MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hidden deep in Minnesota’s woods and along its shorelines are thousands of hidden treasures called geocaches.
“Geocaching is like a treasure hunt. It’s a really nice way to enhance a hike,” said Jeff Brekke, a geocacher.
According to Geocashing.com, geocaching is an outdoor treasure-hunting game in which people locate hidden containers called geocaches using GPS.
There are over 19,000 geocaches in Minnesota, and over 1.5 million in the United States.
You Can Geocache Too
Anyone can geocache, and it’s free to do. You log onto the website (Geocaching.com) and find geocaches near you. Then you type the coordinates into your GPS and start searching. If you don’t have a GPS, you can rent one from Minnesota State Parks for free, or download a GPS app on your smart phone.
The GPS will get you within 10 feet of the geocache. Then it’s up to you to find the treasure.
“I always tell my kids, you’ll want you look for something that’s out of place, or something unique,” geocacher Dave Runk said. “Check the base of a tree, or bushes.”
Some geocaches are small, like the size of a fingernail, but they can be as large as a garbage can.
Hidden with the geocache should be a log book. Geocachers are encouraged to write their names special geocaching name on the log with the date.
Some caches contain little treasures. You can take that treasure home with you, as long as you leave something of equal value. Examples of treasures are small toys, pens, coupons and geocoin.
The coins are left by geocachers, who can take them home and log where they found them on Geocashing.com. Some coins have traveled thousands of miles.
Once hunters are done with their geocache, they need to put it back the way they found it, so the next hunters can find the treasure.
The City of Woodbury is hosting a “Geocaching Basics” event on September 20. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is also holding beginner events in September, October and February.