A beginners guide to Geocaching

Now we’re finally seeing the signs of summer here in England, it’s great to get out and about in the sunshine. So put down the Pokemon Go and listen up, kids – I’ve got a real treasure hunt for you… Geocaching!

A beginners guide to geocaching

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a “real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS enabled devices”.

What you need

  • A mobile phone with Geocaching app. There is a free version which is quite limited and a paid for subscription which, although pricey is alot more accurate and shows alot more caches available.
  • A pen for writing in log books
  • Trinkets and toys for swapping (optional)
  • Gloves – i.e. garden gloves for if you need to put your hand into a bush or something (optional)
  • A good pair of eyes!

a beginners guide to geocaching

How to play

  1. Download the app and register as a player. The username you assign yourself will be what you sign in the log books that you find.
  2. Switch on your GPS and use the app to discover just how many geocaches are near you.
  3. Once you’ve chosen a cache to find, follow the compass on the app to head to the location. Read the clues as to what you are looking for and get searching!
  4. Once you locate the cache, sign your username and the date in the log book. If you take any of the “treasure” inside the cache, be sure to replace it with something of equal or greater value.
  5. Put the cache back where you found it and don’t forget to mark on your app that you found it. Also leave a little comment for the person who created the cache, as well as future geocachers, to let them know what you thought of it.

Signing the log book in a geocache

Terminology

Cache – A cache can be as big as a lunchbox or as small as a USB stick. A cache is the “treasure chest” so to speak.
Log Book – Usually a piece of paper rather than a book. Sign this when you locate a cache.
Muggle – Like the term from Harry Potter, muggle refers to non-geocachers. When geocaching, try not to reveal a cache to a muggle. Keep it secret – it’s more fun!
Swag – Trade items left in caches. Most are cheap plastic toys and tat but some might be trackables. Most caches are too small for swag anyway.
Trackables – Also known as Travel Bugs, these are specially purchased trackable tags which are tracked online at geocaching.com. If you find one, the idea is to move it on to another cache so it can travel around.
DNF – Did Not Find. If you see this a few times on the app for a particular cache, chances are the cache has been tampered with unbeknownst to the cache creator.
FTF – First To Find. Pretty obvious – written by the first person to find the cache.
TFTC – Thanks For The Cache.

Placing a trackable into a geocache

Me and my husband have taken up geocaching as a quirky summer hobby. We started last year as a fun way to explore the local area and have just started to do it again this year now the weather is warm again.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of trackable travel bugs when the Geocaching.com founder Jeremy Irish released 7 deadly ducks (based on the 7 deadly sins) into the wild. In honour of the 15th anniversary, the 7 deadly ducks have been reincarnated in a race lasting from 20 July to 20 August (International Geocaching Day) in a competition to see how far these trackable tags travel. So hubby bought the ‘greed’ duck and we have now released him out into the geocaching wilds. I will keep you posted on his progress – wish us luck!

Greed - 7 deadly ducks - geocaching race

Have you taken part in The World’s Largest Treasure Hunt? or are you a Geocaching Muggle? Drop me a line below…

5 responses to “A beginners guide to Geocaching”

  1. Love geocaching! We started a couple of years ago as a way to get out and about with the kids and we all love it! Haven’t been out for a while now, as the weather’s been bad, but hoping to go exploring tomorrow. The thing is, I reckon that people are just going to presume we’re playing Pokemon Go now lol! Keri x

    • Ah most probably but give it a week or two and everyone will be over Pokemon and onto the next thing!

  2. I wonder whether they’ll be a geo-caching / pokemon Go hybrid ever available? Geo-caching is such a fun idea and as you say, a great way to explore. I like that there’s little notes and caches left by others. It’s very sociable.

    Sally @ Life Loving
    #LifeLovingLinkie

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Things to remember when travelling abroad

Things to remember when travelling abroad

We Brits love to travel abroad. The Telegraph states on its travel section that the “British passion for travel is the biggest in twenty years.” But lets face it, while travelling is fun and exciting, it is also stressful. So to help you fellow travellers along the way, we have compiled some top tips for going abroad.

Waiting at the airport

The first hurdle of going on holiday is packing. It sounds simple you just put what you need for the duration of your trip in your suitcase or rucksack and off you go. Yet most people end up either not packing the right things or over packing and lugging extra weight around. Skyscanner came up with a top ten list of what not to pack on one of its travel posts. The article covered things such as packing clothes that aren’t appropriate for the country’s climate you’re travelling to and taking with you tech gadgets you don’t need.

