Geocaching In State College: A Primer
Do you think scavenger hunts are totally rad? Do you get a little too excited when you finally crack a hard riddle? Do you secretly wish you could live every day like Nicolas Cage in National Treasure?
Well, I have got the hobby for you.
It’s called geocaching. Basically, geocaching is a modernized version of a treasure hunt. Using your phone or GPS, you navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates. Once you arrive at your destination, the ultimate scavenger hunt begins. Often using cryptic clues provided by the geocache’s owner, you have to search the area to find the cache. Typically, the cache is a camouflaged box of some sort. Once you uncover the box, the real fun begins. Most caches operate under an exchange system. There’s usually a bag of cool shit in the cache, for lack of a better term. You can sift through the bag, and pick out a cool little prize from your adventure. However, the catch is that you have to put something cool back in the cache. Pass it forward, you know? Next, you write a little note about your findings in the cache’s logbook (usually just a notebook). Finally, you return the geocache to its original location for other geocachers to discover.
Geocaching is a popular activity all over the world. But lucky for us, the caching scene in State College is pretty hopping. Here’s a map of all of the geocaching sites around here, courtesy of geocaching.com:
Yesterday, I finally got to cache in State College. My trusty sidekick photographer, Sean Gregory, and I set out with our phones and my slightly warped sense of direction to see what we could find.
*Disclaimer: To respect the geocaching community of State College, I’m not going to post about the exact directions or locations of these caches. If you really want to find them, try geocaching yourself! It’s fun, I promise!
Geocache 1: Tucked Away Treasures In The Purposeful Rain Gardens
Sean and I started out our quest with this cache. According to the Intro to Geocaching app I downloaded, this one wasn’t too difficult to find. We figured we would ease ourselves into the hobby. This cache is quite literally hidden in plain site. I’ve walked past the location dozens of times without realizing there was a little treasure trove right in front of me! This cache was one of the smallest I’ve ever seen, as it was just a magnetic key holder. Unfortunately, this cache didn’t have any fun trinkets to exchange. But it did house a slightly damp log!
Geocache 2: By George!
This cache was totally different than the first one Sean and I visited. First of all, it was indoors. That meant there were a lot more people around to give us weird looks (but the haters gonna hate). On top of that, this geocache was multistep. We were given a set of clues at each location we arrived at and yes, the number of steps we had to go through made this cache slightly more difficult. But it was worth it. When we finally found the box, it was filled with such cool stuff. The little trinkets that were up for swapping included everything from vintage Happy Meal toys to slap bracelets to nifty key chains. This geocache was relatively old, because I found entries in the logbook dating back to 2005 (ancient history, right?!). After I logged our experience in the logbook, I opted to take a key chain made from a one-cent Euro. In its place, I left an English pound. Apparently, I was all about the foreign currency today.
Are you intrigued yet? Well, grab some dumb trinkets, a pen, and your phone! The geocaches of State College await!