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Geocaching: Treasure hunting in a modern world

By C.J. CASTILLO
May 15, 2009 at 12:15 a.m.
Updated May 16, 2009 at 12:16 a.m.


I have always wanted to try geocaching ever since I first heard about it years ago. I mean, who doesn't like a good treasure hunt every now and then?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt where you search for "caches" anywhere in the world with the assistance of a GPS device. The first documented geocache was hidden in May 2000 in Oregon. Since that time, geocaching has been embraced by so many that thousands of geocaches can be found all over the world.

Once you find a cache, the protocol is to take objects from the cache as long as you leave something of equal or higher value in its place for the next geocacher. The cache also contains a logbook where information about the owner of the cache and visitors can leave notes.

Geocaching is a fun activity for all ages, and is a great learning opportunity for children. It also gives us all the chance to learn more about our surroundings, not to mention the opportunity to get some exercise.

If you have a GPS device, depending on the model, you can download and track caches to your device. Just this week the Geomate.jr was announced, it is a kid-friendly GPS device and is pre-loaded with thousands of cache coordinates located in the U.S. In addition, there are various geocaching applications available for use on GPS-enabled mobile phones.

A great resource is the Web site GeoCaching.com, a site where you can look up geocaches by location, record your geocaches, participate in forum discussions, and learn everything you wanted to know about geocaching.

If you hear about a crazy woman in high heels, with a backpack, videocam, and an iPhone wandering around downtown Victoria, that's probably just me on my geocache hunt, so no need to call the cops on me... again.

CJ Castillo is the interactivity editor for the Victoria Advocate. Questions about all things tech can be e-mailed to cjcastillo@vicad.com or sent care of Victoria Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.

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