Geocaching

Looking for something fun to do over the holidays that doesn’t break the bank? Why not try geocaching. It’s great fun, free and a great way to explore the outdoors.

In a 21st century version of the treasure hunt, geocachers use their smartphones or a device with a global positioning system (GPS), to locate hidden containers, known as geocaches. The activity, which was first created in 2000, is perfect for days out along the Wales Coast Path, as it offers the opportunity to go to places they’ve never been before. There are some top tips (outlined below) to ensure your experience is enjoyable, such as Follow the guidelines (outlined below) to ensure that you make the most out of geocaching. There are already hundreds of caches planted by enthusiasts, just waiting to be discovered along the 870-mile path, which stretches from the Welsh border in North Wales to Chepstow in the south.

Quentin Grimley, Coastal Access Officer from the Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) said: “If you're planning a weekend activity holiday or just a short adventure along the Wales Coast Path and want to do something different, geocaching is the pastime for you. “It is a great way for the whole family to get out into the beautiful Welsh countryside and enjoy the wellbeing benefits of being active outdoors while exploring all that the Wales Coast Path has to offer.”

The caches usually contain a logbook, so that the finder can input their details and the date they discovered the cache. These have been put in place by fellow enthusiasts, who then publish the details on the web so that other people can find them. Sometimes, the boxes also contain low-value trinkets for trading. Geocachers then log their find on websites such as www.geocaching.com, with an established code name and share their experience, tips and advice.

Peter Hewlett, founder of website www.geocachingwales.com said: “Geocaching is a fantastic way to access the many interesting places in Wales. “By surveying the map on a geocaching website, you can see the area where the caches are hidden and read all about places of interest associated with the cache.

This is great family fun and turns a walk into a treasure hunt.” Great geocaches on the Wales Coast Path:

See the Geocaching Wales website for the full list.

Top Tips:

Dos

  • Seek the permission of the landowner if leaving a geocache.
  • Respect your surroundings and do not bury any object.
  • Ensure that the geocache is only hidden on a public right of way.
  • Ensure the cache container is clearly marked, stating that the content is harmless and giving the placers contact details (place only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied child to find should be placed in a cache). Place the cache container inside a polythene bag and place them in a way that they will not be accidentally found by non-geocachers. Maintain the cache which you have placed.
  • When looking for geocaches, respect the environment. There should be no evidence left of your search.
  • Always follow the Countryside Code and keep to rights of ways.

Don’ts

  • Don’t place a cache where it would risk damage or disturbance to any Site of Special Scientific Interest or Scheduled Ancient Monument. Don’t’ place a cache in or on a dry stone wall.
  • Don’t place food or drink in the cache. It could rot.
  • Don’t bury a cache or hide it in an animal hole or run
  • Don’t cross any fences, other than through a gate or by a stile when placing or seeking a cache.
  • Don’t leave visual signs of disturbance when leaving or placing a cache
  • Don’t drive your car anywhere other than on the highways and byways, and always park legally.