Geocaching: A New Age Treasure Hunt

By KBJR News 1

August 6, 2010 Updated Jun 30, 2010 at 5:17 AM CDT

The technology enhanced treasure hunt leads searchers to find hidden trinkets that they can log, trade, and then track on the Internet.

This little firefighter is originally from Anchorage, Alaska and was found by geocach enthusiast Clint Ericson of North Pole Alaska.

"It's a good way to get the kids out of the house and good way to exercise and yeah you go to some spots you may not have known about that aren't on any map or in a book," said Ericson.

In the world of Geocaching, individual caches are set up across the globe. Players are able to find them by plugging in coordinates to a GPS device.

Following the compass on the GPS will bring you to the area where the cache is, but finding it is up to you.

"Sometimes they're as obvious as a box just sitting in the middle of the woods, and sometimes they're kind of camouflaged to look like a piece of wood," said Ericson.

Camouflaged caches are saved for the hardest level of geocaching.
But for those who visit the Soudan Underground Mine State Park their geocaches will be much easier to find.

"Back during the Minnesota Sesquicentennial the state park system started an official geocache system here," said James Pointer of the Soudan Underground Mine State Park.

At the Geocaching 101 class, participants learn the basics of using coordinates in order to find a cache set out by state park employees like Pointer.

Those who attend Geocaching 101 don't just get to learn how to use the GPS. After entering in their coordinates they then strap on their hiking boots to find their own.

"There are also 25 different state parks that are called demo parks and that's where we'll have GPS units that we we'll check out for free," said Pointer.

The state park system is currently running the "Critter Cache" program.
And with prizes for the most finds, geocaching is sure to be a favorite with visitors throughout the summer.

Geocaching 101 takes place tonight at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park from 6 until 8.

The next Gecaching class will be held August 10th.