WARNING: Reading this post may encourage and motivate you to get outside, get a little exercise and have crazy amounts of fun while participating in a global, interactive scavenger hunt.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game that takes advantage of clever minds and GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate their way around the globe to various (and specific) GPS coordinates and find geocaches (containers) hidden in those locations.
What is in those containers? Anything. What could they look like? Anything? Where are they? Everywhere. How many geocaches are there? Millions of geocaches are being found by millions of geocachers world-wide. Where can I learn more? Read the guide book, it makes learning about geocaching easy (and I can guarantee that once you find your first geocache you will be hooked)!
Convinced yet? If so, grab your (GPS equipped) iPad and follow along because you can use it as a companion to your new addiction.
- Groundspeak (the geocaching authority) has their own app, and it works like a charm –though it is tailored for the iPhone and isn’t universal (yet, hint hint!). If you can put up with doing the whole 1x screen-size increase, this is a good way to get started with searching for and locating geocaches.
- iGeoPad is a favorite for many iPad-toting geocachers as it can boast being the first full-featured, professional grade geocaching app made especially for the iPad.
- iPlunder HD is a little more lightweight and inexpensive but works wonderfully. With a premium geocaching membership (which is the best USD $30 a year you can spend on entertainment), you can run something called pocket queries: targeted lists of geocaches based on criteria that you can set (things like size, location, difficulty, etc.) and then load them up directly into this app and work within those lists.
Remember, if you are going to take your precious iPad out into the wild (even if it is just the urban jungle), consider grabbing a weather-proof and rugged case like those made by Moxiware or Lifeproof (currently available for pre-order).
Like motorcyclists that always wave at fellow motorcyclists as they whiz by each other on the highway, the (not so) secret society of geocachers have a certain “smile and nod” among them… usually as they pass that perfect fence post or park bench with the best little cranny for hiding something in.