I love geocaching but so far, we've only ever gone looking for other people's caches. For quite some time, I've had a few ideas for places that would be good spots for geocaches and I decided that this half term would be a great time to get out and hide our own. I'm always a bit sad that 95% of the geocaches in our local area are tiny micro ones that are far too small to hide any swaps in, so I wanted to make some big ones, thereby hopefully encouraging others to follow suit. I also wanted to set free some of our own travelbugs and the lovely Elaine from Fun As A Gran had a couple going spare that she very kindly sent us through the post. I think I was even more excited than the kids !
For the past few months, I've been putting aside waterproof containers that could be turned into geocaches. I also printed out the logbooks and instruction sheets that need to go inside each cache.
After wrapping the containers up in waterproof tape, to help camouflage them as well as strengthen them, it was time to fill them up with treasures.
The kids helped me find lots of little toys to put inside, along with the travelbugs and log sheets, then we grabbed the GPS and we were off.
Our first stop was the canal we usually walk along with the dogs.
There were plenty of Muggles (non-geocachers) of the feathered kind, but no human ones luckily !
Off to our second hiding place - a piece of urban art that is supposed to represent a crashed spaceship.
On the left was the ideal hiding place ... until I pushed the tub a bit further to the left so it would be well-hidden and it rolled right underneath. Luckily, Juliette saved the day - she managed to get her arm under the gap to retrieve it, but an adult wouldn't have managed. Time for plan B - we positioned it behind one of the rotors instead. Slightly more in view than I would have liked but if you didn't go looking for it, you wouldn't find it. There were a few beer cans scattered around though, so I think this one will get trashed before the others. Hopefully not before someone has retrieved the travelbug.
For our final cache of the day (containing the second travelbug), I'd decided to hide it near the remains of an old boat which has been awaiting restoration for years on the docks. It's sad really because it was one of the Little Ships used in the Evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II.
There was a strategically placed rock just in front of the boat and lots of large rocks scattered around that we could use to hide it. Perfect ! In the background is a museum which has a tiny geocache hidden along the wall - closer than I initially thought when we went to place our geocache. This turned out to be a problem because, when I went to add my new geocaches to the geocaching.com website, it wouldn't accept the third one because it didn't respect the minimum distance between caches. Oh ratbags !
The next morning, I was delighted to see that my first two geocaches were now live on the site. How long would it take for someone to find them? In the meantime, I headed back to the ruined boat to take back my cache and went to drop it off near a giant chair further along the canal instead.
A nearby tree gave me the hiding place that I required, at the base of the trunk, hidden by leaves and twigs.
I had to laugh because as I doubled back to go home, I passed by a woman wandering along the canal with her phone in her hand and I was sure she was a geocacher. I lingered around the corner and sure enough, she stopped right next to my first cache. I guessed she'd head over to the second one so went over to say hi. She was delighted to get two FTFs (First To Finds) and also discover her first two travelbugs. We had a giggle when I said that they were my first two caches and also the first travelbugs I'd ever released. That's a lot of geocaching firsts for one morning ! We're working out more places to hide caches now - it's just as addictive as going and finding other people's !