Geocaching - A Fun New Hobby with it's own Coins
Last week my eldest son graduated from high school. We had a big party and plenty of relatives and friends came by to show their support for my son in his future endeavors. It was great to see that so many people have such respect for him. I guess a parent can afford to take a moment of pride at time like this.
During the many fine conversations throughout the weekend, one topic came up which was completely new to me; Geocaching. Apparently my brother -in-law and his family have taken up Geocaching as a hobby and they kindly took the time to explain the concept and even took a group of family and friends on a Geocaching adventure near our home.
The simplest way of explaining Geocaching is to equate it to a kind of treasure hunt, except that the hunt is of more importance than the recovery of any treasure. At it's most basic form: someone hides an item and a logbook and someone else finds it, using clues and a Global Positioning System (GPS). Once the item is discovered, you record the fact that you found it and move along to another search, or back to daily life.
There are huge numbers of people flocking to this hobby all the time. It's a growing little cottage industry, and to join you really don't need too much in the way of equipment or supplies. It's much easier with a portable GPS, and the use of Geocaching tokens or coins is helpful as well. If fact, while searching eBay for tokens the other day, I noticed that Geocoins have gained their own section under Exonumia in the coins listings. At the time I looked there were over 430 listings for Geocoins, more than for world tokens. Designs were varied, some looked like casino chips, others like Challenge coins or medals. All emit a signal which is picked up by the GPS, making it easier to locate their hiding place in a reasonable amount of time.
For a hobby sport that just got started in 2000, Geocaching is growing at an extreme pace. Using the most popular site, Geocaching.com I read articles about this active hobby from Massachusetts, New York, Arizona, the UK and even Montenegro, so it seems to spreading worldwide very quickly. It's fun, easy to get started in, requires little knowledge, but does become easier with experience. Of course there are websites to assit you with forums and advice, plus clubs to help you enjoy the shared experince with other Geocachers. Best of all, no matter how rural or urban an area you live in, it is a near certainty that there will be a selection of Geocaches within a reasonable distance from your home, so all can enjoy this hobby.