Active Travels: Try Geocaching
By Steve Jermanok
Geocachers savor the opportunity to get lost in the woods, but never get too disoriented because they always carry a Garmin GPS system that will direct them to the exact spot they need to find. The sport is a modern-day treasure hunt where you locate objects in a film canister, coffee can, or other containers hidden by geocachers. After carefully camouflaging the prize under a tree or squeezed into a rock, the person hiding the cache sends the coordinates to the website, geocaching.com, and folks start their search. The sport originated outside of Portland, Oregon, in 2000 when a man posted that first cache on a website, but it has its roots in orienteering and letterboxing. For families, geocaching is a great way to go on a hike and find treasure. Inside every cache is some sort of trinket, from a marble to a toy car to a sticker. The best part about the sport is not merely checking off another cache, but finding sites that no guide book has ever described, spots locals have cherished for decades and are now happy to introduce to strangers. They include hidden waterfalls, caves with hieroglyphics, and lonely mountain peaks with no other people.
Steve Jermanok As a columnist for National Geographic Adventure, adventure travel expert at Budget Travel, and regular contributor on outdoor recreation for Outside, Men’s Journal, Health, and Sierra, Steve Jermanok has written more than 1,000 articles on the outdoors. He’s also authored or co-authored 11 books, including Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England and Men’s Journal’s The Great Life. His latest book is Go Now! Put Your Life on Pause and See the World, due out late 2010. He’s currently an adventure travel expert at Away.com and blogs daily at Active Travels.