Geocaching in Michigan

Geocaching is a fun activity that more and more people are trying. Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.

In this article our Pure Michigan geocaching expert, Dean Combs, gives us more info on this popular sport. In his previous Geocaching article, he wrote about some of cachings basic tenets. He’ll go a little deeper into who the people are that participate and why.

We know that geocaching is good exercise, particularly when caching in the countryside; plus the mental challenge of thinking like the person that placed the cache that make the mind and body work together to solve the puzzle. There are different cache sizes, from nano size to 5 gallon buckets. Most of the traditional size caches use a small four lock container, coffee creamer containers, ground coffee containers, etc. These are usually wrapped in camo tape to help conceal their location. There are specifically manufactured containers available. Creativity in cache containers is one of the fun parts of caching, such as hollowing out a log and inserting the actual cache in the opening.

One cache I found was a log cut out to hold a container. The cache in the photo is the “Diver’s Cross.” It was placed in Little Traverse Bay bottom during the winter. You had to use your GPS to obtain location and cut a hole in the ice to take a picture to validate your find. Imagination has no limits.

As a for instance, someone started a “Liars Cache” to see who could come up with the biggest story about finding the cache. Catchers can sure do some prevaricating, PC word for lying.

There are groups formed that sponsor geobashes, Mega Events, meet and greets during the year. One of the great features of cachers is, most are community and environmentally oriented. Their interest in improving and saving the environment is foremost. They have organized CITO (Cache In Trash Out), a program that while out caching, trash is picked up and placed in the proper facility. Some like my group are using the Adopt a Highway Program as a piece of our CITO plan. In addition to working with MDOT on the Adopt a Highway, there are other programs that involve cleaning up illegal dump sites on state forest lands.

As a hobby, sport, or just plain fun, geocaching is made for all ages. Michigan has an abundance of rivers and lakes, where caches have been placed. I understand downstate, in the Portage Lake chain, a series of caches have been placed that are accessible by kayak or canoe. What could be more rewarding than combining boating and geocaching in Michigan, on a nice summer day? There are many undiscovered treasures in Michigan. I have just completed a slide movie presentation for our group. The pictures they have given me are fantastic and provide an insight that there are many places to be discovered in Michigan.

How many out there in the hinterlands of Michigan know where Fiborn is, and what was/is its purpose? Look it up, fascinating stuff. Who can tell me where the largest cave in Michigan is? For more information, click on www.geocaching.com or www.mi-geocaching.org. These are excellent sources for geocaching information, give 'em a looksee and get caching.

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