Games/Recreation High Tech Travel

Accessible Geocaching

Image of a Garmin GPSLast year my husband acquired another a new handheld device (as if he needed another one!) — a GPS, also known as a Global Positioning Device. If you’re not too concerned about privacy and freedom and stuff like that, you may have one in your car.

A handheld GPS is what you need to go Geocaching. Wikipedia has a good description:

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called “geocaches” or “caches”) anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook and “treasure,” usually toys or trinkets of little monetary value. Today, well over 350,000 geocaches are currently placed in 222 countries around the world, which are registered on various websites devoted to the sport.

Caches are rated by difficulty of terrain, and sometimes people will leave clues on the website for the trickier caches. We once spent a glorious and infuriating time trying to find a very cleverly done cache in a WalMart parking lot in northern Michigan, and on another occasion five of us failed to locate an ‘easy’ one in a pine tree next to a lake (although three of us returned, separately, and eventually located it). A good time was had by all.

It’s a serendipitous way to adventure in town, out of town, and all around the planet. And now — drumroll, please — the point of this post: there’s a geocaching site called Handicaching. From the home page:

Handicaching aims to improve the accessibility of Geocaching for disabled people all over the world.

By rating caches using a simple system, disabled geocachers can quickly find the caches they are able to do. Too often a 1 star or 2 star rated cache turns out to be impossible, causing disappointment. Our ratings aim to avoid that.

As of this moment, there are 10,764 caches rated. What are you waiting for?

The device pictured is a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, highly recommended by the aforementioned spouse.