Outdoor Activities: Geocaching
Michael J. Steklac writes (via our FaceBook page):
Geocaching is an activity where people use GPS receivers to hide and find containers called "geocaches". One quick description that is used is that it geocaching is a "hi-tech treasure hunt." Geocaching has been called a sport, game, hobby, or, by many, an obsession. The video that is linked below was released in the past month and gives a good overview of "What is Geocaching?".
My geocaching name is "Geoaddict." I found my first geocache on January 4, 2006 and have nearly 900 finds to my credit. The geocacher with the most finds lives in California and has nearly 39,000 finds to his credit. I have taught geocaching at a couple of REI stores here in Michigan.
Geocaching is coming up on the 10th anniversary of the hiding and finding of the first geocache in Beavercreek, Oregon. In the last month, the number of active geocaches hidden worldwide reached one-million!
Geocachers range in age from infants to people in their 80s and 90s. There are many variations of geocaching: from searching for geocaches hidden in the woods to geocaches hidden in urban areas; from geocaches requiring long hikes to quick park-and-grab geocaches; from geocaches as large as a 55-gallon drum to geocaches as small as a pill; from geocaches that are simply a container to cleverly disguised geocaches; from handicap-accessible geocaches to extreme geocaches requiring boats, scuba gear, climbing equipment, etc.; and from easy geocaches that are hidden at the posted coordinates to puzzle geocaches requiring knowledge of ciphers, all types of mathematics (algebra, calculus, geometry, trigonometry, etc.), history, trivia, etc.
There is a geocache hidden in the International Space Station and another hidden 2300m below the surface on the floor of the Pacific Ocean. Geocaches are hidden in over 222 countries and on every continent including Antarctica.
The best geocaches are ones that take geocachers to beautiful, unusual, and/or historic places. One statement that you hear from many geocachers is, "I have lived in an area # years (or my entire life) and never knew this place existed until I went geocaching."
Finally, the best thing about geocaching is the geocaching community. There are geocachers who come from all walks of life. Geocachers are among the friendliest, helping, and caring group of people you'll ever run into. Friendships that develop and go beyond just the common interest in geocaching.
That's my overview of geocaching. I have listed some additional resources below. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I can be contacted through Facebook or at Geoaddict@comcast.net.
Geocacher University – geocacher-u.com
Cacheopedia – cacheopedia.com
Geocaching Wikipedia – en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geocaching
Podcacher (weekly podcast) – podcacher.com
Cachers of the Round Table (monthly podcast) – cachersroundtable.com
Geocaching Podcast (live weekly podcast) – geocachingpodcast.info
Icenrye's Geocaching Videozine – youtube.com/icenrye
HeadHardHat's GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos – youtube.com/headhardhat
Learn about the high-tech treasure hunting game being played around the world by adventure seekers! Learn more at http://www.geocaching.com.