Modern-day treasure hunt makes an ideal Guam activity

by Bruce Bateman
Stripes Guam

Geocaching, pronounced GEE’-0-CASH-ING, is a high-tech, low-impact craze spreading all around the world. There are over 2 million “caches” in countries all over the world and now over 6 million people actively following the sport.

Basically, it is like a treasure hunt – small waterproof capsules are hidden above ground in interesting places and the location carefully marked with a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) device. That information, along with some hints on how to find the spot is uploaded by the geocacher to www.geocaching.com. Then it’s up to you to go out and find it by going to that same website, picking the cache(s) you want to find and downloading the info. Your cell phone does the rest.

Open up that capsule and you will find a small log book so you can record your name and let other geocachers know you have been there and found it. There are also some prizes or souvenirs in some of them. The rule is, if you take something from a cache capsule, you are supposed to leave something for someone else to take later.

There are about 30 such caches located on Saipan and some on Rota and Tinian, too. There are a few hundred on Guam, according to guamgeocachers.com.

Do you have to have fancy equipment? No you don’t. You need walking shoes and a cell phone. That’s it.  You can get a dedicated handheld GPS device later if you want to but you can down load free apps to your cell phone right now and be hunting caches in a matter of minutes.

This is a family sport if you want it to be. You can take the wife and kids along. You can bring your friends along. You can pack a light lunch and spend many pleasurable hours walking and exploring the beautiful backwoods scenery or you can just take 30 minutes from your vacation schedule and find caches located close to, or right in, the tourist and shopping district.

Warning: This can be addictive! It is so much fun and so easy to do that you may just find yourself doing it more and more. You can, with just a little effort, begin to hide caches yourself. That can be as much fun as finding them.

To get started just go to the website and everything you need can be found right there. It’s easy, it’s fun and you probably have a cell phone in your pocket right now. Go out and have some fun with it for a change. You’ll be glad you did.

Bruce Bateman lives on Saipan Island in the western tropical Pacific. He writes when the moon is full and mood strikes. Your comments are welcome at bbateman@pticom.com or on Facebook at:  www.facebook.com/bruce.bateman.5

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