Today we hid our very first cache. The location had already been decided and we'd had a look around to find a suitable hiding place.

We put together our little Cache

we filled it with goodies such as a pirate badge, a pirate eraser, a pirate pencil, a trakabull geocoin and the obligatory logbook. We used a small lockable plastic food container which we hope will be waterproof. The logbook is waterproof anyway.
We will be able to track the whereabouts of the geocoin on the website. I'm hoping it has a long and happy journey.
Then we set off on foot (yes we chose somewhere very local) to hide our cache. The chosen hiding place was at the back of some castle ruins so we are hoping that whoever comes to seek it will enjoy viewing the castle. We placed it so that if the castle is closed (which it is a lot as it is seasonal and only open at weekends) then they can still get a good view by taking the walk to find the cache just outside the perimeter fence.
This is our cache in it's hiding place.......

can you see it?
We have updated the geocache website with our listing and when it's approved we will be waiting to see if anyone finds it. I'll let you know what happens.

EDIT: Cache was found 12 hours after the listing went live!

I thought that seeing as I was attracting a few who were interested in Geocaching but had not actually tried it yet that now would be a good time to give a step-by-step guide to finding a cache.
Of course the obvious place to start is by signing up to the site This is were you will find all you need to know about geocaches. It's free to sign up and use but memberships are also very cheap and give you those extra little bonus'
So first you need to decide on where you are going to go looking. This might be close to home or maybe somewhere you want to go and visit, or if you really don't know you can just browse the geomaps.

I'm going to take our trip to Stourport as an example. I'd decided that's where I was going so I took a look on the geomaps to see what caches where hidden there.

It's not too clear on this map but you can see some markings on the river near the top
which look like boxes - these are geocaches. There is also one on the yellow road in the middle and one on a white road right to the left (this one has a smiley face on it as we already found it.) If you would like to see the map in more detail click here.

When you see a cache you might like to try you can click on the map and a box will pop up with some details.You get the name of the cache and it's number, the name of the person who hid it, how difficult it is to find in star ratings, the date it was hidden and it's size.

You can then click the name of the box and you will get a page of details about the cache and some further clues on how to find it. You also get some links that will help you download the information to your GPS or mobile phone if you have the right equipment and software. You will also get at the bottom of the page a list of logs created by all the geocachers who have previously found the cache.

Again, I'm sorry the picture is not too clear, if you would like to see the actual page then
From this page you gleam all the information you need to find your cache including the most important co-ordinates for your GPS. The co-ordinates for this particular one are
N 52° 20.415
W 002° 17.359
Before setting off I like to take a look at the co-ordinates on Google maps, there is a link on the information page that will take you straight there.

From this you can get some idea of what the location looks like and look for landmarks that will help know you are in the right place. Even with your GPS and all this information you are still left with some hunting to find the hiding place. This one, for example was hidden in a small hollow in a tree trunk and had been covered with a stone.
Most descriptions let you know what you are looking for, in this case a small plastic box, and what is in the cache i.e. log book, geocoins, swaps etc. But as we've already noticed caches can be very different, from teeny tiny little magnetic capsules with just a log book which a rolled up tiny piece of paper, 35ml camera film containers with little coins/swaps, magnetic key hiding boxes to a range of sizes of plastic boxes (tupperware).

The plan for today was to go to the Licky Hills and look for 3 or 4 caches, but when I got up this morning I fancied something different. So I planned a trip to Stourport-on -Severn instead. I thought it would be nicer to go to the river and I knew there would be lots for the girls to do.

I looked up 3 geocaches but as there was a lot of walking involved I decided that if we just found 1 I'd be happy. We decided our first stop when we arrived would be to find a cache which was hidden in a field. We got to the co-ordinates and looked for about 20 minutes before Graham finally spotted it. It was the biggest cache we've found so far and had lots of little things in. We took a Eeyore keyring and left a badge and eraser (both pirates) and signed the log book.

Then we focused our attention on the girls and spent the rest of the day on the fair, in a restaurant, in the park and in the paddling pool. I think they had a good time :-)

Just before leaving for home we were tempted to go and look for another cache which I knew wasn't too far from the car park I'd chosen, but I didnt' know exactly how far away it was and we were all pretty worn out so we I didn't even check the GPS and instead we came home.

Back home and on the computer I realised that the cache location was indeed very close to the carpark, it was probably less than a 5 minute walk! Oh well, I'll remember for next time.

This is the view from where we found the geocache

This is Graham sorting through the stash in the cache

We were not going geocaching today, we have a busy day planned for tomorrow so we thought we'd get some stuff done that we normally do on a Saturday. One of these chores involved a trip to a local shopping centre. Just behind the centre is a park, the one were we first went looking for geocaches but had no luck. I knew we had been really close with the one and just wanted to have one more quick look.

