What Exactly Is Geocaching?
Horses are our friends, companions, and yes, our geocaching partners. But just what is geocaching? It’s a hobby that involves participants using GPS tracking systems to seek and find “caches,” oftentimes plastic or metal containers in the outdoors. These containers usually hold a notebook to sign and date, as well as small trinkets — think of it as a treasure hunt of sorts. And, as the summer season kicks off, there are more opportunities to spend time outside with your beloved steed, so what better way is there to spend time with them and try something new than to go geocaching on horseback this summer?
What Will I Need Before I Go Geocaching on Horseback?
To properly geocache on horseback, you will need a few things.
A GPS Tracking Tool
First, you will want a proper GPS tracking tool to locate your “treasure.” There are many GPS navigational tools to choose from, however a GPS tracking watch is one of the easier ones to use while on horseback because it’s hands-free. However, it’s not the only form of tech equipment that can help riders. Take for instance a GPS tracking jacket — it’s just one of the new pieces of tech that has come out that is specifically designed for horses and their riders.
A Metal Detector
Next, you might need a metal detector to find your treasure. Even though you may have the GPS to track down the location of what you’re looking for, you will still need to scope out the area, because GPS is only accurate within a certain range. Since geocaching takes place outside, the caches are sometimes concealed by the elements, such as snow, water or foliage. A metal detector may seem like a lot of work to haul around, but luckily it’s much easier on horseback than on foot. With the ability to pack up your metal detector and stow away until needed, geocaching while on horseback is that much easier.
Proper Outdoor Weather Clothes
After you have the finding essentials, you’ll want to have a good outfit packing list. While this article focuses on geocaching in the summertime, you can honestly do it year round.
For Summer: The key here is protect yourself from the sun’s rays as much as possible. You’ll want:
- Sun hat
For Fall: Layer, layer, layer! This season is all about cool mornings and warmer afternoons; the key here is to be prepared for all weather. You’ll want:
For Winter: The coldest season by far. Dress for comfort and warmth, and be prepared for snow! You’ll want:
- Warm hat
For Spring: April showers bring May flowers — at least that’s what they say. In any case, be prepared for cool morning, warm afternoons and rain. You’ll want:
- Rain jacket
- Bucket hat
- Waterproof socks
An Emergency Plan
It may seem extreme, but it’s best to have an ICE (in case of emergency) plan. Geocaching is not necessarily dangerous, but being outdoors and wandering on horseback means that accidents can happen. Simply have a plan in place for what to do in case something goes awry.
A good way to approach this is to research free or affordable clinics near you. Having an emergency plan eliminates stress in case of an actual emergency and provides you peace of mind if your GPS leads you into some unfamiliar terrain.
Last but Not Least
Lastly, and most importantly, just get outside with your horse! After all, it’s summer, and there are so many things you can do with your four-legged friend. From camping, to trail riding, to geocaching, the options you have to choose from are limitless. At the end of the day, all that really matters is that the two of you can spend time together.