In anticipation of a geocaching event in Valemount this summer, local geocache savants Paul Johnson and Luke Hedberg will be teaching a Geocache 101 class to the public May 11th.
Whether you call it a sport or a game, geocaching has exploded globally in recent years thanks to the ubiquity of handheld GPS devices, such as smart phones. Sites like geocaching.com have sprung up to offer a real-world treasure hunt for anyone who wants to try.
Signing up to a service allows the user to download coordinates to each “cache” in the surrounding area. Caches can be set up by anyone, but must be maintained by that person and approved by the geocache website. The seeker can then use his/her phone to guide him/her to the location where the cache is located. Once found, the seeker can take a trinket from the cache, replacing it with one of their own.
Hedberg and Johnson say some of the caches in the Valemount area are so tiny, they are smaller than your fingernail! They are not just tackle boxes or jars.
Hedberg says one of the great things about geocaching is the ability to lead you to interesting locations – and guide tourists to areas they may not otherwise go.
There are already a dozen caches in the Valemount area, and Johnson says they plan to hide about 30 more for this summer’s event during the Valemount Summer Festival (which is taking the place of the Spring Festival).
Some caches are themed (Konrad Cain themed cache near Mt. Robson). For the workshop you don’t need your own device and it’s free of charge.
By Laura Keil