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Geocaching: A Test for a Quest

Bob Smith

Kelley Hansen, Contributor

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Looking for an adventure? A treasure hunt?  How about a nation-wide scavenger hunt, or better yet world-wide. Geocaching is the ultimate scavenger hunt, with more than 1.4 million hidden geocaches and well over 4 million geocachers.

What is geocaching one might ask? Geocaching is a GPS navigated treasure hunt. Millions of boxes, known as caches, are placed around the world and the geographical coordinates posted online.

Each box contains valuable items and a logbook that geocachers leave behind for new hunters. The logbook is there for people to write about “their find” and to note their experience. Geocaching doesn’t have many rules, it’s there for anyone to participate in, that’s what makes it so intriguing.

They only request is if someone takes an item out of the cache, they must put something in the box to replace it, and must log their find. After a successful geocache, individuals are encouraged to record their adventure at www.geocaching.com.

Geocaching is relatively new and was founded by Dave Ulmer. After the mass update of GPS’s in 2000, he wanted to test the accuracy of the new GPS system. So, on May 3rd, 2000 he placed a hidden box in the woods and then posted the coordinates of the treasure online in hope that someone would track it down.

The first cache was discovered shortly after its placement and thus began a new form of treasure hunting. It wasn’t long until the trend caught on, and on May 30th, just 27 days after the first geocache was hidden, the term geocaching was coined, and a new hobby was born; one fully equipped with a website and a short set of rules.

Geocaches can be found worldwide in multiple countries. The bulk of geocaching is currently being hunted in Germany and the United States. And right here in Bolton, one can find a number of caches according to the geocaching website. Who would have thought that hidden gems are waiting to be found somewhere around Vaughn Hill and Sugar Road, right across from Colonial Candies.

The unique thing about geocaching is that people know about the big game of hide ‘n seek or they don’t, just like a secret society. Nashoba Senior, Sage Feltus, is in the know. “I tried geocaching last summer, it was really fun, but hard to find them.” she said.  However, English department head Mrs. Carter, had no idea that geocaching even existed and asked to be enlightened about the big craze.

Geocaching is a growing game, new caches are hidden regularly, and the number of players grows each  day. Many people cross the paths of geocaches everyday without even knowing it, while others search for them with dreams of a successful hunt.

Photo courtesy of thenerdybomb.com/

 

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Geocaching: A Test for a Quest