By Zachary Rhine
News & Feature Editor
If someone asked one of their friends if they wanted to go searching for hidden containers in the middle of the wilderness using only a map and/or a GPS, they would most likely be called something along the lines of crazy or insane. However, if they asked their friend if they would like to go geocaching, they would probably receive a better response.
The scavenger hunts that would become known as geocaching started in the early 2000’s, when satellites became available to civilians instead of solely the military. Messages boards all over the world began filling with directions to hidden items for people to find.
A company known as Groundspeak caught wind of the growing phenomenon and decided to capitalize on it by creating a common website for geocachers to record their adventures and communicate with other geocachers.
At the core, geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt. Anyone who owns a GPS and spirit for adventure can participate in the hunt.
Hidden containers, also known as geocaches, all have certain latitude and longitude coordinates associated with them, and when plugged into a GPS can be located. Some are as straightforward as that, but others have puzzles and mysteries that need to be solved first in order to locate the caches.
The containers all possess a logbook for the geocacher to record that they were there. Some containers also have small trinkets and gift cards in them, placed there by other geocachers.
Many of Red Lion’s own teachers and students participate in geocaching. As of the end of September 2015, math teacher Dave Hively has found a total of 3534 geocaches. He’s found a cache in every state from New York to North Carolina, and the furthest he’s gone to find a geocache was Honduras.
He jokes that, “I use multimillion dollar technology to search for tupperware in the woods.”
Mr. Hively has made geocaching a family event, as his children also enjoy the experience. Hively has also incorporated his love for geocaching into his work. Every year he places a geocache for his AP Calculus classes to solve and find.
Mr. Hively also offered some tips for anyone interested in getting involved with geocaching. “Start with the free app on your phone and try to find the easy ones first. There are some standard, basic hides that everyone finds, and they set you up for finding harder hides down the road.” He went on to explain that there are different difficulties and terrain levels that are associated with each of the caches.
“It makes for a fun group activity,” continued Hively.