If you are into GPS tracking and treasure hunts, then geocaching is the game for you. Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt that consists of using GPS technology to find geocache vessels-—small containers filled with tiny treasures and trinkets. The golden standard of geocaching is a “take one, leave one” policy. A navigator will typically trade a personal treasure for one from the box.
Geocaching.com lays out these simple steps to get started: “1. Register for a free Basic Membership. 2. Visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page. 3. Enter your postal code and click “search” 4. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name. 5. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS device. 6. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache. 7. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.” Among the variety of knickknacks, each cache box usually contains geocoins—signature tokens with tracking IDs, allowing for visibility of the coins’ journeys from one geocacher to the next.
Corvallis is home to over 300 geocaching hotspots, most of which have been rated with an easy difficulty level, allowing beginners an enjoyable first experience. A geocacher can easily find coordinates to cache locations by logging on and searching nearby maps. Each pinpointed cache location is accompanied by GPS coordinates, terrain and difficulty ratings, and a tally of how many people marked the cache as a favorite.
“Geocaching is incredible. You find gifts that have been passed down. It’s history at its finest,” agreed geocachers Lyric Weis and Ian Rondeau, in a review of their fifth geocaching mission in Corvallis. “It is crazy easy if you have a smartphone.” Multiple geocaching websites boast GPS navigation as allowing accessibility to beginners.
While most public places are fair game for geocachers, it is important to note the use of cemeteries is generally frowned upon. As one cemetery employee has stated, “The cemetery is for grieving and peace, not for a treasure hunt.”
By Jamie Asunsolo