Here’s a brief article on getting outdoors instead of playing video games. It seems to touch more on the extremes of geocaching then the norm, but it’s a short and interesting read.
For the same price as most gaming systems, you can purchase a handheld GPS receiver and join in Geocaching, (pronounced G-O-cashing) an activity that can make kids and adults enjoy time outdoors, hiking, paddling or climbing. In geocaching, you are the search engine. This is basically a modern-day treasure hunt that uses the GPS devices available for around a $100 dollars to search out and locate caches that others have left for you to find. It works like this: someone takes a waterproof container and conceals it in an area where it will not be accidentally found. Inside that container they will place “treasures” that can consist of items of any sorts. Using their GPS device, they note the coordinates and enter them via computer onto a website. These treasures, most commonly, will include children’s toys, coins, disposable cameras with which to take your picture and logbooks to record your search. Sometimes items of considerable worth are hidden.
The Jeep division of Daimler-Chrysler is sponsoring geocaches all over the country where the treasure can be a new 2006 Jeep Commander, a seven seat Jeep arriving this year. Other caches have been said to contain hundred dollar bills. Using your own GPS device, you follow the directions until you find the hidden cache.
It seems that this is a rather straightforward event, but it is not always as simple as it seems. These caches may be simply resting in a tree stump, but others will be hanging from the side of a cliff and require climbing skills, others are under or across water and require diving or kayaking to reach. Some urban geocaches can even be found in public buildings. Once you discover the cache, you may take whatever you find inside, but you must replace it with something of equal value or quantity. From there, you go home and enter your discovery on the website along with any remarks you might wish to leave.