Perthshire – a fantastic location for geocaching
Geocaching is an internet-based treasure hunt with millions of participants worldwide. It appeals to all ages, and has categories of activity for everyone, from the disabled to extreme sports enthusiasts. It has grown in popularity over the last decade and tens of thousands of people in the UK and Europe are involved.
Scotland, with arguably the best access legislation in the world, is particularly well suited for this sport. And Perthshire, known as `Big Tree Country' because of its unique woodland heritage, is at the centre of geocaching in Scotland. There are series of caches to find on foot, or by MTB on Moncreiffe Hill, in Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park, at the Hermitage, in Craigvinean, Faskally and Allean Forests, at the Birks of Aberfeldy, in Weem Wood, on Drummond Hill, and all the way out past Rannoch Station. There's even one at the top of Schiehallion.
The concept is a simple one. Geocachers leave a container, which can vary greatly in size, at a location of their choice. They then put the exact co-ordinates of their box on the geocache website www.geocaching.com
Other geocachers then go hunting for the box. There are currently thousands of caches hidden across Britain. They are found by using a device fitted with GPS - Global Positioning System.
As with fishing, golf, cycling etc you can get a good feel for the attractiveness of the hobby/sport by the range, and quality, of the kit and equipment available. Geocaching has largely remained off the radar because ‘the goodies' are mostly available online.
There is a code of conduct for geocachers whether hiding or finding caches – this is designed to preserve the environment in which the sport takes place. For example:
- caches are not hidden in any built structures – must be natural
- no physical digging or burying is involved – instead the caches are cleverly hidden under tree roots, moss, stones etc. and the ‘clues' can often be puzzling or misleading.
Geocaching is an ideal FREE resource for Perthshire businesses to promote. With over 1,000 caches in the 35 mile radius of Dunkeld.
For an easy tutorial, FAQs, equipment reviews etc, visit www.geocaching.com
You can also find out more, and a list of the top 10 geocaching viewpoints in Perthshire at www.perthshirebigtreecountry.co.uk