I had first heard about geocaching from the Just Japan podcast by Kevin O’Shea. For those of you interested in Japan or Japanese culture, his podcast is one of my favorites. Kevin covers a wide variety of topics about life in Japan within his weekly episodes, and he doesn’t fail to entertain. Here’s a link to his podcast.

To sum up geocaching in a nutshell, it’s an inconspicuous treasure scavenger hunt for adults. Basically, you find the container, sign the logbook, and replace it for the next geocacher when you are finished. Some caches go a step further and add trinkets and knick-knacks. If you find one like this, you must replace the trinket you take with another one that you consider to be equal to or better in value. Geocaching can make ordinary places extraordinary. It can make you explore in places you would never go otherwise. The reason it intrigued me my first time trying it was that I was looking for something hidden among the general public. People are walking around me with no idea what I am doing and what is hidden within a few feet of them.

The taped pill bottle pictured above is what my first cache looked like. It was easy to find, and it allowed me to get a grip on what I might expect in the future. Inside was a small paper log which previous cachers signed or dated. I then added mine to the mix and replaced it.

front of log book

my signed log

If you haven’t heard of geocaching before, I would definitely give it a try. I feel like it’s a hobby that can appeal to—well, anyone actually. It’s something a family can do together. Something to get you and a friend out of the house. If you have an adventurous significant other, it could even be a super informal date, or just a way to spend time with each other. Whatever the case may be, I think it’s a good way to enjoy the scenery and get out into the world around you. Too often, I feel like the society I live in (U.S. society at least, but I’m sure it applies to more places) gets cooped up indoors tapping away at smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. and forgets to actually live once in a while. Hell, I’m guilty of it myself. We just get too comfortable with our work, entertainment, and information all collectively being accessible from our electronic hubs. I understand the appeal because it catches me too. But with something like geocaching, I’m hoping to change that and breathe some fresh air.