Girl holding camera

The next step is to plan your journey. Spontaneity is great and leads to exciting new adventures but it is always best to have an idea of what you are going to do in the upcoming days otherwise the holiday can become expensive. Reader’s Digest detail some of the most common mistakes such as losing passports, not buying a service plan for mobile phones, forgetting to call your credit card company and failing to get medical insurance.

Girl sitting on suitcase

Many hours and opportunities can be wasted while you decide with your friends or family what you are going to do. Planning can also make sure that everybody gets to do something they want. Remember everybody has a different idea of what they would like to do on holiday, so be sure to consult your travel partners so that everyone feels involved.

One part of the journey travellers don’t think about but can end up being the most stressful is getting to the airport. There are many tips for making the process of getting onto your plane easier and stress free. Airport parking is often one of those services that can be forgotten, which can cost people more money than it should. Nowadays, all leading airports across the world have a variety of parking options available. For instance, at London’s famous Gatwick Airport, Parking4Less states that there are four options available to people, which are categorised as long and short stay, on-airport hotel and summer special car parking. Options like short stay give people a cheaper form of parking if they are only leaving their vehicle for a couple of days. Such provisions, if booked in advance, can save people a significant amount of money in the long run.

However, if you do leave your car at the airport or at a hotel, it’s also important you’re careful what you leave in it, and if it is visible to others. The worst thing you can do is to leave things so that passers by can see them – try to leave all your belongings out of sight or in the hotel.

While travelling USA Today recommends putting your money in different places so that you minimise the risk of losing it all.

Travelling abroad is one of the best ways to spend your time. With a little bit of planning and preparation your trip can be trouble and stress free.

Written by Amber Walsh.

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Look Up… Surreal Singapore

Nowadays we all spend way too much time with our necks bent down staring at our smartphones, rather than appreciating the world around us, and I admit that I am just as guilty of this as everyone else. So inspired by the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge theme of ‘Look Up’, I thought I would share with you one of my favourite photos looking up.

If you read my post 6 super Singapore must-dos then you’ll know how much I loved the Supertree Grove at the Gardens by the Bay. We arrived too late to see the majestic colour changes but we did see the trees all lit up in their electric blue glory like something from the movie Avatar.

The man-made trees are between 25 and 50 metres tall and there are 18 of them in total, 12 of them being in Supertree Grove itself. Each tree is made of concrete and steel with plants growing on them to form a “living skin”. They are also free to go and see.

We were admiring the trees for ages and even lay down beneath them which is when I took this photo. A perfect entry to this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.

Surreal Singapore - looking up at the magical Supertrees

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Alphabet Dating - D is for Dinner Date

Alphabet Dating – D is for Dinner Date

D is for Delayed.

We missed June completely because of returning from Cuba, hubby’s birthday and just generally not knowing what to do for our ‘D’ date. I had found the perfect date – watching Dirty Dancing at the Drive-In Movies, but I saw it advertised far too late. D’oh!

‘C’ date (aka Cuba) was quite an expensive date, so for ‘D’ we decided to go budget and just have a simple dinner date at home. My hubby was in charge of dinner and I was in charge of dessert. The dishes were meant to be surprises but when you share a kitchen, share a fridge and go grocery shopping together, the element of surprise is kind of removed. Oh well, I don’t really like surprises anyway!

For mains we had Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Chicken served with rice and salad, which in my book, tomato + mozzarella + pesto = win!

Baked Tomato, Mozzarella and Pesto Chicken Breastsserves 2

Pesto, mozzarella and tomato chicken served with rice and salad

Ingredients
2 x skinless chicken breasts
1 x tomato
1 x 125g mozzarella ball
5 tbsp green pesto

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Smother the chicken breasts in the pesto. My husband used around 5 tablespoons but feel free to use more/less depending on your taste.
2. Line a baking dish with foil and place the chicken breasts on top. Cook for 30 minutes.
3. Slice the tomato and mozzarella. Place on top of the chicken.
4. Place the chicken back in the oven and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.
5. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice and salad.

Dessert was a sweet and simple Eton Mess – yeah yeah I know it’s easy but I’ve never actually made one before and there’s a good reason why I’m not a food blogger!

