New Teen Trend: Geocaching

Shannon is an 18 year old from Wichita, KS. She enjoys poetry, airbrushing, drawing, and reading. She believes that language as well as art is one of the most colorful ways to express the self. It is painting the world with words.

Greetings Muggles

There is plenty of magic to be found all around us. However, wands, brooms, or time turners cannot be found amongst non-magical people like us. Those things are found in the world of witchcraft and wizardry. Instead of an acceptance letter to Hogwarts, I welcome you to the magical world of global positioning, where a new journey is just coordinates away. I am here to inform you muggles (non-geocachers) about a wondrous new teen trend! It is one that will take them places, teach them things, get them treasures, let them enjoy the outdoors as well as mild exercise, help them meet others like them, and have a blast participating in this activity known as geocaching.

How is geocaching pronounced?

It is pronounced geo-cashing. The name comes from the Latin root geo meaning earth related and the word cache meaning a secret hiding place.

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is a cross between a scavenger and a treasure hunt except an X does not mark the spot where the treasure is, the desired item is found by using a Global Positioning System (GPS).

How geocaching works.

A geocacher hides treasure in a secret container called a geocache. This geocache can be anywhere on this earth and the location is pinpointed with a GPS. There are over 1 million geocaches all over the world, including the Middle East. So even Osama Bin Laden could have a hard to find cache hidden somewhere and you would have never known it might have existed if it hadn’t been for GPS. Geocaching also involves the law of equivalent exchange. When an item is taken, something of equal or greater value is put back in its place.

What does a geocache typically contain?

The traditional geocache usually contains a logbook and a small treasure. There are even other types of geocaches out there. Some that leads you to other caches by clues, some which require you to solve puzzles, and some that have multiple containers.

What shouldn’t go in the cache?

Do not put food, drugs, knives, explosives, or other bad things of this sort. Geocache containers are not trash bins or an unknown hiding spots for bad substances. People will be able to find whatever is put into the cache.

Where do teens geocache?

Some teens may choose a geocache in difficult area with steep cliffs or other hazards while others may pick an easier one in a quiet area such as a park. It really depends on the sense of adventure as to where to go. I would recommend easy terrains for beginners. But no matter the location, walking is beneficial to anyone’s health.

How is geocaching beneficial to teenagers?

Teenagers get to stay current with some of the latest global positioning technology. Geocaching is beneficial to teenagers because this sport provides a chance for the teen to learn various lessons involving the clues on some of the caches. They could learn about geography, math, literature, and various other things. It depends on what the cache contains.

Safety Tips

  1. Going with someone is always safer than going alone.
  2. Pay attention to the surroundings.
  3. Bring a backpack with extra things just in case the GPS fails. (batteries, compass, map, etc…) Bringing water is also a good idea.

Before the adventure begins…

Please be mindful of the environment and pick up trash once in a while. Geocachers, believe it or not, clean up a lot of the environment. It would also be a good idea to log onto www.geocaching.com in order to sync the geocaching information to a GPS and to meet others who geocache as well. This site has so many people with so many of their own stories. So go forth muggles and make some of your own out there in the great outdoors.

 

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2 Responses to “New Teen Trend: Geocaching”

  1. sounds like fun
    June 21, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    that sounds like a lot of fun. Ill have to try it w/my kids!

  2. Kara Bonilla
    July 1, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Hey!
    My name is Kara Bonilla and I am interning at Groundspeak,Inc. this summer and I am currently working with their blog, Latitude 47, to write a post about teens and geocaching. Shannon, the author of this article, if you could please email me at kara@groundspeak.com so I could ask you some questions about being a teen and Geocaching, that would be awesome!
    Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
    Best,
    Kara Bonilla
    karabeee
    kara@groundspeak.com

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