Our very first geocaching experience was several years ago. My husband's dad and stepmom regifted us a gps that a friend had given FIL several years before (to mark the location of good fishing spots). We used it for geocaching almost every weekend that summer and fall. The following spring, we couldn't find it (we suspect, but aren't sure that it might be in a van we sold to a friend).
At the time, hubby was in much better shape than I was (now that's somewhat reversed. Even with his cane, he can walk much faster than I can, but he wears out sooner).
What I love about the geocaching.com site, is that each cache is rated for difficulty and terrain. Several of the caches that we started with, could have been accessed even in a wheelchair.
Most of the caches are tupperware and other weather-proof containers with a log book to sign and little trinkets to take as trophies. You don't have to take a trophy, but you're expected to leave one, if you take one. We went to the dollar store and bought a package of small, brightly colored plastic frogs (hubby collects frog stuff. I collect wolves). Most people sign just their first name or an alias, we chose an alias and signed the logs "frogman and wolfgirl."
One day, we visited several caches, and we found that we were about 30 minutes behind another couple... from Finland. Wausau has a kayak course running right through downtown that is opened for competition. It draws people from around the world.
I HATE walking for exercise. Even beautiful scenery isn't enough to keep me motivated, when I start to get tired. What was so fun about geocaching, is that I was really willing to push myself to my limit to get to the cache. Seeing and selecting from all the little doodads, and reading the log books was so much fun that I didn't realize how much effort I was putting in.
And it's the perfect kind of exercise for my fibromyalgia (I'm able to take it at my own pace and can rest if I start getting tired). Endurance exercise works better for me than effort exercise. Slow pace, gentle exercise for a longer time, works better than intense workouts for a short time.
The funniest cache was on the front lawn of the county courthouse, on a Saturday afternoon. We felt very conspicuous rummaging around in the bushes. Even though the cache listing said that the cache was approved by the authorities, we were sure that it looked like we were up to no good, and hoped that the police were aware of the cache.
A couple in a car did stop their car and were staring at us. We laughed so hard, I'm surprised I didn't pee my pants.
Whenever we went to visit friends or relatives in other cities, we'd log onto the geocaching website and find caches near them or on the way.
Some of the caches had coordinates, clues or riddles leading to other caches.
We also learned that some people give lousy clues. We spent almost an hour trying to find a cache in a stump (the location was a wooded area that was being harvested for timber - there were dozens of stumps and only one fallen log (the cache was in the log). Hubby and I were justifiably miffed, after all doesn't everyone know that a stump still has it's roots in the ground and sits vertically, while a log has no roots and lies horizontally.
And a few times we couldn't find the cache at all. Once we found the tin can described in the cache, but it had been emptied by muggles ( a geocaching term stolen from the Harry Potter books).
and defined here
The cache was in a park and near a school, so it's likely that a child found the "hidden treasure." At least I hope it was a child (there are actually people who will destroy caches just for spite or twisted fun).
Smart cachers put a note on or in the container explaining geocaching, and asking anyone stumbling upon the cache to replace it, and explains geocaching.
It was by way of just such a "muggle" that hubby and I ended up with the gifted gps and learned of geocaching. When FIL and his wife gave us the gps, they gave it to us after learning about geocaching. Friends or family of theirs had stumbled upon geocachers while hiking. They asked the people what they were doing.
When they told the story to FIL and his wife, they instantly thought of us (we're "weird enough" to enjoy something like that), so it inspired them to give us the gps and tell us about geocaching.