Instagram Link Party: Geocaching in Lakeland

Tadd and I spent a lovely day on Saturday geocaching with good friends in Lakeland.  It was a beautiful day with high temps in the upper 70sF and blue skies.  It was fun exploring a new town.  Although we have driven through Lakeland many times on our way to and from Tampa, it’s not very often we have had a chance to actually stop and check it out.  Now that we have friends who live there, it was interesting getting the grand tour from a resident’s perspective.

What is Geocaching?  It’s a really fun hobby that I think would hook a lot more people if it weren’t kind of an underground-ish thing, because part of the fun is that everyone else in the world doesn’t have a clue what you are doing.  It’s basically like a world scavenger hunt.  People hide “caches” (basically containers of various sizes, each with a paper log inside), all over the world and post the coordinates of their cache at the official website.  Then others get the coordinates (sometimes along with clever clues, additional history about the area, or even funny stories that tie somehow to the cache) and use their smartphones (via the official Geocaching app) or another GPS-enabled device try to find it.  If they find it, they leave their name and date on the log, and then rehide it for others to find.

What I find fun about geocaching is that it allows you to explore new places (or even places you have been to a trillion times before) in a completely different way.  Caches are literally all around us; there are millions of them all over the world, in parks, bus stops, patches of wilderness, near landmarks, etc, etc, etc.  Everywhere!  I would venture to guess that there is at least one cache in every mall parking lot in the United States.  There is very likely one within a very short walking distance from where you are this very minute.  In Lakeland alone (which is a pretty small town, much smaller than Orlando) there are literally thousands.  Caches can bring you to some little-known out-of-the-way spot with an incredible view, or with some unique story that you would have never known about if it weren’t discovered to get to a cache.  As corny as it sounds, it’s almost more about the journey than the destination.

Below is a video from the official Geocaching website to explain more about it in a manner that is probably more concise than my rambles above.  The iPhone app is $10, but that small one-time investment is really all this entire hobby should really cost you, aside from gas to drive around looking for the caches, of course.  And no, I am not being paid to talk about this in any way, shape, or form.  Just sharing about a little-known hobby that I think my readers might enjoy.

 

This post is linked to the weekly Instagram Link Party at a {little} dash of ash.

 

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