Red River is proud to be part of this “game of high-tech hide and seek”, an exciting outdoor adventure that is sweeping across the planet. What is Geochaching, you ask? It is an outdoor sporting activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to “hide and seek” containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook (with pen or pencil), where the geocacher enters the date they found it and highlights of their adventure. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (Tupperware or similar) or ammo boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Later on, they will post their adventure details, coordinates, and any other particulars of the locations on a “listing site” for other Geocachers to seek and find.
Geocaching shares many aspects with benchmarking, trigpointing, orienteering, treasure-hunting, letterboxing, and waymarking. Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica. After 10 years of activity, there are over 1.2 million active geocaches published on various websites devoted to the activity. Our tiny, but mighty town of Red River has nearly a dozen of these Geocaches and will be purchasing more GPS devices to use. Visitors to our town can come to the Community House to be educated on the dynamics of this adventure, as well as, actually going out on their own “hide and seek”.
A Geocoin: Typical cache “treasures” are not high in monetary value but may hold personal value to the finder. Aside from the logbook, common cache contents are unusual coins or currency, small toys, ornamental buttons, CDs, or books. Also common are objects that are moved from cache to cache called “hitchhikers”, such as Travel Bugs or Geocoins, whose travels may be logged and followed online. Cachers who initially place a Travel Bug or Geocoin often assign specific goals for their trackable items. Examples of goals are to be placed in a certain cache a long distance from home, or to travel to a certain country, or to travel faster and farther than other hitchhikers in a race. Higher value items are occasionally included in geocaches as a reward for the First to Find (called “FTF”), or in locations which are harder to reach. Dangerous or illegal items, weapons, and pornography are generally not allowed and are specifically against the rules of most geocache listing sites. What fun!-Deborah Kay Neumann Red River Miner Newspaper