Friday, December 10, 2010

FAMILY - Geocaching???

"Modern Treasure Hunts for the Whole Family" by DAVE CALDWELL, New York Times 12/9/2010


NOT long after Morgan Lawless, now 13, took up geocaching last year, he asked his mother, Lisa, if she could drive him to a cache near their home in Mamaroneck, N.Y., and let him seek hidden treasure by following Google maps on his iPad Touch.

They found themselves in the parking lot of a suburban shopping center that she says she had probably been to hundreds of times. But the hunt did not end there. They walked around a bush to pinpoint the cache, and there, much to her surprise, was an 18th-century graveyard.

Then there was the time Morgan searched for a cache near Rye Playland, also in Westchester County. They wandered off the grounds of that amusement park and found a bird sanctuary, with egrets and roaming deer and a panorama of Long Island Sound.

“We never would have found the place if it weren’t for geocaching,” said Ms. Lawless, whose son has since acquired a more accurate global positioning system device to pursue his hobby.

It is a hobby that has developed only since May 2000, when President Bill Clinton announced that GPS technology, developed for the Department of Defense, would be available to the public, partly to pinpoint emergency locations. Almost immediately, geocaching sprang up as a high-tech treasure hunt among a few enthusiasts in search of not-very-valuable trinkets and more precious bragging rights.

It’s evolved since into a family- and budget-friendly adventure, a chance for Mom and Dad to do something with their children before being officially declared “uncool.” And the only equipment needed is something most parents and kids already have, a smartphone. GPS applications are available for about $10 for iPhones, BlackBerrys and Androids, enticing more people to try the hobby.

Of course "budget-friendly" in this case means you can afford the iPhone, etc?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You don't need an iPhone to geocache. There are many GPS devices on the market at different price points. Some of them come in at well under $100. Considering the many, many days of family fun that can be had for that price, geocaching can be very budget friendly compared to other hobbies.