Geocaching, the world’s largest treasure-hunting game

We have enjoyed geocaching as a hobby for years and years. Geocaching, the world’s largest treasure-hunting game, never fails to take us to exciting places on all of our trips. They are very often historical, we learn so much about the places we are visiting, and the visit becomes a special memory.

If geocaching is unfamiliar to you, take a look at the website Here’s a brief explanatory quote from Geocaching’s website.

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

How do you geocache?

Geocaching is not a complicated hobby or adventure. A geocache is a container of almost any size. Go to the website,, type your location or the location where you want to go to find a geocache. For example, type in Galveston, Texas. Your search will provide a list of over 100 geocaches in Galveston, Texas. Select one that is close to you sounds like fun, or is easy, or close your eyes, point, and select.

The page with information for the cache you have selected will appear with the GPS coordinates, description, size, date last found, difficulty, history, images, everything you might need to locate this hidden cache. Pop the GPS coordinates into your phone map, geocaching app, or actual GPS device, if you choose to use one, and start hunting.

Geocaching IS a relaxed, fun hobby, but it does take a bit of skill. GPS coordinates are not spot on, to the inch. You will have to hunt around in the 10-30 foot vicinity, using its description, hints, past logs, signs of disturbance in the area, but it is always a thrill for us to finally put our hands on it. Often you will learn historical, exciting, or entertaining facts about the area, and that, in turn, will make your trip so much more memorable.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game
Yes, even in the snow in Custer, South Dakota! See GC6586, Little Blue Bell

After you’ve located the cache, you should enter the date found and your chosen identification name on the logbook found in the cache. You should maintain an electronic record on the geocaching website and can accomplish that by entering the same information on your phone app. A premium geocaching account is available for a small subscription fee if you wish, but it is not required.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game
We found a geocache here at Lakeview monument, erected by the Irish Cultural Society of New Orleans and built to honor Irish immigrants who died during the construction of the New Basin Canal in New Orleans. See GC26307, Luck of the Irish


Trackables are geocaching game pieces that have a unique tracking code. The tracking code allows you to track its movement on Trackable owners can set a goal for their trackable.
Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game
This is the journey our travel bug has been on — so far.

This map illustrates the track of one of my trackables that I purchased (from and placed in the geocache St. Luke’s 1831 in Ulster, Ireland, on July 1, 2015. This travel bug, named Impossible, has been moved from geocache to geocache as it was discovered and retrieved by other geocachers.

As of this date, April 19, 2020, this small item has been moved 1,981 times and traveled 178,521.5 miles throughout the world, as shown on the above map. I find this amazing.

Steve and I have placed travel bugs in caches during all of our travels, named after our grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. We can all follow the journeys these trackable are on throughout the world.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game

This “travel bug” was named Impossible and is imprinted with this quote from Alice in Wonderland. We must not limit ourselves to what we believe to be true. Anything is possible — Just do it!

Part of my trip planning, whether it is a road trip, a cruise, an international adventure, whatever, is researching engaging geocaches where we will be visiting.

There are so many of them worldwide that it is impossible to become familiar with even a tenth of them, but enough are eye-catching enough to want to spend time hunting for them, more than enough to keep us busy and entertained.

I create and download pocket queries to my phone app of those caches we want to include in our search and we are then ready to find them as we come across the area they are in. We also pull up the geocaching app as we travel and see what we might randomly have missed from my research.

We have spent entire days following geocaches around the countryside, learning amazing stories, and seeing beautiful sights.

I am a sissy geocacher

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game
Kids are so great at this!

I am a bit of a lightweight and fall into the sissy geocacher category in that I do not enjoy stomping through muck and mud and do not like to reach my hands into scary spider places in search of a geocache container. I do not want even to get my hands dirty.

Fortunately, my sister, her granddaughter, and my grandson came to my rescue in the picture above. Steve is usually the one to get his hands dirty or poke around in questionable shrubs.

