Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Road Wisdom: Geocaching


According to geocache.com, Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.”

Currently there are over 1 million registered caches worldwide! As we travel the country, teaching the skills and ethics of Leave No Trace, we encounter many different schools of thought on this up-and-coming activity, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.

Some people feel strongly that geocaching bridges the gap for people that enjoy technological activities with being on an outdoor adventure in a natural setting. Other people feel that some geocachers miss a majority of the outdoor experience because they are so focused on the technology piece that they are driven into the wilderness only to put all of their energy into finding the coordinates. Yet another group feels that geocaching brings individuals and families together by getting them out of their living rooms and into the great outdoors. What is your opinion?

Regardless of each person’s motive to join the geocache movement, Leave No Trace has developed a reference hang tag (available in our online store) to promote responsible recreation practices while geocaching. Here are some points to consider:
  • Plan properly for your geocaching outing by having the items or equipment you'll need to safely enjoy your adventure. Also, if placing a cache, make sure it's legal in your area.
  • Be conscious of where caches are placed (choose durable surfaces) and think about how traveling to and from a cache can cause trampling, erosion, etc.
  • Have the necessary knowledge/equipment to deal with trash, litter and human waste.
  • Consider the impacts of geocaching to both plants and animals.
  • Be mindful of other visitors who may also be enjoying the same areas as you.
If you would like to weigh in on your opinion of geocaching, email kateandtracy@lnt.org and we will post comments on an upcoming blog!

Happy Geocaching,
Kate and Tracy

2 comments:

Kryptic said...

Geocaching has provided me with the incentive to get outside and away from the TV and computer screen. While I am initially focused on finding the geocaches and the techology involved, Nature always has a way of pulling my attention to my surroundings. Enjoying the beauty around me beats out the technology everytime. I may find the cache, I may not, but either way I am rewarded by the outdoor experience everytime.



A SoCal native living in the Pacific Northwest, learning to love: duck boots, thermal underwear, wool socks and the color green.

Visit my Geocaching blog or find me on Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed or at Geocaching.com.

jrjaeger said...

I enjoy the caches hidden in wooded and/or rural areas as opposed to the urban micros that abound around my home. However, the ones hidden in the woods are sometimes quite easy to find, due to the path of broken and stomped plants left by previous visitors.