Lockdown happened and we all felt extremely restricted, well I did. It was like there became a need to go for a long walk to make use of every minute of the single exercise session available. My husband isn’t much of a walker though, he doesn’t like to walk without much of a purpose and walking our dog isn’t enough of a reason to walk every day after work when I could walk him on my own. So, what did I do? The typical wife thing and nagged him and pestered so that he gave in and came out for a walk with me and Charlie each evening. And he was not happy about it. Until he discovered geocaching!
If you are not aware of it, geocaching is like a modern-day treasure hunt. There are things hidden in places of interest just waiting to be found and have the logs inside signed. The places of interest can be somewhere with a nice view, a nice feature, part of an interesting walk or to bring your attention to an interesting piece of information or area. For us, its get us out and about for hours and means that Charlie (now a Geohound) is loving life but for others it could be something fun to do with children, a nice couple activity and some people like to do it on their own to go outside with a bit more of a purpose. There are some that are easier to find than others and in better locations than others. My husband has been climbing way up high whilst I refused to watch in case he fell, and I’ve managed to find a few with a keen eye looking for little hiding spots.
Download the app on a smart phone for the locations with descriptions and hints to help and off you go. You can either set up a free account and look for the public caches or pay for the premium account and be exposed to many more. (I am not writing this as an advert, I genuinely enjoy this and although I had heard of it, I had no idea what it was!) There are a lot of social media groups about this too, but one thing I really do love is the creativity of the hiding places, what you find on your own doorstep and the way in which they are hidden. We have explored places literally within 10 minutes’ walk of our front door that we did not know existed and have found unusual geocaches including one which was a fake bolt. The game is full of puzzles too so can really exercise the brain as well as the body! You can also get creative and once you are hooked on geocaching, you can hide geocaches too and feel the thrill when someone finds yours! If you are looking to explore with a bit of a purpose, it really is perfect.
Now, this is Educating Charlie, written by a teacher, and so this activity has another benefit. That ‘well-being’ buzz word. Being out and about really is beneficial for everyone, put on some headphones and off you go, or spend time with friends or family, but being in the outdoors and getting the fresh air and exercise is going to do good for anyone, mentally and physically. For me, it’s a good way to switch off and focus on something else. We went for a walk on the moors, got hooked on searching and walked about 15 miles in 6 hours; it was a brilliant day though and Charlie was definitely loving life that day!
If you are looking for a little adventure in your life, try it. You might find yourself with a new hobby just like we did. We are thinking about how creative we can be, but I would highly recommend you just having a look in to ir. It is so much fun! Not just for kids!