By Jocelyn Brown
As children, we were adventure-seekers, pirates, and treasure hunters. We dreamed of finding the X that led to the golden prize, or treasure chest filled with doubloons. Well now, we can make those dreams a reality. Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt, and is ultimately a hide-and-seek game for adults. Players use a GPS receiver or their cellphones and other clues and navigational information to find containers, or geocaches around the world. These geocaches are sometimes filled with small treasures that you can take, but make sure you leave something else for the next treasure seeker!
With over one million geocaches around the world, it is a great bonding experience for any family, office, or team. It fosters unity, creates trust, boosts morale, and opens up and strengthens communication skills. The first aspect of geocaching as a team-bonding event is to define your search area. Here are some of the most interesting and rewarding geocache sites across the world that you and your geocaching team could aim to conquer.
Mount Everest is a challenge for any adventure-seeker, but the hopes of obtaining the treasure at the end make a great motivator for the climb. Known as the Earth’s Roof to the geocaching community, this cache is located at the very top of the peak, 30,000 feet about sea level. Traversing treacherous winds, terrain, and high altitudes this geocache is a challenge for any pro.
Located in Cincinnati’s Winton Woods Park, this geocache takes you to locations you would normally never visit. However, it’s not the location that makes this geocache special, but rather its interface. Based on the Super Mario videogames, Mario’s Tower is a 13-level multicache found on a website that requires hunters to solve highly inquisitive puzzles and clues to save Princess Peach. It is for the true puzzle solvers out there and has taken cachers anywhere from a day to a year to complete.
Harry Potter’s Abenteuer
Starting in the beautiful hills of Lahn valley, 60km north of Frankfurt, Germany, this Harry Potter-themed geocache puts you right in the middle of your own Harry Potter story. You learn how it feels to be a student at Hogwarts and embark on a journey to find Harry Potter’s Abenteuer. This multi-cache comprises of 18 stages, each of which is inspired by a scene from the Harry Potter books and movies. You fight classmates and fantastic beasts throughout your journey and can acquire your own wand and broom in one stage.
Known for its extensive and unique animals, the Galapagos Islands provides a great area for exploration and geocaching. This geocache brings you up close and personal with animals that can only be found on these islands. You hike through lava tubes where liquid lava continues to flow through, and across the beach where you can see sea lions, crabs, and whale sharks. Be careful though as white tip sharks are known to play in the waters. If you love wildlife and animals, this is a terrific location for you.
International Space Station
Although this geocache is virtually impossible to most geocachers, it’s a fun one to mention, and shows the vast extent of the geocaching community. Located on the International Space Station, this geocache was left by Richard Garriott, a private “space tourist” in 2008. It can be found inside a locker on the Russian side of the station and floats over 250 miles above Earth. Maybe one day, you can find the geocache orbiting our planet. In the meantime, you can track it on the International Space Station phone app and see when it passes over you about 1-2 times a week.