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Geocaching, the real-world treasure hunt game for the smartphone age – ABC News

Who knows what you will find when you step out on a geocaching adventure?

A cleverly hidden capsule … a cunningly devised puzzle … the love of your life?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt in which you use your smartphone or GPS device to find hidden “caches”.

It has created a worldwide community of geocache hiders and finders, as some players hide small “treasures” in carefully recorded locations while others seek them out.

Four wheel drive wagon in outback terrain
Some geocaches require a four-wheel drive to find them.(Supplied: Jo Cox)

Jo Cox has been geocaching for about five years. She has found about 1,300 caches — and that’s not all.

“Would you believe, I actually met my partner [Ross] through geocaching,” she said.

“I was hiding [caches] in my local area and you start to get to know others in the community.

“We eventually met and became friends. Then we went along to a geocache mega festival and the magic happened there.”

Woman and man dressed in cold weather gear in front of a lighthouse.
Jo Cox and her partner Ross found each other through their shared love of geocaching.(Supplied: Jo Cox)

Ms Cox initially saw geocaching as something to keep her kids amused.

“They are primary school age and they are into games and treasure hunting.

“I downloaded the app for the kids. The first one we found was right in front of a church and a school. It was at the base of a tree. I’m not sure who was more excited to find it.

“Ross and I now do more geocaching together than we do with the kids.”

Stash in a cache

While the method of finding each geocache is essentially similar, there is no set formula for what you may find within one.

Scrolls are common, as are notepads within a weatherproof box. Some caches invite you to exchange a small item like a plastic toy.

Two children with plastic toys they found in a hidden container.
Some geocaches contain SWAG (stuff we all get) you can swap with another toy or token.(Supplied: Jo Cox)

“We were surprised by the variety. We learned very quickly they are not all the same,” Ms Cox said.

“Usually there will be something to sign and date, but some also have SWAG, which stands for ‘stuff we all get’. The theory is you take a toy or trinket that’s there and leave one of your own.

“The other thing you can find in a cache is what’s called a travel bug, also called a TB or trackable.”


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