March seems to be flying by and with breaking the 30k words barrier on my new novel I have hardly done much else.

Last Saturday, however, my lovely in-laws came over, forcing me to take a much needed break. Their suggestion of what we could do was Geo-caching. I’d vaguely heard the word being thrown around but had no clue what it was and I imagine right at this point you’re wondering what on earth it is too. Well it’s most easily described as the modern version of a treasure hunt. Now that makes it sound infinitely cooler (I really think they could have given it a better name).

To keep it simple and short you go to the main website, type in the area you want to treasure hunt in and it gives you a bunch of caches in that area. You pick one, plug the coordinates in your gps device (mobile phone, sat nav etc) and then go walking until your little piece of technology tells you that you’re practically on top of it. You then search the nearby area for some hidden box of some kind. The boxes vary in size from a tiny object nothing will fit in, to larger lunch box sized containers that people leave ‘treasures’ in for others. At this point you get to write your name in the log book and take something out, as long as you put something in of greater or equal value. When you are finally back to the safety of your house and your adventure is over, you go back to the website and log what you’ve found, what you added and what you took from the cache (If anything). Nice, simple and outdoorsey

If you wish there are also extras and variations of this basic idea. Some caches have what’s called a travel bug in it. These are seperatly packaged dog tagged things that each have their own mission. Some will wish to be put in every cache in a country, others to simply go to as many countries as possible etc. If you take these to move them on it needs to be done quickly and needs to be logged on the website, that it’s in your possession, and where you then put it.

There are also puzzle caches that require you to solve a puzzle to get the next location and then the next etc, until you finally find the cache at the end location. With multicaches being a similar variant of these with clues instead of puzzles.

Needless to say, I loved the idea. I love walking, countryside, puzzles and most of all feeling like an old fashion pirate hunting for treasure (well I do write historical fiction, check out With Proud Humility for evidence of my love for treasure hunting). You can imagine how much I grinned when the first thing I saw in my first cache was a toy Jessie from the Toy Story trilogy. I can see myself getting very very distracted by this passtime, especially as there are just under 1000 caches within a 10 mile radius of my house.

If you like the sound of this and want to check it out you can here, who knows, maybe I’ll see you out there, searching around tree stumps and mountain tops for random objects half the world doesn’t even know exists.