Below are a few photos of geocaches we have found and the wonderfully beautiful spots we were led to by this crazy hobby. We relive these out in the sunshine and fresh air, exploring memories when we look at each of these pictures.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game

We found a geocache here at this historic covered bridge in Maine. What a beautiful piece of history. This geocache is archived, no longer exists to be found.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game
Charlotte at the Kindred Spirits Sculpture

The Kindred Spirits sculpture in County Cork, Ireland, was built to honor the Choctaw nation for its compassion toward the Irish during the potato famine in the mid-1800s. The Choctaw nation sent $170, a considerable sum at that time, to Ireland to help feed the starving Irish people.

Yes, there is a geocache at this location that explains the whole story. I happen to be part Choctaw Indian, so this was a doubly great story for me. My sister, Charlotte, is in the photograph above. See geocache GC698DB at Kindred Spirits.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game

This geocache, found at the top of the ancient city wall, is located at Paestum, the archeological park near Salerno, Italy. Paestum is famous for its intact Greek temples. We enjoyed this hunt! See GC1WQYT, Magna Graecia Paestumat.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game

One of the best shore excursions on our transatlantic cruise was in Ponta Delgada, Azores, Portugal. Here is our great sport, tour guide for the day, holding up the geocache HE found. What a spectacularly great day this was! See GC7CV0P, Miradouro da Cumeeira.


Our geocaching id is D.O.P., which stands for Dogs on Patrol. My husband came up with this unusually odd name in 2008, immediately following the near-total devastation of our home and neighborhood by Hurricane Ike.

All of the homes were in tatters. Roofs were gone, walls were gone, all our belongings were strewn everywhere, totally unsecured.

Steve made orange security vests for Chester, our Chihuahua, and Ragz, our Maltese pets. He then walked them around our destroyed community on their leashes. This bit of humor amid such overwhelming destruction was golden.

Steve’s tremendous sense of humor was and always is much appreciated by everyone he meets. So, D.O.P., we are.

Geocaching, the world's largest treasure-hunting game
D.O.P. — Dogs on Patrol

Doesn’t geocaching sound like just a little bit of fun to you? We most definitely enjoy it. It is great fun at home, but sometimes just makes our trip when we travel. Throughout the years, we have found geocaches in the most amazing places.

Once, we found a cache in a traffic esplanade covered with pine trees. The geocache was an actual pine cone on a tree! Not an easy one.

Geocaching and social distancing

One of the most natural things to do while geocaching is maintaining a six-foot distance from other people. This hobby takes place outside, away from groups or crowds of people. You do not want a group of people with you when geocaching.

This hobby is environmentally friendly, promotes trash in – trash out and leave no trace, requires you to be stealthy and not call attention to your activity, and — have some fun. There are over three million geocaches hidden in over 190 countries today.

Steve and I have found caches in 26 states and fourteen different countries and provinces. We currently have one cache we have created and hidden. It is near our home and was created and placed in 2007. The last time someone found it was last week!

We are fair-weather and stay comfortable, cachers, although this is an extreme sport for some. I believe everyone should try geocaching at least once. This hobby has enhanced our travel experiences greatly and is always a part of our travels.

We would love to hear about your geocaching experiences, past, present, or future. If you’ve not given it a try yet, we do encourage you to see what it’s all about. Caching is a super activity for adults and children.

Geocaching Tools

Here are some geocaching tools, including our recommended handheld GPS. These items would certainly enhance your geocaching experience, but if you have the geocaching app downloaded to your smartphone, that’s all you need to get started.

Geocaching, the world\'s largest treasure-hunting game

10 thoughts on “Geocaching, the world’s largest treasure-hunting game

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  7. I had no idea the travel bugs could travel such distances!

    1. Yep, sometimes they do get around. I think it’s a great geography lesson for kids, and interesting for old folks like me.

  8. Guess we really should do this! Great article.

    1. Thanks Dianne. We really enjoy the history lessons from geocaching.

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