Monday, October 27th, 2008

Raiders of the Lost Tupperware

Last weekend was perfectly uneventful. For the first time in what seemed like two months, Susan and I had absolutely nothing planned. Sure, we celebrated our fifth anniversary on Saturday with a nice dinner in Oak Brook, but that was about it. The hardest I had to work all weekend was mowing the lawn. Even that was just to get a head start on the falling leaves. The Chicago Bears had a bye week, so I didn't even need to sit in front of the television and watch them.

On Sunday morning, I threw some new batteries into my hand-held GPSr and journeyed out for a morning of Geocaching. Geo-what? Geocaching is basically a large online scavenger hunt. The goal of geocaching is to find hidden objects, referred to as caches, which contain a log to sign and tradable objects. Caches are typically Tupperware containers, magnetic key holders, and 35mm film canisters. Some are extremely creative. Some caches are straight forward, while others might require you to solve a puzzle, or uncover multiple stages, in order to make the find. Moobi introduced me to the hobby a few years ago.

How does this works? It's easy enough. If you visit the Geocaching website, you can search by zip code and pull up a listing of nearby caches. You'll be surprised how many of these are hidden within your neighborhood. Of course that depends how urban or remote you are. Each description will give you coordinates for the location of the cache. Oftentimes, the coordinates simply direct you to a clue required to find the final location.

If you're interested, here's my profile.

Geocaching is a great way to get out of the house and get some exercise. It's a great way to log some miles walking or biking. It's also a great opportunity to visit some unique sites around your hometown. Do you travel a lot for work? It's also a great chance to get out of your hotel room and explore some new cities.

I've included a map of some the geocaches just south of my house. This proves that they are everywhere.



Tags:  Geocaching
13 Comments
ChinaCalling
What a cool concept! I've never heard of this! I'm going to check into it. What do you do with the stuff when you find it? keep it or leave it.
ChinaCalling   Monday, October 27, 2008
gotshoo
Bill, as you already know, I am a fellow geocacher. I've only found about a dozen or so caches, but I can tell you it's a great time. It's like a scavenger hunt on a global scale.

This summer I found a cache stored in an old army medical supply box stuffed inside a rotting tree. The cache had toys, cds, pencils, marbles... I was like a kid in a candy store.

I think the next time I go out, I am going to have to drop some Humzoo stickers in a cache.
shoo   Monday, October 27, 2008
reera
I saw a tv program about this some time ago but have never known anyone who has actually done it. Sounds like a great activity for families-too. Please tel us what you find!
dannie   Monday, October 27, 2008
billpearch
ChinaCalling, you are free to leave or take whatever you find. in my blog I didn't mention Travel Bugs. Travel Bugs are trackable items. Groundspeak, Geocaching.com's parent company, sells tags with a code to track these items. Some people will have items that race each other. Once I saw a race between a few McDonald's Happy Meal toys. The goal was to be the first to travel from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Here is link to the Travel Bug FAQ page: http://tinyurl.com/bby4y
Bill Pearch   Monday, October 27, 2008
justmeg
Oh - I want to do this badly - but just don't have the time - I keep looking at GPS devices and everytime I do, I realize I just don't have the time.
justmeg   Monday, October 27, 2008
ben
Sweet deal...I've always wanted to do this.
Ben H   Monday, October 27, 2008
billpearch
If some of the Springfield folks want to team up some day, maybe we could hit the Bloomington/Normal area. That's an easy trip for me.
Bill Pearch   Monday, October 27, 2008
moobi
This could be cool. I'm in B/N and Bill and I used to geocache here when he'd come to visit. Looks like it's been a couple years since I was out. There're probably lots of great new ones around now. This is my profile: http://www.geocaching.com/profile/?guid=de03bec5-1531-4...
Mark Almighty   Tuesday, October 28, 2008
ozthegreat
We've also been doing this for a couple of years. My kids and my Mom mostly and they love it.
ozthegreat   Tuesday, October 28, 2008
lgrant
No one ever said--or maybe I missed it. What do you do with the finds? Just put them back and maybe add to them?
LGrant   Tuesday, October 28, 2008
gotshoo
@Lgrant - Usually you sign a log, then take an item and leave an item in its place.
shoo   Tuesday, October 28, 2008
lgrant
Sweet. What do you do with the items then? Take them to another container? Or use them? BTW, love the name of the blog--very clever!!

Kinda reminds me of the logs that used to be kept in the AT shelters on the Appalachian Trail. I always enjoyed reading about people who passed that way. Sounds very similar except there is a game involved in finding them and things instead of words found. :) Do people ever leave notes or anything?
LGrant   Tuesday, October 28, 2008
moobi
I purchased several of a particular item that I consider my "signature". It's an 8-sided die with the cardinal and ordinal compass points on it. I leave that and take an item. I've got a pretty good collection of them. Once in awhile I'll leave one in another cache, but I always intended to create a new cache from the ones I held onto. I guess I should actually follow through on that. Someday.
Mark Almighty   Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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