Summer is just about here. While everyone else is looking forward to hitting the beach, you may be one of the few people who are excited to spend as much time indoors and get started on a new hobby. Not sure what hobby to start? Here are a few ones that will let your inner geek out this summer.
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Never heard of geocaching before? In simple terms, it’s treasure hunting for the digital age. Members of the geocaching community hide Tupperware-style containers or “geocaches” and publish the cache’s coordinates for others to find. Instead of the traditional compasses and maps associated with orienteering, searchers will use GPS or global positioning system technology to find the geocaches.
Don’t expect gold coins and precious gems, though, as most caches contain logbooks for searchers to record their name and the date they found the stash. Some do contain trinkets or souvenirs but it’s basic geocaching etiquette to leave something of equal or greater value for the next person to find.
Online resources to check out: There are online forums to help you connect with your local geocaching community. You can also sign up at online sites and download mobile apps to get you started on finding your first geocache.
- Ham Radio
Before there were mobile phones and computers, people used Amateur Radio to talk to others across town and cities. It used to be a popular pastime that brought people together. Nowadays, the popularity of Amateur Radio or “ham radio” has dwindled to hobbyists who loved electronics and communication.
A basic knowledge of radio technology and operating principles is a must if you want to operate a ham radio. You also need to pass an examination for the FCC license so you can operate radio frequencies specifically for ham radio operators called the “Amateur Bands”.
- Lock Picking
Lock picking is among the oldest pursuits in the world. In 1777, polymath engineer Joseph Bramah challenged the locksmithing scene by introducing the Bramah safety lock which had layers of complexity in between the key and the deadbolt. He offered a reward for anyone who can make an instrument to pick the lock.
Although the Bramah safety lock was successfully picked by American locksmith A.C. Hobbs some 7 decades later, it continues to spark the quest for the “unbreakable lock” and challenge generations to beat any lock that claims to be the one.
Online resources to check out: To get started, you need basic lock picking tools (at least a rake and a tension wrench) as well as an unused lock or better yet, a clear practice lock. Once you’ve mastered the basic techniques, make sure to check out lock picking forums to find out more advanced techniques.
Nowadays, there’s a podcast that will appeal to almost anyone. You can find informational podcasts that can help you learn a foreign language or typical interview-type podcasts that will bring you closer to your favorite celebrity.
While listening to podcasts is fun, running one yourself is even better. One thing you need to remember though is that podcasting requires commitment. You need to regularly churn out quality talks in order for you to gain traction and an audience.
Online resources to check out: The best way to get started on podcasting is to actually listen to some of the most popular ones like Another Round and Invisibilia. After finding out what type of podcast you’d like to do, here’s a detailed guide from LifeHacker on how you can get started.