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What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is an entertaining form of a treasure hunt, using satellite navigation.  Handheld GPS receivers, generally the size of a mobile phone, are used to direct you to a specific location, where you use skill and judgement (and clues) to locate hidden treasure.  This is called the cache and before you get too excited, the treasure normally comprises items of low value.  There is always a log book in the cache, which you sign, and you can take an item.  But the rule is that if you take something, you must leave something in return.  Caches are normally placed in interesting locations and sometimes you have to follow a series of clues which lead you to the 'treasure'.

The Internet is the source of information for locating your nearest cache.  The most popular web site is www.geocaching.com - this currently (May 2012) has details for over 1.75 million active caches worldwide.  You can get the co-ordinates for any cache, which you enter into your GPS receiver, and armed with a printed description of the location, off you go.  Once you've located the cache and signed the log, you also record your find on the same web site, adding a few notes to describe your experience and possibly uploading a photograph.

This hobby is great fun for families, giving a new reason for getting out and enjoying the countryside.  And you never know what you might find hidden in that tree stump.

Where does ACWA fit in?

The original intention was to attract a different cross-section of people to the countryside around Coventry.  By locating caches on or near to the 21 circular walks, the aim was to encourage geocachers to try out parts of our walks.  In some cases it should be possible to find more than one cache along a particular walk.

There are already several geocaches in the local area, set up by other people.  We have added to these with an ACWA series.  You can find the latest full list by searching on www.geocaching.com, selecting caches placed by username acwa [click "Advanced Search", then select "Username (Hidden)" = acwa].  To date there are 27 of our caches, but this list should be added to over the coming months.  The latest one (One For Our Cy Walk 1) is dedicated to the founder of ACWA, Cyril Bean, himself a keen geocacher.

The other caches are:

Ram Hall Sleepers Walk 2One For Trev Walk 3Unigate Walk 5Tocil Tuffy Walk 5; Can You Afford It Walk 5Stare View Walk 6On Weston High Walk 7Cubbington View Walk 7Tubular Belle Walk 7All White Now Walk 8*;  City View Walk 8*;  Dunsmore Heath Walk 9*;  More Dunsmore Walk 9*;  Along The Line Walk 10*;  Brookside Walk 10*;  Stadium View Walk 11*;  Crossroads, No Motel Walk 11*;  RollerWay Walk 11Broad Ridge Walk 21 ;   Ram Pump Walk 21;  Avonside Walk 9; Hedge End Walk 8; Pointer Walk 8; Puzzle1 - Walk 12; Puzzle2 - Walk 12 and finally ACWA Bonus Cache - Walk X.

* The caches marked with an asterisk contain a clue required to work out the location of Puzzle1 and Puzzle2. Finding these two each provide you with half the coordinates for ACWA Bonus Cache - Walk X.  Sounds more complicated than it really is.

Beware.  Once you've tried it, you may get hooked.  Still, it's better than sitting in front of the box!


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