What is geocaching?
Geocaching is best described as a cross between a treasure hunt and orienteering. It often takes you places you would otherwise never have seen. Unlike orienteers, who use a map and a compass, geocachers use portable GPS devices to find their way.
What are caches?
The purpose of all treasure hunts and all geocaching is to find the treasure, otherwise known as a “cache”. The treasure, or the “cache”, as it is known in the trade, will typically be hidden in a plastic box containing a small logbook and a pencil, and some small items.
When you have found the treasure, you write your name in the logbook and take one of the things in the box, replacing it with one of those things you have with you. The items might be small plastic animals, etc.., things of nominal value. Remember to bring some such things with you when you go geocaching.
In addition to the items to swap, a cache might also contain a “Travel Bug”. This might, for example, be a sign with a number and a web address or a soft toy with a sign attached to it. The idea of such a “travel bug” is for it to travel around between different caches while the person who sent it off can follow its journey via reports to a particular website by those who find it.
However, the “treasure chest” is not always large enough to hold different things. It might simply consist of a tiny container with rolled-up paper inside. The paper functions as a “logbook”. There are not always writing implements with these small treasure chests, which incidentally are called “micro-caches”, so remember to bring a pencil or a pen with you.
The cache can also be “virtual”, i.e. not physically present. A virtual cache can be a task to perform or a question to answer when you have found the goal of the treasure hunt, and then submit the solution to a specific e-mail address. In return, you receive confirmation that you have completed the treasure hunt.
How does GPS work?
In principle, a portable GPS device works in the same way as the GPS you might have in your car. It navigates via signals it receives from satellites orbiting the earth.
Unlike the GPS in your car, where you usually start by typing in an address, here, you enter the coordinates of the place where the cache is hidden or the coordinates of a post en route to the cache. Sometimes you have to perform tasks along the way to find the cache location. The first coordinates are always given to you when you set out, so all you have to do is to enter them, and off you go!
Along the way, an arrow on your portable GPS device constantly points in the direction you need to go. There is also a rangefinder that shows whether you are getting closer to your goal, or whether you are moving in the wrong direction.
How do I get started?
Set yourself up as a user at geocaching.com. Type in the search word “Silkeborg”, select a place and then follow the instructions until you have the correct coordinates. Finally enter the coordinates in your GPS device.
Happy treasure hunting!
To use your mobile for geocaching, you need to download the “geocaching” app. Here, you can search for specific treasure or simply find the treasure closest to you. It’s easy and you are a given a quick start guide so you are ready to set off on a treasure hunt within minutes.
GPS devices are available for hire at the following places:
Gudenåens Camping Silkeborg (formerly Indelukket)
Sejs Bakker Camping
Silkeborg Vandrerhjem (hostel)
GPS rental terms at TurismeSilkeborg:
Deposit DKK 500 + copy of photo ID.
Rental fee DKK 50 per GPS per day.