It’s funny how people throw around regionalisms just assuming everyone knows what we mean. Now, I’m not sure if the word “geocaching” would be considered a true regionalism or not, but I do know that newcomers to our area from some other parts of the country don’t have a clue what it means.
Geocaching is sort of like a treasure hunt. Someone hides a container with items inside – that’s the cache – and then records the location with a GPS. The GPS coordinates are then published at geocaching.com with a description of what’s in the cache. Then, other folks go out and hunt for it.
The “geo” in geocaching relates somewhat to the fact that the hunt takes place outdoors. Typical hiding places include inside logs, under other objects – anywhere really.
When you find the cache you’ll sign the enclosed logbook and, if you take the “swag,” you’re expected to leave something in exchange.
What is in the Cache?
Anything and everything. You may find foreign coins, matchbox or Hot Wheels cars, rubber ducks, calculators, small locks, deck of playing cards, pens, golf balls, etc.
More important is what shouldn’t be left in a cache and that’s anything that is offensive, dangerous, illegal, or perishable.
Some of the municipalities in the Twin Cities have rules for geocaching in their parks. For instance, The City of Blaine prohibits burying the cache and insists that the cache be placed at least 25 feet from electrical boxes. They have a list of geocaching rules on their website.
When you find a cache, take a mental picture of where and how it was placed so that you can put it back exactly as you found it.
Don’t forget to sign the logbook and, if you take something, leave something.
If you still have questions about geocaching, visit Geocaching.com to learn more.