I knew it was in a group of conifer trees and whereabouts in the park. There were quite a few muggles about so to avoid looking suspicious looking through the trees we turned it into a game with the girls. Eventually Graham spotted a piece of bark which looked loose and told me to look underneath it... and there it was, another find!!

We bought some boxes today to make our own caches, we've also shopped on the internet for some things to put in. I'll do photo's before we hide them. We've bought a couple of Geocoins for tracking, hopefully they will move around a lot and we'll be able to see where they end up.

In contrast to yesterday's constant downpour (apparently the tail end of a hurricane) today was lovely and sunny. I spent last night preparing my next lot of caches I wanted to find. Not only was everything logged on my GPS I had printed hard copies for back-up. I'd decided on starting with a couple of real easy ones followed by a couple of slightly harder ones. The idea was to build up some confidence that we could actually do this and make sure we didn't get too disappointed, and then give us something to get our teeth into with added scenery.

So with a fully charged GPS off we went. The first was in the local country park. There are 5 hidden there altogether but this was a real easy one just by one of the entrance gates. The co-ords were spot on and after a little search we managed to find our first 'nasty nano' and boy was it tiny!! It was the size of a thumbnail and magnetized. It was stuck on the underside of a gate hinge and very easy to miss if you were not looking for it. After unscrewing we found a long strip of paper for a log book which we signed, dated and returned. Then it was off to no2.

Our second was one of a series of 6 all to do with unfortunate street names. Each one gives a clue towards a final bonus cache. I aim to do them all but as they are all over the place I won't be doing them together. I knew this road very well, so knew it was very long. The cache was hidden behind a street sign so the GPS was very handy as it took us to the right one. Well, there was a sign on either side of the street and Graham jumped out and immediately looked behind the one. I looked at both and thought that if I was hiding a cache then I definitely choose the other one so I went and looked there. Gray came over to help and we eventually found a well hidden film case. Inside, as well as the log book, was a magnet, a coin and a clue. It was big enough for us to leave one of our calling cards inside :-)

So that was the easy peasy ones taken care of, now it was back to the country park for number 3. We had a good idea where to look and even though it was another 'nasty nano' I spotted it quite quickly....but as it was sunny the place was crowded with muggles, in particular one woman who seemed to be watching our every move. We sat on a bench nearby the hiding place and waited. The girls were happy chasing butterflies in the wildflower garden. When I felt the coast was clear enough I went over and grabbed the cache and took it back to the bench. Then we had to wait again until we could put it back. So although this was a relatively easy find, it was the taking and placing that we found difficult.

Three down and one to go. The next was in a park and I knew it was going to be tricky. The GPS worked well in taking us to the right place but it was right in the middle of a wood and we just couldn't find the camouflaged cache. We spent over an hour looking and when the girls got fed up of picking raspberries I took them to the park while Graham carried on searching. In the end we had to give this one up for now. We will go back though, I know we were so close, we just couldn't see it.

So three out of four on a nice sunny day and we are happy City Pirates today :-)

It's forecast sunshine for the weekend so I've got a trip to the Licky Hills planned. There are 6 in the area but I'm planning on looking for just 3 or maybe 4.

Here's a couple of pics of the girls today.

We couldn't wait to get out geocaching again today. My eldest daughter decided she wanted to join us to so now we are truly an official family group. We've called ourselves the CityPirates.

We decided we'd try a find at a local and very lovely church cemetary. It is situated near a resevoir which is so beautiful it's hard to believe it's a resevoir, and the church is right in the middle of a group of fields. Sometimes it's hard to believe this wonderful countryside is so close by our home in the middle of the city. The cache was a slightly more difficult one 1.5/1.5 four part multi cache. You what? I hear you say. In layman terms, you have to solve a four part puzzle to get the co-ordinates for the final hiding place. First we needed to complete the date that the British defeated the Spanish Armada. This was relevent because one of the bells at the church was installed in the same year and is called the Armada Bell. The second part required finding out the dates the church was built, the third to find the date of birth of a Joshua ling and the fourth to find the final hiding place.

Gray didnt' want to work out the clues he just wanted to go looking! I worked out as much as I could at home then found Joshua Lings birthdate, but when I put the co-ordinates into my GPS they wouldn't work as they were in the wrong format. On the geocaching site you can reformat the co-ords, but I don't have a clue how to reformat them myself. So minus the co-ords we had a good hunt around but no find. :-( We are determined to try this one again though.

The next was nearby at the reservoir, a nice easy one in the bluebell woods.....or so we thought. The co-ordinates were pre-set and already reformatted and there on the screen was the little flag. The rain was getting heavier and it was pretty muddy but off we set. Just as we were getting close the GPS died of a flat battery. It should have still been an easy find but there are an awful lot of trees, and clusters of trees and without knowing exactly which cluster we needed to look in we were in for a long search. In the end the rain got the better of us and that's another one we have to go back for.

