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Brend Hotels

Brend Hotels release geocaches on South West Coast Path

In partnership with the South West Coast Path Association, ready for International Geocaching Day (Saturday 18th August 2018), we’ve hidden two brand-new geocaches on the Coast Path for you to find.

They are to be found near two of our hotels - Saunton Sands Hotel and The Barnstaple Hotel, with another three geocaches to follow soon!

Into each one, we have placed an iconic National Trail geocoin and one of five very special Brend Hotels ‘hitchhikers’ - The Brend Bears, named: Percy, Florence, John, Peter and Richard.

The Brend Bears can't walk very far by themselves as they are only little, but can you help them travel from cache to cache along the South West Coast Path, taking them with you to ‘check in’ at the most Brend Hotels possible. From there, who know's where they may end up.

A crash-course in geocaching

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt! It is a fun outdoor activity for all ages, where participants use GPS tracking to hide and seek containers called ‘geocaches’ or ‘caches’ for short, at locations all over the planet. Each time a geocache is found, the geocacher (you!) records their find on the geocaching app and signs the logbook inside the cache, proving that they found it. After signing the log, the cache is placed back exactly where the person found it.

Download the geocaching app to take part

What does a geocache look like?

A cache is usually a small waterproof container, around the size of a lunchbox, with a logbook and sometimes a pen or pencil inside. Be sure to re-seal the geocaches you find, as they need to withstand all kinds of weather conditions outside!

Where are geocaches hidden?

Anywhere, in any country around the world is the simple answer! But in most cases, in the countryside or parks, close to a well-known trail like the South West Coast Path. Geocaches are of varying difficulties to find - they can be hidden beneath bushes or slotted under bridges, sneaked in between tree roots or even submerged underwater!

What will I find inside a geocache?

Aside from the logbook, geocachers can decide to leave behind signature items, such as a small toy, pin or craft items, to leave their mark at the cache location. Some signature items, such as ‘geocoins’ are even trackable in their own right. Objects like these are often moved from cache to cache and become ‘hitchhikers’, whose travels may be logged and followed online. Some geocachers (like us at Brend Hotels!), will create a specific goal to see the object reach a certain location or travel a specific distance. Remember – if you find an object like this – in most cases, the idea is to move them on to another geocache within a few days/weeks, not to keep them permanently for yourself!

Geocaching dictionary!

Geocache or cache: Whatever ‘treasure’ has been hidden at a registered location for you to seek! Usually a watertight box with a log book inside.

A Trackable: A special item found inside a geocache and its travels can be recorded on the geocaching app through their tracking code. These usually move regularly from cache to cache and can be ‘checked in’ to a geocache by a geocacher. A geocoin with a unique code on it is a trackable.

South West Coast Path National Trail geocoins: These are limited edition, heavy coins bearing the iconic National Trails acorn symbol which can be tracked via their unique tracking codes as they move from cache to cache along the South West Coast Path.

Finds: Simply the geocaches that you have unearthed and logged on your geocaching account.

Geocacher/hunter: You and anyone else out on the trail of a geocache!

GPS: Global Positioning System – your smartphone has this technology within its ‘location services’ tool.

As a guest of Brend Hotels, the South West Coast Path is right on your doorstep, beckoning you for an adventure! Geocaching is a great way to explore the Coast Path with the whole family, so why not head out to enjoy stunning views and the real excitement of a quest, as you hunt for our Brend geocaches?

How to get started:

1) Download the geocaching app on your smartphone, using your hotel WiFi.

2) Head to the South West Coast Path with a pen. Download a list of target geocaches before heading off as there isn't always signal on the path.

3) Uncover caches using the GPS system, open them up and see what's inside - sign and date the logbook and record it on the app. Don't forget to put the cache back where you found it.

Wherever you find and take the bears, please take a photo of them and tell us how and where you found the Brend Bears. Share it on the Brend Hotels Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #BrendBearAdventures #CoastpathGeocaching, or post them on your profile and tag @southwestcoastpath and @brendhotels and the hashtags.