It's an age old quandry - in our house anyway - how to get that reluctant walker out onto the fells. One way we've found is to add an element of intrigue into the walks, intrigue in the form of hidden treasure, after all what small person doesn't like hunting for secret treasure?
We're talking Geocaching of course. the global treasure hunt that has taken the world by storm. It's not exactly free as you need a GPS to participate, but I figure that lots of phones come with it as an app these days, so I'm going to include it.
If you've never Geocached before, you need to go to the website www.geocaching.com and register with the site. Then search for the area you want to look at it and it will list the co-ordinates of the treasure caches hidden in the area. Cumbria is full of them - a search for a five mile radius around Ambleside brings up no less than 111 caches. They range from teeny tiny with nothing in (we avoid those) to bigger boxes stuffed full of treasure. The idea is you fill in the log with a note of your visit then take some treasure and leave some of your own (we're thinking christmas cracker type treasure here).
Some contain more exciting finds such as geocoins and travel bugs, these are trackable items that need to be moved on, so you take your coin or bug and move him to a cache as far away as you can and then track his progress on the web. These little guys really do get around, we've found an Australian coin and a German bug and we still like to follow them around the globe and find out where they are now. Yes we're geeks but we love it - there's nothing quite like sticking your hand into that hole in the tree trunk and coming across a little tupperware box of lovlies! Give it a go guys, but beware of the muggles!