Yet Another Reason I love my I-Phone – Geocaching

Sometimes called the “world’s largest treasure hunt”, geocaching is great outdoor activity in urban settings and natural settings alike. Participants, referred to as “geocachers”, use global positioning system (GPS) receivers or mobile devices with GPS (e.g., Smart phones) to seek out containers called geocaches (or caches) at specific locations/geographic coordinates all over the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook, a pen or pencil, and sometimes toys and other small trinkets. When a geocache is found, the geocacher signs the log and enters information about the geocache in the log and/or on-line. The geocacher can add or take a trinket from the geocache or simply log the find. According to geocaching.com there are millions of geocaches around the world waiting to be found. Very cool!!

Angelique and I became members of the worldwide community of geocachers during the Spring/Summer of 2015 after reading an article about popular summer activities in Bend, Oregon. After several successful geocaching outings in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and Presidio, we added geocaching to the list of activities we could spend time on when we travelled. By the end of 2015, we had tracked down geocaches in Bend, New York, Sedona, Flagstaff, and Hawaii and had found several travel bugs (geocache objects that are meant to moved from cache to cache, often with specific travel destinations or goals assigned by the person(s) who initially placed the object in the cache). Geocaches containing travel bugs quickly became our favorite geocaches to track down.

We were completely hooked on geocaching by the Spring of 2016, but we didn’t really think to combine hiking and geocaching until the Summer of 2016 when we moved to Bend. From the get go we were amazed by the sheer number of geocaches hidden along or near hiking paths. There are literally thousands of geocaches hidden in the Deschutes National Forest and other wilderness areas near Bend, usually close enough to trails to make them attractive to the casual geocacher. We are so into the “backcountry” geocaches now that we often consult the Geocachly app before we leave the house to go hiking or while we are enroute to the trailhead. We also keep a Ziploc bag full of geocaching trinkets in our car to ensure we are prepared to go geocaching when the mood strikes us. Geocaching addicts? – guilty as charged.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this blog includes information about geocaches we discover as we complete the 100 hikes featured in Sullivan’s guidebook. Don’t worry fellow geocachers I am not going reveal the location of any of the geocaches we track down but I might rate the geocaches based on their contents and how well they hidden. Happy hunting everyone and remember to beware of muggles.

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