In a really difficult start to the year, we’ve come up with 10 Things to do in the Outdoors,...
New to geocaching? As ‘secret’ as it is, geocaching is actually the world’s largest real-life treasure hunt, with treasure hidden in almost 200 countries globally and over 3-million active treasure hunters. What’s more, there are almost 3,000 geocache locations here in the Lake District.
There are various levels of geocaching available giving the game appeal for all ages, from 3 to 99-years-old. Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt, with cache (treasure) hidden all over the world, and participants use GPS coordinates to discover them. You can choose the cache you go after based on ‘size’, ‘difficulty’ and ‘terrain’, depending on what you’re wanting from the game. For some, geocaching is a way of exploring, using geocache coordinates as a guide. Depending on the owner of the cache, you often get very detailed local information about an area that you are exploring, such as its history or a little-known story relating to the cache’s location. Family-friendly cache’s are popular with families looking to get reluctant walkers enjoying some fresh air. For others, the more difficult geocaching and geocache ‘bagging’ is a challenge in itself.
There are cache coordinates all over the world, but the Lake District is one of the best places in the UK for geocaching. There’s sprawling open spaces and mixed terrain that’s perfect for hiding cache and there isn’t the worry about traffic.
Geohiking has become a popular offshoot in the Lake District, with people bringing together two loves of walking and gaming. Whilst we can tell you with accuracy how many fells and lakes there are in the Lakes, we know that there are around 2888 cache’s currently hidden here. How many have you found? Share any Lake District geocaching adventures with us on our Lakelovers Facebook page.
Geocaching is a game and there are various rules and caches. But the simplest form is a Traditional Cache, which is a container with a logbook and is discovered via GPS coordinates . Some cache have Trackables, these are physical items that players move from cache to cache and their journey tracked online. Popular Trackables include geocoins, georocks and geotags and some have traveled thousands of miles globally. You may find a puzzle that leads to another cache, called a Multi-Cache, or swops – with the rules being that you replace whatever you take away.
At its simplest, the basic rule of geocaching is that once you have located a cache you sign the logbook and return it. You can share your find online too, via the geocaching app and leave a photo and comment, as long as you don’t give the location away! If the owner has left something you can choose an item to take away, as long as you replace it with something of the same, or equal value.
To start your geocaching adventure and to discover where the cache is hidden here in the Lakes, you simply create an account with Geocaching.com, which you can do with Facebook logins or create new profile. You create a Username that other members will know you by and you’re off. Use the simple ‘search’ tool and enter a location, such as ‘Keswick, UK or you can search based on your location for geocaching coordinates near you. For playing on the move download the Geocaching app.
There’s a great mix of cache’s in the Lakes, with lots of Traditional to look for, some with Trackables and some that you simple log. But you can also go after Virtual Cache, Multi-Cache and even a Mystery Cache.
Grizedale Forest, near Coniston, is one of the best terrains for Geocaching in the Lake District and there are plenty of cache’s here to spend a day playing.
There’s eight caches to find in the beautiful grounds of Wray Castle, on Lake Windermere, which are designed as a series, for families in particular, to enjoy. Also taking you to superb views on Lake Windermere is the Gummers How cache. You’ll not be short of geofun in Keswick and the North Lakes, where there are lots of hidden cache. Geocaching in Keswick will take you to some of the area’s most popular attractions including Surprise View, Ashness View and Walla Crag as well to the lesser-known western lakes, Loweswater, Buttermere and Crummock Water.
Geocaching is lots of fun but care, just like when walking in the Lake District, must be taken.
Dress appropriately for the weather and remember that you can experience all seasons in one day in the Lakes so layers are a good choice. The most important kit is appropriate footwear, preferably walking trainers, sandals or boots and a raincoat. Always carry water and s snack, especially when walking with children. When using a GPS device always also carry a hard copy map with you, in particular if you’re heading somewhere new.
Come to the Lake District this summer and join the Geocaching adventure.