Visit the Countryside Go Geocaching Go Geocaching What is Geocaching? Geocaching marries the old-fashioned treasure hunt with modern technology and is catching on like wildfire in Perthshire. Players try to locate hidden containers, called caches, using handheld GPS systems or GPS-enabled mobiles and then share their experiences online at www.geocaching.com. Caches can vary in size from nano (minuscule) to large and many contain small collectable items such as geocoins, toys, badges and key rings. The Growth of Geocaching There over 2 million geocaches around the world. Perthshire itself has in excess of 1,000 caches, making it the geocaching capital of Scotland. The sport has seen huge growth in recent years with an estimated 6 million geocachers worldwide, and the sport is only 16 years old! Why Perthshire? Perthshire is attracting more and more visitors to the area through its quality caches. It appeals across all ages and abilities to people who enjoy being outdoors. The magnificent vistas, wooded landscapes and well-made trails throughout Perthshire are seen by geocachers as a fantastic bonus. This hugely popular high tech treasure hunt takes people to places they may not normally venture, allowing participants to see and find hidden gems on their adventure to seek out hidden treasure. What Makes a Good Cache? Geocachers appreciate well-placed caches designed to bring out the jaggy little bits of local history. When these are combined with quality swaps you are offering the gold standard of the geocaching world. The Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust has been one of the forerunners in ensuring Perth & Kinross gained a reputation for the standard of caches available. There are now around 200 caches across Perthshire Big Tree Country and on The Cateran Trail. Collecting Geocoins Geocoins are often used in caches as swaps. They are trackable and extremely collectable because of their intricate designs and come in a wide range of shapes and metals. By completing the Cateran Trail GeoTrail, you can earn either a silver or bronze special edition geocoin. Travel Bug® A Travel bug is yet another aspect that adds to the fun element of geocaching. They are items found in caches that have a trackable tag attach to them. This allows you to track the item on Geocaching.com. The item becomes a hitchhiker that is carried from cache to cache (or person to person) in the real world and you can follow its progress online. An activity for the whole family The treasure hunt aspect of geocaching makes it a great way for parents to get children and young people out in the fresh air. Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park has become recognised as a great geocaching spot for families, particularly along the Wildwood Safari where lots of child friendly caches are hidden in the vicinity of the animal sculptures. On average, cachers spend three to four hours in the Park. Wheelchair Friendly Caches Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust is committed to opening up access to the Perth & Kinross countryside to people of all ages and abilities. At Quarrymill Woodland Park at Scone, two of the walks have been specially laid out for wheelchair users with accessible caches along the way. There is also a series of caches listed on www.geocaching.com called the Bob Bennett series that are all wheelchair friendly. How do I get started? Visit geocaching.com and read the guide to the game and watch the short film. You can put in your postcode and see just how many caches there are hidden in your immediate vicinity. Then, you can register for a basic membership for free. This is quite sufficient to get you started (you can always upgrade to premium membership at a later stage if you get hooked). Then choose your cache and get out into the countryside of Perth & Kinross and start your first treasure hunt. Please note: geocaching is extremely addictive! The Geocaching Logo is a registered trademark of Groundspeak, Inc. Used with permission.