Have Fun with Your Dog Geocaching. - Maya is a Geodog!

Did you know that Maya is a Geodog? No, well let me tell you all about Geocaching –  and the fun you can have with your pooch discovering new walks and trails taking part in this fantastic hobby. Geocaching is really a kind of treasure hunt and there are nearly 3 million caches hidden worldwide. You will be amazed at the close proximity of some to you, I had walked Maya right by a couple in my local park on a daily basis totally unaware of their exisitence before being bitten by the bug! Geocaching was originally developed to take people to places they wouldn’t normally go, such as areas of specific interest or natural beauty and it certainly lives up to that. We have learnt so much about the city we live in – Hull – since we took up caching and it’s also given an extra dimension to holidays and days out.

Maya really enjoys it – I mean what dog wouldn’t love to discover new walks and sniff new smells! Wherever you live, you and your dog can enjoy caching, but one thing I really love about it is that the fun is as accessible to those of us that live in urban areas as those lucky countryside dwellers!

Geocaching in the city is fun!
Searching for a “Culture” cache

A cache can be any type of water proof container, typically a tupperware box, but be prepared for anything – an empty snail shell with a magnet attached or an “artificial grass” one!  Your find may contain items such as keyrings, marbles, hair grips etc – (if you take something out you must remember to replace it with something of equal or greater value) ….. or it may be a micro cache and just contain a little log book (piece of paper) to sign.  Always take a pen with you and a pair of tweezers can come in handy to remove the little logs from the micro caches too!!! Another handy bit of kit is a pair of  gardening gloves (no laughing from those who follow our adventures on IG!!!) in case you have to move back nettles etc. Obviously take some water and snacks for your geopooch – some cachers even buy a dog pack so their canine can carry their own supplies!

I spy with my little eye!
Clue: Look for a fork in a tree!

Want to try it??  The first thing to do is register on  Geocaching.com  – there is a free trial and straight away you will be able to see which caches are near to you. Then download the app  which will show you the wherabouts of neaby caches and, once you select your chosen quarry you can plan your route to the corodinates. Once you are close to the cache the app will bleep –  it will still be a challenge to locate the cache though but it’s quite exciting when you find it!  There is often  an encrypted clue on the site and reading the comments of previous finders can provide invaluable insight as to what you are looking for. Occasionally you will find that a cache has not been found for ages and you don’t want to go on a wild goose chase!!

Maybe the microcache is hidden in a crack in a wall!
A microcache in a tree.

On the site the caches are graded according to difficulty of finding and type of terrain. I advise you to try an easy one close to home first.  Make sure there are no muggles (non-geocachers!!) around when you access the cache to protect it from theft/damage. Then after signing the log book and swopping something if you want to, replace it carefully. I always give Maya a treat when we find one while I am signing the log to sit still and stay – that way I know if her tail starts enthusiastically thumping some muggles are approaching!! (Maya is the most useless guard dog ever – even the postmen laugh if she barks!!!) One thing to note is that no cache is ever buried – but some are very ingeniously hidden indeed! Remember to log your find on the site as some of the thrill of hiding one is knowing others have found it.

A typical cache full of treasure!
Look up there!

Some caches contain trackable items too – these are chips or coins with a codes on. The idea of a trackable is that it should journey to a designated destination and if you wish, you can take this, and enter the code on the geocache website and see where the originator wants the coin to go. You then move it on to your next cache. You can also start your own trackable – (there are many online stores selling Geocaching equipment if you get into it.) and you can even get a Log My Dog Collar! 

For us though we enjoy the thrill of the chase and the variety of walks that have opened up to us. Hull (as I’m sure I have mentioned on this blog before) is City of Culture this year – in honour of this there is a Hull Culture Cache series which takes folk on a whistle-stop tour of some of the locations that will host events and art installations throughout 2017. Once we find them all I will do a blog post featuring these locations which i hope you will come back and read – it’s never dull in Hull!

Sometimes you just need to sit on a bench and get your head round the clue.

 

As with any new hobby there are a few acronyms and terms that are handy to know to  – below are some of the the most common.

  • BYOP –: Bring Your Own Pen
  • FTF –: First to Find.
  • Geo- Coin – : A trackable item
  • Muggle  – A non geocacher.
  • Puzzle Caches –  Caches with puzzles to be solved to determine the coordinates.
  • TFTC –: Thanks For The Cache
  • TNLN –: Took Nothing. Left Nothing

Once you have found quite a few caches and understand the game more you can hide your own cache! We haven’t done this yet but when we do one will be a dog friendly one filled with scented poop bags, dog tags etc and I will post a link here so that one day I might get a TFTC message from one of you – wouldn’t that be fun!  Oh and one final tip from me – if you are out in the countryside and don’t know the area, make a note of the coordinates where your car is parked – somebody and their dog walked an extra 8 miles when they forgot to do this!!

I know Maya really enjoys this pastime, she really seems to relish her role as watch dog and it might be my imagination but I swear she seems to know where to search when we reach the given coordinates!!  Have you or will you and your pooch give geocaching a go?? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Love Sal & Maya xxx

Look harder – I know this is the tree!

 

20 thoughts on “Have Fun with Your Dog Geocaching.”

  1. My Hollie loves coming geocaching with me in Leeds! She has even found several of them I haven’t been able to! 😂 So much fun

    1. Oh it is Sarah, we’ve discovered lots of things we didn’t know were there right on our doorstep!! Thanks so much for stopping by. xxx

  2. This sounds like lots of fun had no idea about it so thanks for bringing it to my attention must check it out 😄👍Gemma would love it! Lovely pics of Maya too 😘

  3. Great, your post is full of all the info a new geocacher will need. I’ll put geocachinh on our list of things to do this year, especially in our home city, Hull.

    1. It;s great fun and the ones in the Culture Cache trail is a must do!! Thanks so much for stopping by Jane. xxx

  4. This sounds like so much fun and I’d genuinely never heard about it! Will definitely be trying it in the near future! I think Pepper would be brilliant at helping, he has such a good nose. x

  5. Thanks so much for the great read Sal and Maya.. I have heard of this but knew little about it. Sounds so much fun and I know for sure my gang would love this!!!
    Fab photos of sweet Maya too!!
    Love Chrissy and my 3 gang xxx

  6. I didn’t know Geocaching, it must be a lot of fun! I have seen that there are also people who parcipate in Spain, I’m going to look for more information.
    Very interesting post and beautiful photos as always Sal and Maya.
    xxx

    1. Yes Eva it’s a worldwide thing so we call all have a go!! Thanks so much for reading Eva, I really appreciate it. xxx

  7. This looks amazing!What a brilliant idea!Love all the photos and the details of how this works-I had never heard about it before!xx

    1. It;s so much fun Fran, you’ll have to get out with your hubby and Fenton and try it. Thanks so much for reading. xxx

  8. This is a very interesting thing to consider. It must be very funny to know about new places that you would never imagine close to your area. Sometimes you get tired to walk in the same places!!! I’ll consider this when I find more time at the weekend and I learn how to deal with home duties faster than I do for now. Haha 👍

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