Intro to geocaching is intro to adventure 0
Andy Gray loves geocaching. He didn't understand what it was a few years ago but then his daughter, a cacher, took him out for his first adventure and he was hooked.
Now he wants to share the love.
Gray is offering a free workshop on May 6 for anyone and everyone who wants to learn how to participate in this global phenomenon. All treasure hunters and adventurers welcome.
Geocaching is a real-world outdoor treasure hunting game. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using GPS-enabled devices and then share their experiences online. The game is played through three components: browse, discover and share.
First cachers browse online to find directions to caches that are near where they want to explore. Then the hunt begins and as the cacher is looking for the treasure, there is the resulting discovery of being outdoors and all that entails. Once the cache is found, everyone is encouraged to share their story online.
On May 6 Gray is going to not only teach the newbies how to play the game but he's also been out hiding new caches for the event.
"It's a lot of fun," Gray says. "It gets people active and you have to walk and it's a good way to get out and do something."
Once you locate the cache you're searching for you might find some trinket inside or better yet- a travel bug.
"Travel bugs are great," Gray says. "You get a dog tag and engrave a serial number on it and you attach it to something and you put it in the cache. When someone finds it they record it and then they move it to another cache and it's all posted on a web page and the owner gets an email saying where the item has gone."
Gray's daughter left a travel bug in Cardiff and it's travelled over 20,000 kilometres to the North West Territories, Cuba, England and now Utah.
Gray has done the same thing but with coins and of the two he has put into circulation one was lost in Quebec and one has traveled to the top of a mountain in BC and is now in Washington State.
Gray is excited to talk about the bugs and even the caches that have eluded him.
"There are quite a few and they're very creative," he says. "You get better as you do this but you still get stumped."
The community of cachers is tight and each has their own name. Gray goes by Partsman 41.
"I used to work in auto parts," he laughs. "The 41 is how old I tell people I am but it's really my year of birth."
Gray suggests people sign-up early for the workshop that is being hosted by Community Futures as space is limited. The event runs from 9:30 to 2pm at the CFDC in Bancroft and lunch and loaner GPS units will be supplied.
Once people know how to play the game the possibilities are endless with many caches in and around Bancroft and in Wilberforce, the official geocaching capital of Canada.