A fun and fantastic new way to explore has recently popped up on our GPS. It’s called geocaching, and though it’s new to us, there are more than 300 fabulous locations in Kyiv alone to cache in. Intrigued?
Playing hide and seek with latitude and longitude coordinates, geocaching gets you using the GPS on your phone or other device(s) to uncover locations of interest. We first got in on the game thanks to Chris Schuepp, a German native who was joining a group of Ukrainians on a geocache meet last month. Often in Kyiv for work, Schuepp first got into geocaching in 2008 as an activity he thought his then 8-year old son might like. It’s one that stuck, and he now boasts at least one geocache in more than 50 countries! His favourite one in Kyiv is the Deviation Tower in Holosiivskiy region. This one was tricky he says, because the tower itself is in the water, and will be a tough one for “muggles” – a name borrowed from Harry Potter, given to those who don’t geocache, says Shuepp.
The first ever geocache was recorded more than 17 years ago in Beavercreek, Oregon, US. Since May 2000, however, number has grown to an incredible 3 million in more than 190 countries! Canadian Pete Young, nicknamed the ‘king of geocaching in Kyiv’, has one of the oldest geocaches in the capital at the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, and says “geocaches that take you somewhere interesting and introduce you to things about the area you might not otherwise know are part of what geocaching is about. Tourists visiting Kyiv can learn more about the city and see a lot of interesting spots just by hunting for its geocaches.”
Sergii Sadovik, a local geocacher also known as Tracker, says it was Young’s cache at the museum that was his first, and proved an “exciting treasure hunt”. While the number of geocachers in Ukraine at present numbers only about 200, “the Ukrainian geocaching community actively promotes” the activity across many channels.
Want to get in on the game and explore the city in a way that doesn’t break the budget? Visit www.geocaching.com to get started.
Some fun geocaches in Kyiv:
Deviation Tower (a difficult one…)
Stalin’s Subway (a bit out of town, but interesting location)
Raven’s Courtyard (easy, but in a cool place)
The Botanical Garden (M.M. Gryshko) (nice multi-stage geocache in the Botanical Garden)
Get in touch with geocachers in Ukraine: