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Geocaching is an any day, any time adventure. It can be to an amazing and beautiful place or just to a place in your town that you’ve never been before. There are around 2 million Geocaches around the world. More than likely, there are some near you right now.
Geocaching is a real-world, modern day treasure hunt using Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled devices, like a smart phone or a Garmin. With caches all over the country, and world for that matter, anyone can participate in geocaching. Members of the geocaching community put together an assortment of items to trade, a logbook, and even perhaps a disposable camera. This stockpile is then stuffed into a weatherproof box and hidden under a rock, in a tree or maybe even under water. Geocachers then navigate to a precise set of GPS coordinates and try to find the geocache hidden at that location. Geocaching engages the skills of problem and puzzle solving; it is a real-world, outdoor scavenger hunt. Geocachers will track down and identify clues and learn navigation in pursuit of their destination and you can even hide your own Geocache, with your own items.
With geocaching, there are no associations to join, simply log on to the free website for access to the geocaches. Geocaches range from easy to next to impossible, and their level of difficulty is shown beside the geocaches’ coordinates. But to get a graphical acquaintance with the area you will be searching, a digital map is, most of the time, a must. Your GPS can tell you the straight-line path, but unless the routes have been preloaded into your GPS, only a map will show the winding path between you and the Geocache. To start finding them, pull out your phone or GPS and create an account and you are ready to go. Pick the Geocache you want to find and navigate to its location. What you’re looking for differs; Geocaches come in different shapes, sizes, and difficulties. When you find the Geocache you’re looking for, sign the logbook and trade trinkets. When you’re done, just put the Geocache back where you found it, and you’re on to the next one. A great Geocache to start with is a quick find on the University of Kentucky campus, near the W.T. Young library. Its coordinates are N 38° 01.928 W 084° 30.035.
Geocaching is a way to encourage travel and exploration in all areas of the world and to facilitate tourism and travel-linked spending throughout the world. It showcases the rich historical, cultural and recreational features of the natural world, and it invites geocaching buffs to visit and travel by promoting geocaching as an enjoyable, exciting and entertaining pursuit, great for family-oriented fun and adventure.
I started geocaching as a solution to my summer boredom. I started by finding a Geocache close to my house. Once I did that, I grabbed my sweetheart and plotted our course, not knowing where it would take us. We ended up stumbling around a cemetery , searching for about an hour, with no idea what we were looking for. As we continued our hunt, people stared and children laughed as we crawled on all fours searching for our prize. My phone said the Geocache we pursued was right under our feet, but this was not the case. Just about the time we were about to give up, we realize the tree that we had been sitting under was actually the clever hiding place of this Geocache. As the sun began to set on the small town of Athens we found our first Geocache, it was a moment of triumph. We were probably more excited than we should’ve been to find a Tupperware container wrapped in camo duct tape. Later, by signing our names to the logbook, we unwittingly became the newest members of this adventurous hobby.
So if you do decide to go Geocaching, good luck and happy hunting!