Perhaps you remember orienteering, trying to find your way with just a map and a compass. Or maybe you’ve tried letterboxing, where you decipher online clues to find boxes hidden out in the real world.
It’s time to take those hobbies into the 21st century—and start geocaching. With geocaching, people use GPS devices to do the work—that is, to track down little treasures (called caches) in public places. The search may take you over the river and through the woods, and the cache container might be expertly camouflaged. But, when you find it, you’ll feel a sense of pride as you get to sign the cache’s logbook. Some containers even conceal small prizes that you can take home (if you leave a prize for the next seeker).
Brian Lee started geocaching when he lived in upstate New York; he heard about it from friends. “It led me to explore my surroundings in a different way, giving me that extra motivation to go outside and be active,” he says. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”
When his office transferred him to White Plains for a year, “geocaching once again proved itself to be a valuable hobby for getting to know the area I lived in that I’d never known before.” Though he’s been transferred again to Stamford, Connecticut, he’s still active in the community group he helped found, Lower Hudson Valley Geocachers (lohudgc.forummotion.com), which runs seasonal events throughout the year.
“Westchester has the most diverse scenic landscape out of any other county in the area,” he says. “There is so much history to experience there.”
Sound good? Grab your GPS and find the cache closest to you at geocaching.com.