Do I have your attention now? Of course I do. All throughout history, humans have been intrigued, motivated and captivated by the notion of treasure, from world explorers to small children. I mean, who doesn’t like that little rush of glee when finding a thing? Or the adventure preceding the find? I mean people have taken over entire landmasses in the name of stuff. Nowadays, militaries and international law make landmass domination pretty difficult, leaving people with the glorious pastime of Geocaching.
Geocaching has been around almost since the dawn of decent handheld GPS systems. Of course, a bored dude by the name of Dave Ulmer (a member of the league of GPS enthusiasts) decided that he was going to test the accuracy of GPSs by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called it “The Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted his brilliance online in an internet GPS users’ group so his other league buddies could find it. The rules were few and blessedly simple, and garnered a lot of attention. By a lot, I mean millions of people. Forget American. This was going global.
In 2000, the name was shortened and the meaning widened by Matt Stum, who dubbed it Geocaching, relieving people everywhere. Thirteen years later, there are over two million hidden worldwide. Two million.
Even though the first one was hidden in the woods, people branched out and hid them in urban locations, opening the door for people like me to enjoy this incredible hobby. Some are quick and simple, while others are an all-day adventure. We’ve found them while lunching, while on the way home from the doctor, in the park near our house… everywhere is possible. All you need is a smartphone or a GPS and you’re off. More information can be found here.
Go forth, brave explorer, and keep smiling!