Feature: Parenting

Geocaching - Technology and the Great Outdoors

Author: Krista Godfrey
Published: September 07, 2011 at 3:16 pm

In case you are wondering what Geocaching is, let me briefly explain.

Geocaching is a worldwide 'game' whereby people place caches, which can be anything from small film canisters to large waterproof boxes, around towns and countryside. These caches are located using a GPS device and clues. The hunters seek the caches to exchange items and solve puzzles. I have heard it described as "searching for Tupperware in bushes using multi-billion dollar satellites". How accurate!

Photograph: Small, traditional cache.

When I was first introduced to this game, I was a little unsure to say the least. My best friend had begun caching and was exalting the virtues of her new iPhone by showing my eldest daughter the live maps of where caches were in our area. Little did I know at that time that the end of my road was so interesting.

Having decided not to partake in this pastime for a few months, it came to mobile phone upgrade time and I decided that Geocaching was worth a punt and I would get myself a suitable Smartphone with which to do it. One Android handset later, a copy of c:geo (free download) and I was ready to grab my first cache. I really wasn't sure this was for me so I certainly wasn't about to spend any real money on it.

It was really at this point, and seeing the enthusiasm of my eldest daughter (just coming up 13 now), that it occurred to me what a fantastic meld of fun, outdoor pursuits and technology this was for the young mobile generation in particular.

We have all see teenagers (and often younger much to my horror) staring down continuously at their mobile phones, thumbs moving at light speed. Well, how about combining the fascination of that tiny screen with a GPS and a treasure hunt that gets them out and about. That has to be a better option than a games console surely?

Continued on the next page

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Article Author: Krista Godfrey

Wife and mother to three beautiful girls. Business owner (independent recruitment consultancy). Occasional motorcyclist (not easy to get out and ride with a baby and todder), ex-saxophonist, avid Final Fantasy gamer and increasingly obsessive Geocacher. …

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