Eton Messserves 3 (yeah I made too much!)

Eton Mess - a delightful mess including fresh strawberries and blueberries

Ingredients
Approx 140ml whipping cream
Approx 160g fresh strawberries
Handful of blueberries
3 x meringue nests
Small can of raspberries (optional)
Strawberry sauce (optional)

Method
1. Whisk the whipping cream until it forms peaks.
2. Crush the meringue nests into small pieces and spoon into the cream.
3. Chop the strawberries and add them, plus the blueberries, to the cream and meringue mixture (you may wish to save a couple for garnish)
4. Spoon in a few raspberries and their syrup to give the mixture a sweet pink hue.
5. Mix together and serve. Drizzle some strawberry sauce and garnish with remaining fruit if you wish.
6. Voila! Eton Mess. And your kitchen will probably be an Eton Mess too!

After Dinner comes Dessert, and after Dessert comes… Dishes! Sigh!

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for E… it’s Exciting!

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National Pink Day!

Apparently today is National Pink Day. Hello, did no one tell the Mean Girls because today is Thursday and on Wednesdays we wear pink!

Oh yes if there’s two things I love it’s a Mean Girls quote and the colour pink. So in honour of National Pink Day I thought I would share with you not one, not two, but TEN pink themed photographs taken by myself or by my husband’s fair hand.

Tokyo, Japan
This pretty picture was taken during the cherry blossom season at the canal in Naka Meguro, Tokyo. If you’re thinking of visiting Japan in spring then check out my post Cherry Blossoms in Japan to see where else I saw the sakura.

Cherry blossoms at the canal in Naka Meguro in Tokyo, Japan - Photo by QuirkyLittlePlanet.com

Florida, USA
Taken at the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, I captured the castle lit up in pretty hues of pink, purple and orange while the firework show was taking place. The firework show is a must-do for any Disney theme park visit.

Disney castle lit up pink during the fireworks display at Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida

Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
These charming orchids caught my eye at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Sri Lanka as they remind me of the singing flowers in Alice in Wonderland. Actually, they are pretty proud of their orchids in Sri Lanka!

Beautiful flowers at the Royal Botanical Garden in Sri Lanka

Havana, Cuba
If you follow me on instagram then you’re probably sick of the sights of this car but in my defense it’s not every day you get to ride around in a fuschia pink 1952 chevrolet!

1952 pink chevrolet in Havana, Cuba. A must do for any girl about town!

Lake Tekapo, New Zealand
I love this photo. I was obsessed with these lupins and this lake during my brief visit to New Zealand. To be fair, all the scenery in New Zealand is like some sort of instagrammer’s dream. But seriously, look how pretty these pink and purple lupins are against the blue of the sky and water!

Lupins at Lake Tekapo in New Zealand - an instagrammer's dream!

Las Vegas, USA
I have no idea why we didn’t stay in the Flamingo hotel given that I love flamingos! Nevertheless we did go and have a nosey about and I took this photo of the bright lights in all their glory.

Bright lights of the fabulously pink Flamingo Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.

Port Douglas, Australia
I heart Port Douglas. If I could retire there I probably would. We took a walk along the beach at sunset and I captured the soft candy coloured hues of the sun setting in the sky. Bliss!

Soft candy coloured hues of the sun setting on Four Mile Beach in Port Douglas, Australia.

Wellington, New Zealand
Another New Zealand pic, another botanic garden. The weather was not great in Windy Welly but we cheered ourselves up with a little look around the gardens and snapped a few colourful flower shots!

Sweet pink blossom on the trees at Wellington Botanic Garden, New Zealand

Kyoto, Japan
Kind of an obvious one this, but the shop is called Pink Latte so it already earnt its place in the gallery by that alone. I didn’t buy anything in here but you betcha I dragged hubby through it so I could look at all the Kawaii going on in there!

Pink Latte shop in Kyoto, Japan

Arashiyama, Japan
Yep Japan makes it in the gallery for a third time! But this photo is a little bit special as it has little ol’ me in there with my pink clothes and pink hair standing infront of a pink bush with my boring yet functional black bag. Doh.

Pink and more pink in Arashiyama, Japan

I hope this post left you feeling tickled pink! If orange is more your bag then click here. Or if blue’s more your hue then you might like this pinterest board.

Happy National Pink Day!

4 responses to “National Pink Day!”

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