Geocaching Provides a Free Outdoor Activity for People of All Ages
Geocaching is an outdoor activity involving hiding and discovering containers with various items hidden inside of them.
According to its official website, geocaching.com, people use a GPS or app to guide them to containers that others in their community have hidden. When a person finds a geocache, there is always a logbook inside to sign, and there can be small items that can be traded for others of equal or greater value.
The origin and history of geocaching is also documented on geocaching.com. Geocaching.com, the central hub for the activity, was created by Jeremy Irish and Mike Teague to make the information for finding caches more accessible and appealing to a greater audience. The site opened to the public on Sept. 2, 2000, with 75 caches available to find.
Since then, the activity has only grown.
Geocaching has become increasingly popular, as more than three million participants have joined the community, with over 2.8 million geocaches available to be found across over 180 different countries, according to geocaching.com.
Geocaches are distinguished by their difficulty in all areas of the world. According to geocaching.com, geocaches are ranked from one (easiest) to five (hardest), allowing participants to find the right difficulty when setting out to find a cache.
These caches can be discovered by anyone.
Emily Cavin (11), a student at WHS, has participated in geocaching since discovering the activity with her mother in ninth grade. Cavin said geocaching appealed to her because, “the activity seemed like a great way to explore and go outside without spending any money.”
A research study conducted by the Center for Community Health Development at Texas A&M University found geocaching as encouraging of a healthy lifestyle. The study, “Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research,” found that geocaching participants averaged just under the CDC’s weekly recommended physical activity from geocaching alone.
Cavin recommends geocaching to interested students and adults, although added that the activity takes patience and a respect for caches created and added to by others.