Tip of the day: Make sure your GPS is fully charged before you go out Geocaching

Sad though it is not to achieve a find it's still a fun way to get out of the house and get a bit of fresh air and exercise. And today we've had fun thinking up a name and logo for our geocaching family group. This is the logo as designed by my daughter.

I'm going to use this post to explain some geocaching terms and then if I use them in later posts I can link to this so you can see what I mean.

Just a couple to start with, more later.....

Traditional Cache This is one of several cache types. This is the original cache type consisting, at a bare minimum, a container and a logbook. Normally you will find a clear container or ammo box containing items for trade. Smaller containers, called micro caches are usually too small to contain anything except for a logbook. The coordinates listed on the traditional cache page are the exact location for the cache.

Muggle A non-geocacher. Based on "Muggle" from the Harry Potter series, which is a non-magical person. Usually this term is used after a non geocacher looks puzzled after befriending a geocacher searching for a cache, or when a non-geocacher accidentally finds a cache. Geomuggles are mostly harmless.

Geocoin Geocoins work similarly to Groundspeak Travel Bugs® in that they are trackable and can travel the world, picking up stories from geocache to geocache. Geocoins are often created as signature items by geocachers and can also be used as collectibles.

Travel Bug®
A Groundspeak Travel Bug is a trackable tag that you attach to an item. This allows you to track your item on 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. Learn more at

Right, I researched the site and I found 3 caches were hidden in a park near me. I entered the co-ordinates into my GPS. I tried the instant download programs but neither of them would work with my Binatone. I may have to research that further, but putting the co-ordinates manually wasn't too taxing. I made a few notes on where the caches could be found, i.e, two were hidden in trees (1 high, 1 low) and one on the ground. Then just for a back-up I did the same for a cache hidden at a local railway station. This was described as a Cache and Dash so should be easy to find.

So off we went to the park....and down came the rain. Still, nothing was going to stop us now! At least the park was pretty empty (it's normally really busy). To keep the cache's safe you are supposed to be wary of other people around (mugglers) and be stealthy. I think we need to practice that a little more. So GPS in hand off we trotted following a little pin on the screen. There was also a flag on the screen but we decided it was the pin we needed to find....mmmm, its' good to know your equipment, we later found out it was the flag. Anyway, we got pretty close to two of the caches but just couldn't find them. A little further research when we got home made us realise that the one was very close to where we were looking but we on the wrong side of the path. The other one we can't understand why we didn't find it and the third, well we just couldnt' get close, I must have got the co-ordinates wrong. So we learnt a lesson, research, research, research. You think it would be easy to locate a particular tree in a park if you had the co-ordinates, well, think again. The rain got worse and I'm sad to say we gave up in the park. That's nothing to be ashamed of, a lot of caches take more than one visit to find (maybe not 1/1 caches but hey, we are newbies at this)

So, I decided we should try the station. From my research I knew it was in the carpark, by something yellow. I also knew which part of the massively huge carpark we needed to head to. It was in this car park that we realised it was the flag we had to follow, doh! A quick search of the area and whoo hoo! I found a magnetic key box. I opened it and there inside was an official geocache log sheet. I signed it with my username and the date and jotted down that it was my very first find. Then I hid it again. It sounds a little crazy now but it was very exciting at the time. Back home I logged my find on the site. Now I really have the bug and I'm sure it won't be long before I'm off out looking for my next find.

Hello, welcome to my shiny new blog which I have set up to accomodate my latest hobby, Geocaching. It's all pretty new to me so I'll take you on my learning experience from the very start.
You can find out all you really need to know about Geocaching here

Description from homepage of above site:

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

So today I decided to try and locate a geocache or two. First I checked out the site for caches near me. To do this you go to 'hide and seek a cache', then under the 'seek' section go to 'by country' and scroll down to your country. In my case, United Kingdom. Then you can choose your state/province, in my case, West Midlands. Then, hey presto, you get a list of all the caches hidden in that area. Now, if you want to start a little closer to home you can click 'new search' and pop in your postcode.

Then it's a case of picking which cache or caches you want to go and look for. They all have a rating in two parts. The first is for 'difficulty' the second is for 'terrain' and both are scores out of 5. So, 1/1 would be the easiest and 5/5 the hardest. It's best to start with 1/1

Before you go out looking you need to note the co-ordinates of the cache. You can download these straight to your GPS but as mine is not so up to date I had to add them manually. If you don't know your way around your GPS device very well, then now is the time to learn. I thought it would be easy but I had to really mess around with all the settings to get mine to work properly. It kept sending me back to the main roads!

It's also advisable to get as much information about the cache as you can. If you are new then you will definately want all the clues and have a good look at the maps. It looks easy but it's not. I'll explain all in my next post, my first adventure.