Geocaching on Lake Wes

Do you have cottage guests and would like a fun way to show them the highlights of the lake? Or maybe you would  like an activity to do with your family that gets you outdoors and moving? Either way, geocaching might be just what you’re looking for!

What is Geocaching?

Geocaching is a fun combination of treasure hunting and orienteering. With the help of a GPS device or app on your cellphone, you follow clues to find hidden treasure called caches. Some are easy to find, some are VERY hard to find!

There will be some boating required to get to the caches on Lake Weslemkoon – and sometimes a bit of a hike!

What is a cache?

Caches are containers that are usually quite well hidden in the outdoors. They vary from the size of a pill bottle to a large wooden box. They often contain a logbook for you to sign and date and some contain small treasures. You are welcome to take a treasure from the cache, but if you do, it is expected that you put another treasure in its place. A treasure can be anything that is small, non toxic, not dangerous or not edible. It is important to be prepared with your own treasures when you are geocaching!

At this cache there was a baggie containing a log book and pencil, and a plastic container containing a few treasures.
In the log book geocachers are encouraged to record their geocaching name and the date.

Where can I find a cache?

The coordinates of caches are logged on the Geocaching website, along with clues for finding each cache. This photo shows you all of the caches that are available to be found on Lake Weslemkoon.

This app, GeoCaches, shows that there are 8 caches on Lake Weslemkoon.

 

In this app (from geocaching.com) the green circles are caches that are readily available to be found (with clues). The grey ones are locked until the user upgrades to a better version. 

How do I get started?

In order to go geocaching you need to have an account through geocaching.com since it is the official website. (Any app that you choose ultimately accesses the geocaching.com website.)

This is the first page of geocaching.com

Here are some of the most popular  geocaching apps that you might put onto your phone:

Geocaching app from the website geocaching.com and one of the better apps.  

Note: When you login to geocaching.com on your phone it will prompt you to get the app. This app works well with iOS and Andriod. You can use the FREE version or upgrade to the premium version for a monthly fee of $8.49 or pay a lump sum which is approx $39.99 / year.) The Geocaching free version allows you to find plenty of free caches, including the caches on Lake Weslemkoon.

Cachly 

Note: Cachly requires a one time fee of $6.99 (much cheaper than Geocaching), but doesn’t work on Android.

GeoCaches 

Note: The GeoCaches app is very easy to use since there is very little clutter in it. It is also FREE. The only limitation is that you are limited to downloading 3 caches every 24 hours. This app only works with iPhones, iPads and iWatch… not Android.

What happens once I have the app and an account?

As soon as you have your app or website loaded, you can use the app to set your location and the distance around your current location. Alternately, you can search for a location and see how many caches are there. This is really handy when planning a route for a road trip.

Once you see the caches near you, all you need to do is select one.

In order to figure out where you are going you have to consult the app on your phone (or on a GPS device).

What is the history of caches on Lake Weslemkoon?

At the beginning of July 2018 the Junior Loons set out in their boats and hid caches in some of their favourite locations on Lake Weslemkoon. They are creatively named: Picnic Rock 5, Root Salvation, Rocky Reef, Acapulco, Pike’s Perch, and Rainbow Rump Resters.

Each cache contains a log book and treasure. Remember, it is expected that if you take a treasure you put another treasure in its place. The Jr Loons caches add to the 2 caches that were previously placed by other cottagers.

We hope that you will download a Geocaching App and have fun Geocaching on Weslemkoon!

written by Janice Mackenzie and Melissa Tervit
photographs by Janice Mackenzie

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