience. Finding your first Geocache is very special, it really shows that for the trouble that you went through, you found something. That something that you found may be small and not seem to be worth all the effort, in the end it really does give you a enjoyable experience. It also get you to go places that you may not have normally gone, it helps develop a skills (using a GPS to get somewhere), and it exposes you to some interesting flora and fauna (birds, rabbits). While Geocaching may not be for everyone, by trying it you might have fun.