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Geocaching 'catching on' as fun activity for winter

Staff writer

Geocaching is mainly thought of as an activity for warm weather, but winter brings new opportunities and challenges to the treasure hunt, Hillsboro geocacher Bob Woelk said.

“In a lot of ways geocaching is easier in the winter,” he said. “You don’t have all the weeds, bugs or ticks. I just thought about that, so really winter’s not a bad time to do geocaching. You just layer up.”

Woelk doesn’t go out as often during winter months, but said it’s there are still days where the weather is nice enough to go.

“I wouldn’t go if there’s a blizzard outside, but as long as it’s reasonable then I can manage for most of the winter,” he said

Making sure to stay hydrated and avoiding sunburn are still important in winter, Woelk said.

Geocaching stations have a book for people to log their names, a writing utensil, and container to house them.

Regardless of conditions, Woelk said it’s important to find a container that can handle all weather without deteriorating.

“If that container doesn’t hold up then the paper is going to be destroyed, and whatever pencil or writing utensil is going to be destroyed,” he said. “That’s why you want one that’s going to hold up.”

In addition to finding the proper supplies, it’s important to be aware of the typical places they might be found, Woelk said.

“Oddly, it means we do less geocaching because we’re pulling a camper,” he said. “We can’t go to these small towns and park at cemeteries. Honestly, a lot of them are in tight spaces.”

While there are several geocaching stations around Marion County, the lack of a community group can make the hunt difficult, Woelk said.

“There’s nothing organized,” he said. “Of people I’ve talked to, there aren’t a lot of people who do it as a regular hobby.”

Records of the boxes are kept online and coordinates can be found using GPS.

While that provides an approximate location within 50 feet, participants still need to track down a cache, Woelk said.

“You still have to search,” he said. “It’s not like it’s going to pinpoint exactly where it is.”

One of particular interest for Woelk is in southeastern Marion County near Cedar Point, on a rural road where people can stop for a drink out of a spring

“The thing that’s most attractive for my wife and I is the idea of getting into these little, out-of-the-way places in Kansas that we otherwise wouldn’t discover,” he said. “It’s some really cool stuff. These are ghost towns, a lot of these places.”

Last modified Feb. 27, 2020

 

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