The Dennis Kirk Blog
Legendary Service... Ask Your Friends - Since 1969
As an ADV rider, you have an inherent drive to explore and find new routes to ride on. Sometimes, though, it can be a bit of a struggle to find those new riding destinations. If you are looking for new coordinates to punch into your GPS, geocaching may be the answer.
The activity of geocaching is a natural fit for ADV/Dual Sport riders. Both activities involve exploring and require a love for adventure. Combining the two can open up many new riding destinations and will give you something to do once you reach them.
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is basically a modern day “treasure hunt” guided by GPS coordinates that are posted online. Caches are placed all around the world and are of all shapes and sizes of containers. The majority of caches contain a log book and small trinkets for you to take if you exchange it for something of yours. Geocaches can be located in any type of location, from easy to find areas to hard to reach, out in the middle-of-nowhere locations. The middle-of-nowhere caches are likely the ones that will raise the brow of ADV riders and entice them.
Check out the video below for a quick overview of geocaching.
What do you need?
If you are already an ADV rider, chances are pretty good that you already have everything that you need to get started. The basic tools for a motorcycle geocaching adventure are a GPS, a motorcycle and a list of cache coordinates, which can be found online. Your GPS will need to be handheld and to able operate in off roads situations in order to pinpoint the coordinates of the cache. It’s not a bad idea to pack a good pair of hiking boots in your panniers or saddlebags as well. Your motorcycle boots are probably not the best option for walking around in the wild when you get off of your bike to look for the cache.
To totally get into the spirit of geocaching, don’t forget to bring a pen and some sort of little trinket. The pen is to sign the log book and the trinket is to leave behind if you take something that a previous cacher left. Your trinket or trade item should be of equal or greater value than the one that you will take. Of course, the adventure and hunt may be enough of a prize itself for you. In that case, you can leave the trinket exchange for other cachers.
Where do you start?
Getting started is just about as easy as it gets. Once you have your gear together, you then need to get the coordinates to some caches. All of the coordinates for the caches can be found online on a few good sites dedicated to the activity. Geocaching.com is a great resource and has a ton of info and coordinates on it.
On the sites, you can look at the coordinates that are on their online maps to see which ones look intriguing to you. With all of the options laid out in front of you, you can plan the most interesting route to ride on in order to get to the caches. Planning your routes around finding caches can lead you to many new places that you ordinarily would not ride to.
One of the great things about motorcycle geocaching is that you can match your level of off road riding expertise to the location of the cache. There will be some caches placed out in the middle of nowhere along single tracks that you can ride to. Then there are the caches that are located in parks and other fairly easy to reach locations.
There is a whole culture surrounding the activity of geocaching and it can become easy to immerse yourself into it. If that happens to you and you are craving more, there are plenty of little intricacies to make it more difficult and exciting and you will never run out of caches to fins. The online geocaching community is fairly large and can be a great resource to help you plan out your next ADV/Geocaching ride.
For the best ADV trip, try to find caches that are in motorcycle friendly areas. After all, the whole point is to add to your riding experience.
When you’re coming up the cache’s location, don’t focus too hard on your GPS. Pay attention to where you are riding so you don’t wipe out. Stop if you need to take a closer look at the GPS.
Once you find a cache, try not to reveal the hidden location to anyone else that may be looking for it. You wouldn’t want to ruin their experience.
Place the cache back to where you found it, trying to replicate exactly how it was hidden.
If this becomes something you enjoy, hide your own caches in your motorcycle areas to help grow the motorcycle geocaching community.
Mon-Fri: 7am - 8pm Sat & Sun: 7am - 6pm CT