Sunday, 1 April 2012

Cissbury Ring and Harry's first geocache

Geocaching is a hobby which involves large and small boxes of 'treasure' hidden in all sorts of places, both in the town and the countryside. You navigate your way to them using GPS co-ordinates, open them up, and swap something in them with something of your own for someone else to find. You can also record your visits online and track all the visitors to them. They are a good way of giving your walk a focus, making it a bit more exciting, and finding new places to explore.

Before children, hubby and I spent a summer searching out some of our local geocaches, using a now ancient PDA that happened to have a GPS facility. We used the website www.geocaching.com, and we were able to download the co-ordinates that we needed. Now that at least one of the children is capable of walking a short distance, we logged into the site with the intention of giving it another go. As we now have an iPhone with a much better spec we downloaded the geocaching app. We were a little hesitant as it cost £5.99, which is more than we would normally spend on an app (i.e. it wasn't free), and the reviews weren't great. It worked fine for us this time though, and we intend to get a lot of use out of it so hopefully it will be worth it in the long run.

Look what I found!

We chose to find the geocache "Florida comes to Findon" which is up on Cissbury Ring. It is also one of the original ones that we found previously, and so we had a vague idea where it was and knew that it was easy to find. It was quite exposed, and so Harry spotted it pretty quickly after a bit of prompting.

Luckily Harry is at an age where he is very easily pleased, and he was absolutely thrilled with a plastic pencil sharpener in the shape of a hammer. This was quite lucky really as there wasn't much else in there, so I topped it up with a few bits of my own. Mostly the things that you find in geocaches are about as exciting as something that you might get in a Christmas cracker, but because you've gone to such an effort to find it, it makes it that much more special!

It's a plastic hammer!
Harry loved it, and he surprised us with how far his little legs were able to carry him. Looking forward to doing a few more of these this summer!

6 comments:

  1. Sounds like fun! It is always exciting to find something that someone else has left.

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    1. It was fun, and Harry loved it. Would really recommend families giving it a go!

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  2. A friend in Brighton is a big geocacher, she's been trying to get me and Kit to come. Maybe we should. :) Glad Harry enjoyed it, always lovely to wander around Cissbury Ring.

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    1. I would absolutely recommend it, Kit is just the right age! There are loads in cities too, although I think they tend to be smaller and more well hidden. There are even a couple on our housing estate although I've not found them yet, I think that they are just hidden in local bushes!

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  3. Onemumandababy2 April 2012 13:21

    We discovered geocaching last year and loved it. It's a great way to entertain children when it seems to them that there is nothing to do and it's boring! For example we have found them on our road, at national trust properties and alongside football pitches when we have been watching the big boy play on a Sunday. I am not sure which of them gets the most from it - the big boy or the daddy!

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    1. You're right, it's great motivation to get little ones to go out for a walk. They really are all over the place, and we all enjoy it!

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