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Geocaching is modern treasure hunt with GPS

Staff writer

While it may not seem like it, Marion County is full of hidden treasure.

Geocaching, the hobby of creating “caches” and hiding them in nature, began in 2000 in Oregon and has spread across the world. Each geocache gives away its geographical coordinates within perhaps several hundred feet and occasionally a cipher or other hint from the hider. The vagueness of clues hasn’t stopped three million active geocaches from being found by the roughly seven million geocachers worldwide.

Caches tracked by geocaching.com contain marbles, coins, and other trinkets as well as a log to track who has found the cache.

Marion County has had geocaches since 2003, with many of them at Marion Reservoir. Fifty-one are within 10 miles of Marion. Eight were hidden by David Harrison, known online as Lightn1501, who has been geocaching since 2016.

“My sister and brother-in-law told me about geocaching several times,” Harrison said, “but it wasn’t until actually going out with them and finding a few that I got hooked.”

Harrison does geocaching with his wife, grandchildren, and the pet “geodog”. He has no one favorite geocache in the area but prefers finding caches in nature as opposed to historical spots.

“Being a favorite cache can come from many things,” he said, “a special location, a unique cache itself, a challenging cache to find, or just the experience of getting it.”

Geocaching.com recommends finding at least 20 geocaches before creating your own.

“I think the county has a lot of unique areas that would be great for new caches,” he said. “We have been to places that we never knew existed and seen things that we would have never seen if it wasn’t for geocaching.”

Last modified June 30, 2021

 

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