… is geocaching.
For those not familiar with Geocaching I recommend a visit here for a quick introduction or here for a more in-depth description. In very short terms, geocaching is a game where you try find something hidden with the help of a Global Positioning System (GPS). The “something” that is hidden is normally a container with a minimum of a logbook inside. Geocaching is sometimes referred to as a modern “treasure hunt”, with the coordinates being the map and the cache/container the treasure chest.
So, what is Geocaching for me and my son?
We are hunting for the possibility to experience new places, and to give our need to keep in motion (as described in earlier posts) a meaning and a goal. We value a stroll through the woods to a nice and hidden bathing place much more than to successfully log a cache hanging under a bridge with terrain and difficulty rating a 5/5. This is not my son’s or my game, it’s our game, and a large part of the joy in comes from being able to have the adventure together. My son cannot communicate verbally, and he always counts on others to look after him. This means that geocaches where I need to perform something that stops me from being able to see my son and reach him quickly aren’t an option for us. Hunting for FTF’s (first to find a newly published geocache) or the “numbers game” isn’t for us either, as we aren’t competing with anyone else except ourselves and our abilities.
For us, geocaching is to plan a trip somewhere, researching beforehand what geocaches are within walking distance from our destination. It is to discover something new in both a well-known and an unknown surrounding. It is to feel that we have accomplished something, to give my son some peace in his hyperactive body, and finally to build a father-son relationship that I feel has been a bit hard due to our lack of communication. Something happens when we are geocaching that enables me to read “You are a good father” in my son’s body language.
That is how we play. How do you play?
… is geocaching.