What is it?
- There are over 2.6 million geocaches around the world and six million geocachers
- About half a million live in the UK
- It’s free to participate and is suitable for all ages and abilities
- All you need is pen and paper and your smartphone, tablet, satnav or other GPS system (e.g. a hiker’s GPS)
- Individuals or families can get involved. It can add interest to a car journey, it can be a fun day out or even a holiday
- It’s an opportunity to tap into a vast existing global network with huge tourism potential
How can churches use it to attract visitors?
- Geocaches are usually placed somewhere interesting,historic or beautiful. So churches make ideal locations
- Caches are usually placed outside (although they can be inside too). So you can still participate even if the church is locked.
- People hunt for caches in remote or hard-to-find places, so it’s good for churches with few visitors
- You can include information aboiut the church, or events you are holding on the geocaching website
BUT…A WORD OF WARNING: Geocaches cannot be used to solicit for any purpose, including those perceived to be posted for religious, political, commercial, charitable or social agendas. This is a tourism thing, not a mission tool! It should not even include our (or your) logo. If in doubt, check the Geocache Guildelines
- Visit the geocaching website where you will find video tutorials as well as general information about how to get going and how to hide your cache
- Create a free geocaching account
- Check to see whether there is a geocache already hidden at your location
- Decide what type of geocache to use – there are several to choose from
- Decide what to put in your cache. There must be a log book so people can record their visit. You should also include small items that can be swapped or ‘traded’. Think what might help promote your church.
- Decide what historical, local and/or event info you want to include on the website
- Get permission from your vicar/incumbent
- Hide your cache and make it live (or get a computer whizz to lend a hand)
- Sit back and see who come to visit
- Think about setting up a trail. Caches must be at least 0.1 miles apart. But you can also create a multi-cache where clues in one location lead to clues in another which eventually lead to a cache. So you can have a series of separate caches along a trail. or a multi-cache, covering a shorter distance. Or add clues to your co-ordinates that will take people around the church or churchyard.
- Join the Church Micro series by signing up at their website. There are over 7,000 churches there already
- Add a Travel Bug, a trackable device that moves from place to place. Find out more
Our thanks to geocacher extraordinaire Revd Sulin Milne for helping us create this page