Geocaching can be a technological treasure
BY AMBER TRAVSKY
Boomerang Outdoors Writer
here somewhere,” David Perkins of Laramie said to Kathleen, his
nine-year-old daughter. Using a Global Positioning System, or GPS, receiver,
Perkins inched around a large spruce tree. “It should be right in there,”
Perkins said and pointed to the darkened hidey-holes beneath the lower tree
bows. Crawl around under the tree and see If you can find it,” he suggested
to Kathleen and she scrambled into the brush.
father-daughter team was geocachlng, which combines old-time treasure
hunting with technology. Players hide a cache, usually an old army ammo
case, Tupperware or other waterproof container, with a logbook and handful
of goodies inside. The GPS coordinates are posted on the Internet at
www.geocachelng.com to begin the hunt. Armed with handheld GPS receivers,
other players track down the cache and replace some of the treasure with
gifts for the next cache hunter.
sunny fall morning In the Snowy Range, Troy Bryan, a geocacher from
Bridgeport, Neb., joins the Perkins duo. Bryan has been Geocaching for three
years. So far he’s found 153 caches and has hidden 42. His newest placement
is within the Laramie city limits and is a special theme” cache. “The intent
of that cache is rhyming,” Bryan said. “Instead of leaving an item, you
leave a poem in the logbook.”
are already over 90 geocaches within 40 miles of Laramie, making it easy to
get started. To join the fun, just sign up on the Web site; download cache
coordinates and descriptions, and head outdoors with a GPS receiver and a
sense of adventure.
Perkins said he prefers Geocaching In the mountains. ‘It’s a great excuse
to get out with the family,” he said. ‘We explore new country and make a day
of it with a picnic lunch.”
high tech spin-off of hide and seek was born on May 1, 2000 when the
government removed a satellite scrambler that limited civilian GPS units’
accuracy to 100 meters Now private GPS units get within 10 meters of a
sought-after spot. Two days after the descrambling, a former computer
engineer near Portland, Ore. hid the first cache. Its contents included a
can of beans and a $5 bill. He posted the details to an online newsgroup
and within a day the stash was found and geocaching was born.
more than 750,000 people are hiding and searching out caches around the
world. According to the Geocaching.com Web site, where most people post
their caches, there are currently 123,679 active caches in 210 countries.
The rules are simple: take something from the cache, leave something in the
cache of equal or greater value, and write about it in the logbook in the
cache and in the online log.
found it,” Kathleen Perkins yelled from under the evergreen. She crawled out
with the dark plastic jug, grinning with excitement. A bright green label on
the jug identified it as an ‘Official Geocache.”
“Opening a cache to see what inside is the best part is,” she said as she
settled down and twisted the lid. It seemed like Christmas morning, as she
reached inside and pulled out the ‘booty.” Among the Items were several
keychains, a small disposable camera, several foreign coins and a logbook.
Perkins went through the logbook to read what others had written and then
added his own comments; meanwhile, Kathleen traded one of her heart-shaped
keychains for one in the cache.
Perkins added a special treat to the cache:
Travel Bug. A Travel Bug is a track able Item that moves from place to
place, picking up stories along the way. It’s usually a dog tag attached to
a hitch hiker” or an Item that travels from place to place. Jeep 4x4 Travel
Bug Is a 2-Inch die-cast yellow Wrangler with an official Travel Bug tag
geocaches required bushwhacking. Serious route-finding or even extra
sleuthing to solve the location riddle. Small stashes, called microcaches,
lurk in urban locations, often placed in a Hide-a-Key-style disguise. ‘Town
caches can be especially well hidden,” Perkins said. “I heard of one
disguised as a birdhouse.”
high tech treasure hunt.” Perkins said. “All you need is a GPS receiver and
a sense of adventure.”