News Releases

Geocaching merges technology and adventure

As I See It

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Media contact: Chairman Rodney Barreto

Are your kids transfixed by the computer?  Are technical gadgets always on your family's gift list? If so, read on to learn about "geocaching," a fun way for your family to use technology to explore the outdoors.

A combination of a treasure hunt and orienteering, geocaching leads an explorer to a cache or hidden container. A traditional geocache includes the container, a small trinket (the "treasure") and a log book with a pen or pencil.

Geocachers are supposed to take the treasure, leave a memento in its place and then record the swap in the log book. Once back home, cachers can record their stories and load pictures on a website.  There are several activity variations to keep things interesting, including virtual, offset, puzzle, mystery and multi-stage caches, to name just a few.  Easy instructions on how to get started are on the official website, geocaching.com.

According to the website, there are more than 1 million active caches with an estimated 4 million to 5 million geocachers worldwide. More and more people travel to look for geocache sites, even if only a short distance away. Some incorporate the hunts into their vacations. Many parents look forward to getting away from busy distractions to enjoy the absorbing activity with their children.  Kids learn valuable skills that are useful in school and transferable to other recreational activities.  It is a great bonding time.

Youth group leaders should consider incorporating geocaching into their programs. Geocaching is one of the Boy Scouts of America's newest merit badges.

The hunt for caches may lead the seeker to parks, historical and cultural sites, along trails and to more remote landscapes such as the wildlife management areas (WMAs) overseen by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).  Here, explorers will experience the beautiful vistas and abundant wildlife for which Florida's WMAs are famous.

The FWC encourages geocaching on its properties because we believe it is one of many ways to entice a new generation to grow up in the outdoors.  We know that a nature connection is of vital importance to the health and well-being of children and families and to maintaining support for conservation of natural areas.

If you are placing a geocache on a WMA, we do require that you follow a few simple rules. You must place caches only in locations that will not lead to resource damage, user conflicts or safety hazards. The FWC requires a no-cost permit to place a cache.  With your help, responsibly placed sites will open opportunities for new and seasoned geocachers alike.

There are numerous clubs in Florida where you can meet new friends, learn skills, participate in events and engage in some friendly competition.  All it takes to get started is a GPS unit and a sense of adventure and curiosity.



FWC Facts:
Turkeys are powerful fliers, especially for short distances. Their wings are designed for short, fast flight, but by alternating gliding and flapping, they can cover a mile easily.

Learn More at AskFWC