Geocaching
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Geocaching is a healthy outdoor activity, a modern, hi-tech hide-and-seek. Geocaches are hidden, ideally in interesting or attractive places, and the location is published on a geocache listing site. Other cachers then use a GPS receiver or a mobile phone to locate the cache. A cache should have a log book, which the finder signs. The find is then logged online, on the listing site. This maintains a record of your caching activity and provides feedback to the owner of the cache.

Caches traditionally were large enough to hold a few small and inexpensive "trade" items, though the modern trend is towards smaller caches. A finder may choose to take an item and replace it with something of similar value. Caches may also contain "trackables", small objects or geocoins, which are moved from cache to cache and tracked on the listing site. Caches may be camouflaged to blend with the surroundings, or even disguised as other objects and left in plain view. Particularly in urban areas, caches may be much smaller to reflect the difficulty of hiding a large plastic box in a busy place.

Within this framework there is a wide variation of style and preference. Some people enjoy the challenge of finding caches in busy urban areas, whereas others prefer quiet woodlands or remote moors and mountains. For some people the game is largely about the numbers and statistics, for others the quality and depth of individual caches is of greater interest. Many enjoy a walk in the country where the caches decide the route. Others may enjoy the challenge of finding caches in places that are hard to reach, such as in a cave, up in a tree or on an island. Most cachers enjoy that geocaching takes them to places they otherwise would not see, or even be aware of.

Many people cache alone. More commonly we go out with family or friends. And there are geocaching "events" where we can meet other geocachers to chat about our common interests.

Amberel is the name under which we go caching.

The largest cache listing site, by far, is http://www.geocaching.com , based in the USA. Smaller listing sites include http://www.opencache.uk and http://www.terracaching.com.

The quality of caches can be very variable. Some are in superb locations, some are ingenious or humorous, some difficult and some cleverly disguised or hidden. To reward these top quality caches we make a geocoin for the owners, engraved with the name of the cache and the c/o.

Inevitably the choice of caches is subjective. I allocate up to 10 points for the location - a great walk, a lovely view, unusual or challenging terrain, an interesting or historical place. 10 points for the cache, i.e. the cache page, the hide and container - ingenuity, originality, humour, attention to detail, informative, interesting. A good size and quality container, well maintained, clean and dry, with a collection of swaps that's a bit different to the usual.. Finally, 5 points for the WOW - a surprise, a thrill, something that takes my breath away, makes me struggle, makes me laugh, etc.

The caches listed on these pages include some the best we've visited. Click on the coins to see the caches.

Greater London

Surrey

Kent

Home Counties

Berks
Bucks
Essex
Herts

South Coast

Hants
East Sussex
West Sussex

East Anglia

Cambs
Norfolk
Suffolk

Avon
Wilts

Somerset
Dorset

Devon

Cornwall
Isles of Scilly

Central

Beds
Glos
Herefs
Northants
Oxon
Warks
Worcs

Midlands

Derbys
Leics
Lincs
Notts
Salop
Staffs
West Mids

North

Cumbria
Durham
Manchester
Humberside
Lancashire
Northumberland
Yorkshire

Isle of Man
Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales

Austria
Belgium
Canada
Czechia
Denmark
France
Germany
Italy
Ireland
Latvia
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Slovakia
Switzerland
USA