Geocaching on Campus: A Ryerson Treasure Hunt
If you have some time to kill between classes and feel like avoiding homework, I highly recommend going on a treasure hunt.
It’s called geocaching and it’s a real-life treasure hunting game played across the world using a handheld GPS device. Players navigate to specific coordinates to find a hidden geocache (container) at that location, with treasures inside.
When players find a cache, they sign the logbook and take a prize from the cache, leaving a treasure in its place. Players can then log their findings on the geocaching website.
If you’re up for it, there are a few caches hidden right here on Ryerson campus and many more in the city nearby (There are at least ten within less than a 1 mile radius of campus).
I have been geocaching for about a year now and I must warn it can become extremely addicting.While searching for caches, I usually get strange looks from muggles – a term used for non-cachers who are unaware of the game – as they see me climbing under bridges or weaving my way through a field of knee-high grass and twisted branches in search of treasures.
As geocaches can be hidden anywhere – in trees, under rocks, behind bushes, under bridges, there are different levels of caches from beginner to expert. Some are large and easy to find, while others are disguised to look like rocks, or, they are so small leaving only enough room for a tiny piece of paper to log your find.
So how do you get started?
It’s very simple. All you need to do is register on the website or download the geocaching app on your phone. The full version of the app costs $9.99 but you can get a free “Geocaching Intro” app for your smartphone. The basic version searches the nearby area while the full version lets you type in coordinates and log your findings online. (but you can do this separately when you’re near a computer) www.geocaching.com by Groundspeak Inc., is the most popular geocaching website worldwide.
- If you take something from the geocache, leave something of greater or equal value. (I’ve left keychains, stickers, magnets, candy, even a free coffee win from Tim Horton’s)
- Write about your find in the logbook. (you can create a unique username or just sign your name and date)
- Log your experience on www.geocaching.com
- If you find a trackable (it will look like a coin and have a unique code) move it to a different cache and don’t forget to log it at www.geocaching.com! Trackables are physical playing pieces that experienced players leave in caches. You can track their progress online.
Don’t get discouraged if you can’t find one right away, they are supposed to be challenging to find so don’t give up! Caches can go missing on occasion, so check the status online before you set out on your search. Have fun!!