Here at EverWalk, we like to walk with a purpose. . . and one purpose can be finding ways to have more fun on your walks — by making them more like games or adventures. They are both great ways for family or friends to walk together. That’s why either geocaching or orienteering can make your outdoor exercise a challenge anyone can enjoy!
WHAT ARE ORIENTEERING & GEOCACHING?
Here are the basics of orienteering:
• Use a map and compass to get from point A to point B over forested terrain.
• You can compete against other teams or individuals to see who finishes the fastest.
• Learn & practice navigation skills. Courses range from easy for beginners to challenging, taking hours to complete.
• Orienteering can help aerobic fitness.
And now for the basics of geocaching:
• It’s a worldwide scavenger hunt! Caches are hidden in various locations for you to find using GPS unit or your smartphone.
• To play, simply log into geocaching.com; caches in your area will be ranked from easy to find to extremely difficult. Geocaching is a great way to get in your 10,000 steps (the recommended daily amount) and to explore new areas.
Orienteering and geocaching not only provide fun physical activity. they also teach map-reading, geography, and engagement with your area. Check out this link for some great geocaching activities.
THE HISTORY OF GEOCACHING
Geocaching has taken off during the past five years through Pokemon and other games. Geocaching makes the journey as much fun as reaching the destination. Think of it as a treasure hunt that takes its participants off the beaten path to find not only trinkets and “swag,” but locations and landmarks they might not have otherwise discovered.
Geocaching dates back to 2000, when it originated in Portland, Oregon. The phenomenon has grown exponentially since then, with millions of hidden caches and active participants worldwide. And where once a GPS device was needed to get started, the game is much more accessible now thanks to the prevalence smartphones.
The caches themselves come in all shapes and sizes – sometimes cleverly disguised – and the process of finding them can range from fairly simple to extremely challenging, depending on one’s acumen. Once a cache is discovered, the player signs the logbook and if a trinket or prize is inside, trades it for an item in their possession. Then, the geocache is returned to its hiding place.
The beauty of geocaching is that it transcends age, and it gives virtually anyone an excuse to get off the couch and get outdoors, which has made it a popular activity during the pandemic.
So, if you’re looking for a fun way to up your walking game, try out geocaching or orienteering — and walk with a new purpose!