By Greg Bartlett
A treasure hunt . . . to most people, it’s fascinating. Never mind that it’s not officially called a treasure hunt. Now it’s called geocaching. And it’s a little more precise since you’re using a GPS system to find the “treasure.” But the idea’s still the same: somewhere out there is the “treasure” you’re looking for, and now you have to find it.Geography students at a high school in Colorado are using geocaching to have fun and learn geography at the same time. Students use GPS tracking systems to find a box that contains a tracking device and a notebook. Once students find a box, they sign their names and move the tracking device, or “bug,” to a new location for someone else to find. A “bug” can go for miles and years in a geocaching “treasure” hunt. Whether the next finder of a “bug” is next years’ students or a hiking geocaching enthusiast, the “bugs” just keep moving.
High school students aren’t the only ones interested in “treasure” hunting. In Utah, a geocaching “treasure” hunt which takes place on historical sites has gained a lot of popularity. As soon as the geocaching hunt is announced, people begin making plans to come, bringing their GPS locator so that they can find the planted “bugs.” The hunt itself is reward enough for most people, but it is also a family activity, so even if the hunters don’t find anything, they get to spend a fun day with their family “treasure” hunting.
GPS tracking systems can be used for a fun activity which can involve the whole family. Young children, teenagers, adults, and grandparents can all participate and enjoy the excitement of “treasure” hunting. It’s a safe and fun activity which can also be very educational by teaching people how to use navigational skills.
Geocaching can also be a great activity with friends or can be a way to make new friends. For instance, some of the students from the high school in Colorado are planning to plant a couple of “bugs” when they make a school trip to Italy and Greece. The progress of the “bugs” can be followed on a website, where each new finder will tell where the “bug” was found and where to look for its new location.
Whether you’re looking for a fun activity for the family or a new hobby to do by yourself, you should consider geocaching. All you need is a GPS locator, something to hunt, and a desire to find your “treasure.”