Geocaching and orienteering
If you like exploring, you'll love geocaching, the global treasure hunt for the whole family. To take things up a level, you could join an orienteering adventure or improve your navigation and wilderness skills on a bushcraft and survival course, see details about orienteering, navigation and wilderness skills at the bottom of this page.
Get into geocaching
Geocaching is a fun way to explore the Brecon Beacons. It will take you to great places which may have a brilliant view or some historical significance, for example, a WWII bomber crash site or the monument to Little Tommy Jones.
There are over 180 geocaches in interesting locations in the Brecon Beacons National Park, all waiting to be found. All you need to start your quest is a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) decive and access to the geocaching website, www.geocaching.com. You can even have a go without a GPS, using an Ordnance Survey map and compass.
What is a geocache?
A geocache is a sort of treasure box, ranging in size from a small film canister to a larger plastic container or an old ammo box. The person who placed it recorded its location precisely as a grid reference and GPS waypoint and entered this information online at www.geocaching.com or one of the other geocaching websites.
Each geocache contains a log book, a pencil and a stash of treasure. Don’t expect gold doubloons! You may find a trackable geocoin or travelbug, but most geocaches contain geoswag, random objects of minimal value that previous players have placed there for others to find. It’s important that these are family-friendly and non-perishable (so, no sweets!)
Your aim is to place something in the cache in the hope that someone will later move it on somewhere else and log its journey. You can also take geoswag from the cache as long as you add something of equal or greater value (a geocoin doesn't count).
How do you get started?
Search the geocaching website, www.geocaching.com, for geocaches in an area you’d like to explore.
If you’re using an Ordnance Survey map, take down the grid references.
If you’re using a handheld GPS device, enter the waypoint of each location as follows (these instructions apply to Garmin devices):
- Power on
- Press page button four times to reach Menu page
- Press enter to select Mark which takes you to the Mark Waypoint screen
- Press up button twice to scroll up to the musical note symbol on the screen and press enter
- Press the down button and enter to choose the picture symbol you want to use to identify the cache
- Scroll down to the number below and press enter twice to give the cache a name or number of your choice
- Press enter to return to the Mark Waypoint screen
- Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and press enter to take you to the Edit Location screen where you can edit the grid reference
- When finished, press enter again to return to the Mark Waypoint screen
- Scroll up to OK? and press enter to return to the Menu screen
- Scroll down to Waypoints and press enter
- Scroll down to find and select your cache by name
- Press enter which takes you to the Review Waypoint screen
- Choose GOTO and press enter and you’re ready to set off to find the cache!
The GPS device, which uses satellites to work out your location to within 15m, will guide you there. That’s when the real hunt begins. You will need to use your eyes and initiative to actually find the hidden cache!
Once you have located the geocache, place your geocoin, token or object in the cache and sign the log book. The next time you're online, log your visit on the geocaching website.
There really aren't that many rules and they’re very straightforward.
- Make sure you’re not observed by others when you find the cache
- If you take an object from the cache please leave an item of similar or greater value (items must be safe and child-friendly)
- Sign the logbook
- Have fun, and log your find on the geocaching website when you return home!
Caches and coordinates in the Brecon Beacons National Park
Choose a cache from the list below and you'll see the grid reference, nearest bus route and a code number. Log on to www.geocaching.com, enter the cache’s unique code number and you can find out more about the cache, view photographs and discover other clues to help you find it.
Please be aware that some of the routes to the caches may be quite strenuous and, as always, you need to ensure you’re wearing the right clothing and footwear for the weather and the terrain.
For specific information on bus routes and times, contact Traveline Cymru.
Allt yr Esgair GCM9E4
SO 12569 24391
Nearest bus stop: All Saints, Bwlch
Brecon View GCIJZNP
SO 06855 22702
Nearest bus stop: Royal Oak, Pencelli
Views all round GCIBHGP
SO 05606 28346
Nearest bus stop: Brecon Interchange
Pen y fantastic GC5250
SO 01211 21591
Nearest bus stop: Storey Arms
Tommy Jones GCGJHW
Nearest bus stop: Storey Arms
Ystradfellte - Fan Fawr GCI9B36
SN 96355 18959
Nearest bus stop: Storey Arms
Dingley Dell GCI4XKT
Nearest bus stop: Sennybridge Post Office
Clara's Craig-y-nos Caper GCT9JI
SN 84334 15789
Nearest bus stop: Craig-y-nos Country Park
The Sleeping Giant GCIFG3V
SN 82819 14216
Nearest bus stop: Abercraf Post Office
Crawshay Bailey GCIENXO
SO 20459 12263
Nearest bus stop: The Bridgend Pub, Brynmawr
Bryn Bach Park Two GCXZGN
SO 13072 09889
Nearest bus stop: The Crown, Tredegar
Orienteering and navigation training
Another great way to explore the Brecon Beacons countryside is to join an orienteering challenge - finding your way around a course using just a map and compass. Several activity companies organise this. They can also provide training in basic or advanced map reading and navigation.
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