Geocaching

August 7, 2010

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which people use a Global Positioning System (GPS) device or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches”. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and items that can be swapped, such as small toys or pencils. Geocaches may be in towns or cities as well as in the countryside.

Geocaching is well introduced by the following video:

One of the ways people take part in Geocaching is to place a travel bug into a geocache and request that it be sent somewhere in the world. The object can be tracked online through one of the many geocaching websites, such as www.geocaching.com.

A Travel Bug

Travel Bug

Many geocaches are identified by their OS co-ordinates, and a description of the location (and if children need to brush that up, we have two activities in the Map Skills section of Smudge’s Earrly Compass and Map Skills

I have always done geocaching as a family activity (to pursuade children to walk in the countryside), but it could be done within school grounds, with GPS devices if they are available. The geocaches could be hidden in undergrowth or under objects and children be given the positions and a GPS device available (there are GPS apps on many modern mobiles), and sent to look for the geocaches. If a GPS device is not available, a co-ordinate system or clues could be used.

The Juicy Geography website describes how geocaches could be hidden in the school’s grounds.

And there are some photos on Flickr of Stenhouse School, Edinburgh geocaching here