Matt Johnson

The Thrill of Geocaching: Modern Treasure Hunting

Author: Matt JohnsonPhotos/Graphics: Mike HawthornePublished: Jan 8, 2024

When we go camping or glamping, we always look for the best things to do. This might be the local fare, watersports, fishing, or one of our favorites — geocaching.

It’s a fun and modern activity for those who love camping and glamping alike.

What is geocaching?

At its core, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices such as your smartphone. 

Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. 

This activity, which effectively turns the world into a treasure-hunting playground, offers a unique blend of technology, nature, and adventure.

These geocaches are literally all over the world, and you can bet there are several in your next campsite.

The allure of geocaching.

Geocache Contents

The thrill of geocaching lies in the chase and the joy of discovery. 

It’s like being part of an exclusive club where your mission is to uncover secrets hidden by fellow enthusiasts. 

Whether it’s a tiny, cleverly disguised container in a city park or a large box in the wilderness, each find is a victory. 

The activity also offers an excellent way to explore the great outdoors, learn about the local environment, and even discover historical facts or solve puzzles along the way.

Every geocache is different, with bizarre treasures inside of them. Some even have logs so you can mark that you’ve been there.

What you need to get started.

Unlike many other activities, you don’t need a whole lot to get started.

To embark on your geocaching adventure, you’ll need a few essentials—

  • GPS device or smartphone. Modern smartphones with GPS capabilities are perfect for geocaching. There are several apps available that can guide you to your next cache.
  • A geocaching account. Sign up on a geocaching website or through an app. It’s usually free and gives you access to the coordinates of millions of geocaches worldwide.
  • Outdoor essentials. Depending on the terrain and weather, bring appropriate outdoor gear such as sturdy shoes, weather-appropriate clothing, a hat, sunscreen, and water. After all, you’re out there camping, so you should have all of this.
  • A pen or pencil. Many geocaches include a logbook for you to sign.
  • Trinkets or small items for trade. Some geocaches have small items that you can trade. If you take something, leave something of equal or greater value for the next geocacher to find.

Note that some of these are optional. 

Geocaching: A fun and educational experience.

Geocaching isn’t just about the physical act of finding a box. 

It’s a learning journey. 

Caches often contain information about the area’s geography, history, or ecology. It’s a fantastic way to engage children in learning, and for adults, it’s a chance to see familiar places with new eyes. 

Geocaching can also be a social activity, providing opportunities to meet fellow enthusiasts and share experiences.

Tips for a successful geocaching adventure.

For those just starting out, there are a few tips we have to get started and make the most of your adventure.

  • Start simple. If you’re new to geocaching, start with easier caches to gain confidence. Most geocaching apps will tell you the difficulty of the geocache.
  • Respect nature. Practice ‘Cache In, Trash Out’ to keep the natural areas clean. Do your best not to disturb the surrounding areas.
  • Stay safe. Always be aware of your surroundings, especially when searching in unfamiliar areas. Some caches are more challenging to get to than others.
  • Follow the rules. Each cache has its own set of instructions and guidelines; respect them to ensure the game is enjoyable for everyone.

Geocaching etiquette.

As with anything, there are a few unwritten rules when it comes to geocaching. After all, it’s a public game; others might be searching for the same geocache you’re looking for.

  • Do not disturb. When searching for a cache, be mindful of the environment and other people. Avoid causing a disturbance or damaging property.
  • Log your experience. Whether you find a cache or not, log your experience online. It helps others know the status of the cache. You’ll see other’s logs and can get tips for finding the cache from them.
  • Keep the secret. Part of the fun of geocaching is the challenge of the search, so avoid revealing the exact location or contents of the cache. However, some pointers that will keep everyone safe are always welcomed.

When you start your adventure, you’ll see what we mean by this etiquette. Nobody is around to enforce anything, but it’s just an excellent way to go about the activity.

Geocache by Some Wood

Go and try geocaching on your own!

Geocaching is an engaging activity that combines technology, nature, and a sense of adventure. 

It’s perfect for campers and glampers looking to add a fun and educational element to their outdoor experiences

If you want to try it out before heading to your next campsite, download the app and see if there are any around your home.

Geocaching Frequently Asked Questions

Still, have some questions? Don’t worry; that’s why we have the answers.

Is geocaching suitable for all ages?

Absolutely! Geocaching is a family-friendly activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

How much does it cost to start geocaching?

The basic act of geocaching is free, although some apps or GPS devices might have associated costs.

Can I create my own geocache?

Yes, you can create and hide your own geocache. Just make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the geocaching community.

What should I do if I can’t find a geocache?

Don’t worry if you can’t find a cache; it happens. Log your attempt and maybe try again another time.

Are there different types of geocaches?

Yes, there are several types, including traditional, multi-cache, mystery or puzzle caches, and more, each offering a different kind of adventure.


Matt Johnson

Senior Content Writer

Matt is an experienced camper and glamping enthusiast with a Master's degree in Wildlife Science from Texas A&M University. Authoring posts for GlamperGear, he shares his wealth of knowledge on picturesque campsites, luxurious accommodations, and the best gear for outdoor adventures. His passion for nature and knack for comfort in the wilderness make him an expert guide for your next camping endeavor.

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