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Historic Chickens Geocache in Bastrop, Texas
One of the activities we enjoy while camping is geocaching. It has been a great way for us to discover some pretty unique and interesting places that we would not have known existed if a geocache hadn't drawn our attention. Would you ever think that feral chickens would rule the roost on a residential street in Bastrop, Texas? We sure wouldn't, but they definitely do! (Don't believe us? Watch the video above!)
So what is geocaching?I'm glad you asked! Geocaching is a global game. Players use GPS devices or their cell phones to locate hidden treasures known as caches. Some caches are large, such as the size of a personal ice chest. Other caches are very small, like the size of a pencil eraser, for example. Size permitting, a cache will typically include a log book so you can sign that you have found it. Larger caches often will contain small prizes. If a cache contains a prize that you want, you may take it and leave something of interest for someone else to find in return.
How do you find a geocache?Begin by visiting Geocaching.com to set up a free account. While on their website, you can learn more about the game, set up your geocaching profile, see a list of caches you have found, and connect with friends who also geocache. You can also use the website to read about caches near you or near a location that you will be visiting and get coordinates so that you can find them. Every cache, large and small has an accompanying story, and sometimes that is the most interesting part of all!
If you have a smart phone, you can download the geocaching app. When you are out camping (or anywhere), open the geocaching app and search for caches near you. You will be amazed at how many caches are hidden. On the app, you can read about nearby caches, see hints, find the directions to the cache, and mark it as found. You can also leave a note for the person who hid the cache thanking them or letting them know that there is something wrong with the cache.
One of Our Geocaching Finds
Types of GeocachesUp to now, our focus of the game has been finding traditional geocaches. In other words, we like finding a hidden box or something we can open up and see what is inside. But that is only the beginning of your geocaching options. You can find earthcaches, virtual caches, letterbox caches,... there are even events held each year where you can geocache as part of a larger team!
And then there are the trackables! We love finding trackables. A trackable is a treasure that you find in a traditional geocache that has a geocaching registration number. When you take the trackable from the cache, you log it as picked up in the geocaching app. On your next trip out, you place that trackable in a different geocache and log where you have placed it. You can then track that item as it travels around the world! One of the trackables that we relocated has traveled more than 42,640 miles since it was first placed in a cache. It was last seen in the United Kingdom.
And don't forget about GeoTours! We've recently learned about GeoTours. Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Offices and Park Groups around the world have built tours of their areas based on geocaches. This would be a really fun way to explore a new area! As we write this, we see that the National Park Service has hidden 90 geocaches across the United States as part of their Find Your Park GeoTour, the Tarrant Regional Water District has hidden 30 geocaches for the Trinity Trails Geocaching Adventure in Fort Worth, Texas and the Kyle Area Chamber of Commerce has hidden 20 geocaches for the Kyle Texas GeoTour. You can even win prizes by completing some of the tours! And not to be overlooked, Texas Parks and Wildlife has been hosting the Texas State Parks Geocache Challenge since 2012. To our knowledge, geocaches are located in all Texas State Parks.
Get Started Geocaching!We hope that this post has you interested in learning more about the fun game of geocaching! To get started, visit Geocaching.com to sign up for your free account and then start exploring! And who knows, maybe one of the geocaches out there will finally answer that age old question: Why did the chicken cross the road? Or maybe not, but at least we can all enjoy the journey!
PS... Thanks to our friend Scott for noticing the Historic Chickens geocache while we were in Bastrop! Definitely not something we expected to find!
IF YOU LIKE THIS POST, CHECK OUT: Write-Ups on Other Fun Things to Do in Texas
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Safe Travels and Happy Camping!