All summer we had 2 nice, clear weekends. I and my family hiked, beached, paddled and fished on those rare days. We only did some geocaching when we drove around for the Explorer the Bruce passport stamps, (and only if the weather wasn’t too threatening). In our country winter caching is difficult, especially in a rural setting. Here are a few ideas I’ll happily share on what to do to get a ‘geocaching fix’ when the weather is just too grungy to take the game outdoors. Armchair cachers position yourselves!

One – Facebook – There are many FB pages devoted to geocaching, including some very specific topics such as gadget caching, cemetery caching and making ‘swag’ for geocaches. I will admit joining 5 or 6 groups. Skimming the entries and comments, I get fresh inspiration. It is also a great place to pose questions about technical troubles, guidelines for hiding a cache, tourism plans and hints about how to solve some puzzle caches. You may also find a FB page by and for other geocachers in your specific county. Those groups sometimes put on events of their own like monthly coffee clubs or trail hikes.

Two – Cruise the www.geocaching.com website. So much to look at! There is an “events” calendar, (found as a dropdown from ‘Community’). It is organized by date then destination. As an example, if you know you are vacationing at Mountainview California, in February, you’d be welcomed to attend a picnic nearby on the 28th. Locally, a 50 minute drive will take you to a hand full of ‘meet and greets.’ There are numerous retailers of geocaching gear on this site, (I like to look at containers). There are forums, blogs and videos too.
Two and a Half – Watch other geocachers videos, there are hundreds, on YouTube. Oh my…

Three – Go to the library. I know Bruce County Library system has a couple popular geocaching-related titles to borrow. How to Solve Puzzle Caches, and 101 Devil Caches, are two that come to mind. The library also has a handheld GPS and ‘how to’ package to borrow for free.

Three and a Half – Grab an atlas. Where would you like to go? Where were your grandparents born? Find a place on a real map. Grab your tablet, or use the library’s computer, then go to the geocaching website. Type in that destination. There are over 6 million geocaches placed worldwide. I like Copenhagen! The geocaching map makes that city looks like a big blob of green and orange when I hit the ‘map it’ toggle. Zoom in. Click. You can learn a fair bit about Copenhagen just from reading some of those cache pages, ie. GC3B685.

Four – Get crafty! If you enjoy caching, then it may be time to think about a place you like hiking, or an interesting spot in your town, like a historical statue, that you think needs more attention. Build a geocache or two. There are Canadian cache supply retailers if you can’t find all you need at the hardware and craft supply sections of a dollar store.

Four and a Half – Stay crafty! Make your own ‘swag’. Make a signature item, maybe something whimsical or maybe sit and copy out a favorite recipe onto a card. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Enlist family Members! There are guidelines to follow, found on the geocaching.com website.

Five – Go to an Event! Host an event! Any time of the year, any time of the week this is a nice way to meet other geocachers. Often there are worldwide annual themes like ‘flashmobs’. An event can also be a swap meet for supplies, trinkets and travel bugs. No one will tease you about how few caches you have found, ever!

Six – Organize your gear. I have a fair bit of stuff to make caches with and a lot of swag to put into them, and I keep finding AA batteries that need to be tested…
Perhaps by the time you have gone through some of these ideas on ‘armchair geocaching’ there might be a February thaw and you might feel ready to face the elements,… or you may just be content to tackle more of this list till daytime temperatures are more to your liking!