Where Are You?
Are you reading this from the couch? Or worse, from the toilet?
If so, finish your television program (or your bathroom business, or both) and let me inspire you to get up off your duff and get outside and explore a world you may never have known existed.
It’s the world of Geocache. Maybe you’ve never heard the word, or maybe you’ve heard it, but never really knew what it meant.
I Had No Idea
A few years ago, I came across the word Geocache on my iPhone. It was suggested that it was one of their most popular free apps.
Having no idea what it was, I Googled it. It was explained as a “real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.” This intrigued me, so I downloaded it.
Imagine my shock to discover there were 5,683 hidden caches just in my home town! Now, let me explain something. I live in absolute “nowhereville”. There are no high rises, no taxis and no billboards. It was as though my home town had a secret society that only a few residents knew about. And now, I was in their secret club! Wanna get in the club near you? Learn more here.
The Geocache Secret
I’m not sure why I initially didn’t tell anyone about downloading the geocache app.
I probably thought it would be end up being lame and then I’d have to have a 10 minute pointless conversation defending something I wasn’t sure was even worth defending yet.
It’s like buying my “Sons of Anarchy” tee shirt or listening to an occasional Snoop Dogg song, I didn’t want to have an in-depth analysis as to “what it all means.”
It only means that I occasionally want to escape to places where I can wear a biker shirt, listen to Gangsta rap or search for hidden treasures. So, let’s move on.
Getting Out of the House
Early on a May morning (and without telling anyone) I went out alone to geocache. I discovered, from the app, that there was a cache hidden in the park behind my house.
I followed the phone as it guided me to within a few feet of the treasure and announced my success with a “ding” when I arrived very near the cache.
It sort of does work like that childhood game where you’re guided by “hot, hot, getting hotter, you’re burning up” clues.
My search was successful and I was hooked. Are you curious enough to step outside yet?
All you need to geocache are three things: create an account, find the geocache and log your find! So, what are you waiting for? Find out the best time to travel to Hawaii and learn where to find the best beaches in Hawaii.
Start Off Right
If you’re lucky enough, and you’re planning your geocache in paradise, here’s something that might blow your mind.
Did you know that within a 30 mile radius from Honolulu, Oahu there are 1,279 hidden caches? You could have sat on one or walked past one and never even realized it! Isn’t that crazy?
My first piece of advice, before you head out, is to fuel up with a great breakfast.
Why not fill your belly at Cafe Kaila? This menu sounds like the perfect start for a day of geocaching. Hey, maybe there’s even a cache near the Cafe!
Safety In Numbers
I advise bringing your kids, your significant other or anyone you can convince to come along with you. It’s a little creepy geocaching alone, like the fully clothed guys working their metal detectors on the beach.
My kids were whiners and complainers the first time we went. Then they found the cache and they stopped asking, “When are we were going home?”
They wanted to keep on searching and to find other caches. The way I looked at it was- it got them away from video games for a few hours and pumped a bit of fresh air in their lungs.
Plus, it really is a great way to have family fun time. If you had to, you could always dangle the arcade carrot in front of them. After three (or maybe five) successful finds, you could agree to a few hours at the greatest arcade in the history of arcades.
Stuff to Pack in Your Sack
Bring one of those sporty drawstring bags or beach bags. We pack ours with waters, snacks, bug spray and a few pens.
Planning ahead shuts down any legit complaints from the kids. I can answer any of their cries with a “Booyah!” after reaching in to my own version of Hermione Granger’s “Undetectable Extension Charm Bag”.
Or, more aptly, I should commend my own Granger foresight with, “Brilliant!” You can pick up your own bag and necessary charms at the lovely stores you’ll find here.
Sights to See
What will you see while you’re seeking hidden treasure on Oahu?
Well, there are so many cool pieces of history and amazing landmarks that are possible to see.
You’re likely to see the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor. This somber reminder of the, “Day that will live in infamy” is open daily from 7:00-5:00. Come back and visit Pearl Harbor after you geocache.
You really shouldn’t miss Iolani Palace, the original home of Hawaii’s monarchy. Make a mental note and plan to properly explore it after your day of searching for caches. This place is a real “treasure” to see.
Like all cities with a Chinatown district, Honolulu has one you shouldn’t miss. If you’re geocache search takes you to this culturally colorful part of town, you’ll wish you had time to hang around for the day.
So, definitely plan on venturing back another day to taste the exotic fruits and seafood and to experience the unique arts and entertainment.
You Are Here
The great thing about geocaching is that you can do it anywhere. Literally, anywhere.
Imagine you’re on a business trip with a few hours to kill, or if you just want to see your home town in a new and different way. Or, maybe your desire is to search for treasures while on vacation.
Making your way through fields and forests, under bridges and across streams, you’ll find your inner Tom Sawyer (or Pocahontas). You’ll also learn that not everything you see is as it seems.
The apple inside the hollowed tree stump seems weird, because it IS weird. Could the cache be hidden inside the apple? Well, don’t be afraid. Reach in and pick it up. Sign your name and log your find.
Snap a selfie, too. After all, now that you’re off the couch and getting a workout, you’re “hot, hot, getting hotter, burning up!”
And, unlike a love of Sons of Anarchy and Snoop Dogg, there’s no need to feel weird about telling people you geocache, Shizzle.
*Hey, we either should have “Fo” Shizzle (Snoop Dogg reference), or just remove Shizzle altogether?