Geocaching – The Adventure Begins

Previously, I wrote an article on Geocaching. This article gave the basics of what Geocaching is and how to find a Geocache. Recently, I have gone out with a friend to search for Geocaches and decided to bring you along on the journey!

The Cache

ucd lake statue
The provided starting coordinates

The cache I went searching for is the UCD Sculpture Trail hidden by the user Mac Aroni Senior. All Geocaches are hidden by users of the app, and Mac Aroni Senior has hidden a total of 50 caches. In our next Geocaching article, we will be hiding a cache of our own to show you a way to go about hiding your own cache.

The UCD Sculpture Trail is classified as a multi-cache. This means that the cache is not at the provided coordinates. The coordinates are just a starting point to find the hidden cache. Usually, when it comes to multi-caches, there is a system nearby to point you to the real cache location. However, in the case of this cache, there is only a picture telling you where to go. At the pictures location, you are given the real coordinates of the cache.

The App and Website

If you are only a casual Geocacher and haven’t paid to become premium, you will not be able to access this cache on the regular Geocaching app. However, there are ways to work around this. Firstly, all caches are available to view on the website, from the laptop or the phone. From the website, you can view, find, and log a cache. However, this is not fully suitable for phone use, as it is designed for use on a computer. And to be honest, I don’t think many people want to carry a computer around through a forest!

C:Geo app

The second way one can go about finding premium caches without becoming a premium member or using the website is only available for Android users. It is by using an app called C:Geo. This is what I used to find this cache as it allowed me to find the cache and the format was laid out in a way suitable for your phone. The C:Geo app acts as a client for the web page, so all the processes go to the Geocaching website. The app is also open source, so if you understand Java, you can look through the app source code on GitHub, or even help along with the development!

Finding the Cache

Tulip Statue in UCD

When it came to the UCD Sculpture Trail, the coordinates on the Geocacher map are not the actual starting location for the trail. Although I did start at the coordinates, which overlook the first sculpture of the trail, a picture is provided in the description of the cache for the start of the actual hunt. The first challenge was to find the depicted sculpture. This sculpture wasn’t far from the Geocacher map coordinates.

Just below the picture of the tulip sculpture is the clue pointing towards the cache’s real location:

N53 18. (1st + 4th) ((1st + 3rd) x 4th) 2nd
W006     13.    3rd      ((3rd + 4th) x 1st)       3rd

By looking around the statue and looking at the clue, I found a set of numbers. I put the numbers into the clue and got a set of coordinates. By putting these coordinates into google maps and following the map, I found the cache. However, you should be careful when it comes to the addition and multiplication. The first time I got the coordinates, I made a mathematical error and was about 70 meters away!

The Cache

When I found the cache, I opened it up and signed the logbook inside. I then marked the cache as complete on the Geocaching app. I attempted to log the find on the app through the C:Geo app, however, there was an error occurring and so I was unable to log it. Therefore, I had to log it at home through the website.

When logging it through the website or Geocaching app, you can add a trackable. A trackable is an object that is placed in a cache with a tracking number. If you find a cache, you can take the trackable and mark it taken. The next time you go find a cache, you can leave the trackable and you then remove the trackable from your inventory when logging the cache. If you want to learn more about trackables, Geocaching has an FAQ section on their website here.

Now it’s time to go out and find your own caches! Don’t forget to BYOP and watch out for muggles!

An Irish student who is in stage 2 of a Computer Science degree. Willing to try new things and learn more about anything and everything.
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