The Gretenkord family from Freudenstadt, Germany love nothing more than a country hike; all the more so when there's treasure at the end of it. Geocaching is a modern-day twist on the good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Originating in America, geocaching's German fan base is growing steadily. Printed maps are now a thing of the past. The Gretenkords use a handheld GPS device to help them find their way through the Black Forest. Using coordinates, they search for treasure hidden by previous "geocachers". The family's GPS device tells them their exact location.
"The device searches for satellites. It then communicates with the satellites to work out our position. Depending on how long the satellites' signals take to reach us, the device can calculate our exact position through a series of algorithmic calculations."
The coordinates for today's hunt were downloaded and printed out that very same morning. There are almost 700, 000 caches hidden around the globe. Anyone can simply go online to get the coordinates. There are caches in big cities like London and New York, as well as in more remote spots like Germany's Black Forest.
Today's route takes the Gretenkords to the Burgbach Falls. The final coordinates for today's cache have been hidden in a walkers' shelter above the falls. After consulting their GPS device, the family know that the cache can only be a few feet from where they're standing. For the last time today, the Gretenkords' GPS device tells them the direction they need to be heading in.Archive footage:"Mum, I've found it!"The whole family can't wait to find out what's hidden inside the cache. It could be anything. Most of the time, however, it's just kids' toys.
Not treasure exactly, but swapping can be fun. Cachers don't simply take from the cache; they also leave their own surprise for the next treasure hunters to find. More importantly, Dad enters the family's details in the logbook so that future cachers will know who came before them.
It's time for the Gretenkords to head home, until next weekend, when another hunt awaits. There's plenty more treasure just waiting to be discovered. And who knows, maybe next time it will be real treasure.