Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache anywhere in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the coordinates online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache. The first cache was placed by Dave Ulmer near Portland, Oregon on May 3rd, 2000. Three days later, two people who had read about the cache on the sci.geo.satellite-nav newsgroup found it and entered their names in its log: geocaching was born!

If a trinket in the cache strikes your fancy, you can take it--provided you leave another goodie in its place. Caches also contain a log book of some sort so that you can record your thoughts and scribble a note for future visitors.Getting there is half the fun. Knowing that a cache is, for example, 11.2 miles northwest of you doesn't do you much good if there's a swamp, a forest or something else in your way. You need to find your way around. Of course, if you brought a kayak with you, a swamp might not be a barrier. (Crossing private property without the owner's permission is a big geocaching no-no!) You will need a GPS receiver and those start out at about US$100 (and can go quite a bit higher), but besides that it's free.This is an adventure that is fun for the whole family.

Take the same precautions you'd use if you were going on a hike. Tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return. Bring maps, water, sunscreen, and maybe a cell phone if you have one. Here’s a hint: there are dozens in the County. Try looking in Oscar Scherer,  near Sharkeys in Venice, a really tough one in Myakka State Park, and that's as much as we're sayin'. Good luck!

Check It Out!

Environeers Outfitter’s
John or Ann Krotec
5373 Fruitville Road
Sarasota Florida
Phone: 941-371-6208

John knows survival and he knows this area. Periodically, he coordinates a survival school in our area. Contact him for more info. Don’t call or email. Go to the store. They have everything for camping, climbing, heat, cold, rain, desert and they have done it all before. It’s worth a trip just to see the pictures and talk to the Krotecks because these people know the outdoors. They also offer orienteering courses, overnight local backpacking trips, and international climbing and trekking trips (South America).

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