My Introduction to Geocaching

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Finding a Geocache

Finding a Geocache

Bragi said, “it should be right around here”. He looked again at the app on his phone that showed the distance counting down. He started uncovering rocks looking for one that showed evidence that it had been moved previously. His search with Sue met with success as he picked up a small Tupperware container from underneath a large rock by the side of the path. It was a geocache.


If you’re not familiar with Geocaching it is an interesting phenomena. Basically, a group of people have turned the earth into one large scavenger hunt. They hide small waterproof containers somewhere in the globe and then enter in a latitude and longitude into websites like Sometimes the latitude and longitude will be accompanied by hints or possibly even a picture of where to look for a particular cache.

Inside the cache you will typically find a logbook and pen or pencil so you can add an entry to the log. You may also find small trinkets left behind by others who found the cache. You may leave trinkets of your own inside the container. Some of these trinkets will have been purchased from sites like and will have unique identifiers so that you can tell the website where you found them as they migrate from cache to cache around the globe as they are found, retrieved, and then redeposited in another cache.

Opening a Geocache

Opening a Geocache

What’s the point?

My Introduction to GeocachingPeople who look for geocaches are doing it for fun. There are no prizes. There is only the thrill of the hunt. There is also,  of course, bragging rights. The cache that we had found was next to a small obscure waterfall on the island of Iceland. The waterfall wasn’t visible from the main road so few tourists come here, but geocachers may be lured by the presence of a cache to a beautiful site they otherwise would not of discovered.

To look for geocaches you need some sort of GPS device. The modern geocacher uses smart phone apps that give them direction and distance to a specific cache as well as lists of caches nearby. I downloaded the Geocaching Intro app to my iPhone and did a search near my home in San Jose. To my surprise I found 2 geocaches within easy walking distance.

Some caches have no physical container but instead you need to prove that you saw some specific sign or marker by answering a series of quiz questions. We stopped at a few of these caches as we drove around the Golden Circle and the south coast of Iceland. On the island of Iceland there are more than 600 different caches. My guide, Bragi, has already located 300 of them. Some caches are easy to find and some are in remote or difficult to access locations.

If you are competitive. If you like a good puzzle. If you like a world-wide scavenger hunt, then Geocaching might be for you.

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

2 Responses to “My Introduction to Geocaching”



I hadn’t heard of Geocaching until I was on a trip to Erte Ale in Ethiopia where 2 Germans were mad into it. There is one on the summit of a live volcano that take 2 days to reach. Apparently this would get top marks for ‘hard to find’, ‘accessibility’ etc so the only Geocache that I have found it apparently one of the most difficult there is!



Appreciate the overview! Geocaching is on my list of things to try this weekend at home. If I like it, it seems like a good activity to incorporate worldwide.

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