How to Try Geocaching in Vancouver

A geocache surrounded by leaves

Photo: Settergren on Pixabay

You might be wondering: What is geocaching? Essentially, geocaching is a hobby where you use a GPS device or a phone app to find a treasure hidden at specific GPS coordinates. There are secret caches of small treasures (called geocaches) across the globe, including over 4000 in the Vancouver area! Read on to find out how to try this family-friendly activity.

How to get started Geocaching

Geocaching.com is the home base for the world’s geocachers. Create an account, then use the website to find geocaches near you, around the Vancouver, or all over the world. Enter the coordinates of the geocache in your GPS device, or download the iOS or Android apps to use your phone’s built-in GPS.

 

How to Find Geocaches

After you’ve got some cache coordinates loaded into your GPS or have downloaded the app, go for a walk and try to find some caches. Geocaches are usually quite tiny – about the size of a sandwich container or smaller, and are usually hidden in plants or otherwise out of sight. Some caches have clues to help you and your GPS or app will tell you when you’re getting close.

 

What to do When you Find a Geocache

Congratulations, you’ve found a geocache! Open it up to see what’s inside.* Many geocaches contain small treasures like toys and pins. Geocaching etiquette dictates that you can take a treasure if you want, but you must replace it with a treasure of equal or higher value.

Sometimes caches contain trackable items, which are special treasures intended to move from one cache to another. If you find a trackable treasure, look it up on the Geocaching trackables page to find out where it is going and where it has been.

Caches usually also have a logbook where you can sign your name. You can also record your finds on geocaching.com or the apps and leave notes for the cache owner and other geocachers.

*Remember to sanitize your hands before and after handling your find!

Open geocache with treasure inside.

Photo: Settergren on Pixabay

 

Where to go Geocaching in Vancouver

Your Neighbourhood

Geocaches can be pretty much anywhere from hiking trails to urban parks to the heart of downtown Vancouver. Start by checking out your neighbourhood to see if you can find a cache close to home – there’s probably one within walking distance of your house!

 

Stanley Park

Vancouver’s Stanley Park is a favourite for both locals and visitors. But did you know that it is also home to over a dozen geocaches? Stop to look for caches as you stroll the seawall or go for a hike in the forested interior of the park to hunt for hard to find geocaches.

 

Pacific Spirit Park

Pacific Spirit Regional Park near UBC has kilometres of forested trails to explore and quite a few geocaches to discover. Many of them are easy to find, making it a great place to take beginners or kids geocaching.

 

Burnaby Lake

Burnaby Lake is an oasis of nature in the middle of Burnaby. There’s a 10km-long walking trail around the lake and lots of opportunities for bird watching. There are also tons of geocaches. Most of them are accessible from the trails, but a few caches require you to bring a canoe and paddle the lake!

 

City of Richmond GeoTour

Richmond has embraced geocaching: the Island City is home to the first official GeoTour of a Canadian City on geocaching.com. Download a GeoTour passport, then head out to find 20 special geocaches across Richmond, each with their own secret word. Record the secret words in your passport, send it in, and earn a trackable Geo-tag. Get all the details on the Richmond GeoTour page.

 

Richmond Nature Park

The walking trails in Richmond Nature Park are a great place to try geocaching since there are at least half a dozen caches in the park. Most of the geocaches are easy to find, although some of them are quite tiny.

Forested trail in Richmond Nature Park near Vancouver

Richmond Nature Park. Photo: Tourism Richmond


 

Until November 23, BC residents are strongly encouraged to avoid non-essential travel to, from, and between the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Sea-to-Sky, and Sunshine Coast regions. Let’s do our part by following provincial health orders and continuing to support local businesses in accordance with the latest health orders. For residents living outside of the Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health regions, continue to travel smart, and #exploreBC safely and responsibly.

If you have questions about the latest provincial health orders, please visit the BC Government website.

 

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