Geocaching-A High Tech Treasure Hunt

Spring Mill State Park will be hosting their 5th Annual Geocache Challenge on February 5, 2011 from 11 am to 4 pm.  This challenge is multi-staged and designed to be completed within two to three hours.  “Big Trees” is the theme (a subtle clue!) and the first finisher to complete the entire challenge wins a special prize.  Start your geocaching adventure at the Nature Nook inside the Spring Mill Inn to receive the coordinates for the first cache. This is a different way to tour the park and find places off the usual trails.  Take the challenge by yourself, with your family, or create your own team.  The Lawrence County Tourism Commission office has two GPS units available for rent through the Go Seek GPS Rental Program.  The Tourism Commission arranges for the first four days of your rental to be complimentary.  Call the office for details, toll free 800-798-0769.

The InKy Geocachers group is having their 10th Anniversary Indiana Fall Picnic at Spring Mill State Park September 9-11, 2011.  This event will include and meet and greet on Friday night.  The next day will be the main event will be the discovering of geocaches located throughout the park and Lawrence county.  Saturday evening a trading event and talent show will be held.  Cache In, Trash Out happens Sunday morning as a flash mob cleans up the park.  Visit www.inkygeo.com to find out more about the group and to join.

If you don’t have a GPS unit, there is an app for iPhone and Android.  Information about this option can be found at www.geocaching.com as well as the locations of geocaches throughout America.

Some tips for geocaching are to mark your car or starting location before you hit the trail and be sure to take key items with you such as water, flashlight, multi-tool, etc.  Should you decide to create your own cache, choose a waterproof container, a lock ‘n lock style container over the snap-on lid type.  When you place your cache, always ask permission from the business or location first and choose the back of the property versus a more public area.  Make your cache one of quality and don’t place it on private property.

Some of the common geocache log acronyms are: TFTC! Thanks for the cache!; T:/L Took from the cache/Left in the cache, i.e. took a yo-yo, left a whistle; TNLN Took nothing from the cache, left nothing in the cache; TB Travel Bug, a trackable item that moves from cache to cache.

Southern Indiana, Lawrence County, and Spring Mill State Park  have many geocaches and searching in the wintertime before the vegetation sprouts again is a perfect time.  It reduces the amount of tiny hungry bugs or bigger critters that may surprise you when you come seeking your treasure.  Geocaching is fun for all ages and really not as difficult as you would expect.  Grab a friend and give it a try and see some interesting places along the way!

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