ABOUT…Geocaching

April 1, 2013 | By More

Human beings are naturally curious and most of us have an inherent wanderlust too. We want to know what’s over the hill or around the bend. When the urge to explore meets the drive to achieve the results can be astonishing, even world changing.

Exploring and achieving is responsible for the discovery of different places, useful resources, and history changing ideas. Give credit to Leif Erickson, Christopher Columbus, or, even possibly, some unknown explorer, but the discovery of the New World altered the course of everyone and everything on Earth. And, it all started with the question: What lies over the horizon?

From there, our thirst for knowledge and zeal for new discoveries has led us to the depths of the ocean and the vastness of space. This thirst shows no signs of being quenched any time soon. It’s part of who we are.

You can tap into your explorer spirit too, but it doesn’t have to be so dramatic. You can simply plug in some coordinates, go find a tin box with a some kind of doodad in it, and probably get the same feelings of satisfaction that Magellan experienced. Well, maybe not the same feeling, but you will feed the need to explore.

Geocaching is something that I have not yet tried, so all of this talk about satisfaction and such is pure speculation when it comes to doodad filled tin boxes. But, I do have quite a bit of experience with a topographical map and a compass, traipsing through the woods looking for specific places I want to visit. Navigating to your chosen destination with a simple tool is something I take pride in, so I can relate. While the GPS seems a little like cheating to me, I know that a map and compass aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. The blending of an ancient skill with new technology holds a lot of appeal for many, especially the younger generation and getting kids outside is one of the hallmarks of geocaching.

I know we’ve all heard the raucous quibbling about how anyone born before 1990 never had to be told to go outside and play. And, those quibbles are true. It was true around the part of Pope County where I grew up anyway. In fact, I remember several times we were told to “get in here for supper” under threat of a switch cut from the peach tree. If a GPS will get the kids outside with all of today’s other distractions, then more power to it.

Many of us oldschoolers sneer our noses at anything beyond what we grew up with no matter what good it can do. Heck, I figure Leif Erickson’s dad snorted in disgust at the thought of his son using one of those new fangled contraptions called a lodestone compass.

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