A game that was born thanks to GPS

Adventure game and technology are the salient ingredients in the recipe of geocaching, the new age version of a treasure hunt. This playful movement begins when a participant prepares a cache (treasure, in the jargon), selects a cache and published in specialized forums coordinates and photographs of the site, with the hope that others will launch the search. One who moves in the right direction and gives the loot signs on the log or “logbook”, take any of the gifts there willing (usually books, records, jewelery, nature elements, pins or souvenirs, although there are gifts more sophisticated, such as toys) and left to change some other object. “A good geocacher does not take an object without leaving one to him also”, is one of the maxims of this discipline. Re-hide the cache and returns the source website to tell his experience, the particularities of the cache and places, and curiosities appeared on the way to the treasure.

The uniqueness of this practice is that instead of seeking the assistance of a paper map and a compass pointing north of the globe, the research is commanded by a GPS device. While there are more precise, are useful for playing commonly used in automobiles and many of those mobile phones integrate market. In connection with smartphones, there are tools provided in the app stores that provide coordinates indication next to the user and caches practice tips: there are for the most popular operating systems in the industry. Just sharpen the pencil on Google Play, iTunes or Windows Phone Marketplace.


In May 2000, the U.S. government headed by Bill Clinton allowed the average user the benefits of satellite ready for positioning. Prior to this opening, the efficiency of commercial receptors was lower in relation to utilizing the military, then owners of the full GPS accuracy.

He heard the news, David Ulmer, a member of a forum dedicated to this type of technology, decided to celebrate: he hid a treasure shared coordinates and invited to go on his search using GPS reinforced. Fourteen years of that foundation stone for the activity, it has global effect: as Geocaching.com, referring site worldwide, there are over 6 million practitioners seeking more than 2 million hidden treasures in different countries.

There caches scattered across five continents, some are hidden under the ocean, and there is even one in the Almirante Brown Research Station, Antarctica (for details http://coord.info/GC13ZJ3).

While the treasures appear commonly in outdoor spaces, there are also in urban centers, the latter usually microcachés, usually arranged in small packages as rolls of film and camouflaged, to go unnoticed in high-traffic environments and away from hands intrusive (do not be anxious, below we give more clues about this practice).

There are many species of treasures: there is a mode in which the prize is housed in a USB storage device, others proposing deliver lessons on planet earth, and, among many, is a variant called Multicache consisting of a sequence of tracks which, at the end, lead to the desired treasure. To unleash the search is imperative not expected a particular event or stated meeting: caches full time waiting the arrival of an explorer who, upon retirement, will hide in the same place where he found it.



In our country the game is played since 2001 (the first recorded treasure appeared in Concordia, Entre Ríos, near Salto Grande), seven being the active users currently looking for around six hundred caches scattered in the Argentine territory explains the NATION Fernando Sosa, responsible for the website that concentrates vernacular geocaching.

Kariher, pseudonym of Karina Sosa Villamil, an assiduous local geocacher who choose to practice this activity with her husband and children, has that award “is the finding itself no matter what you have inside the container”.

However, he adds that it is also important to be the first to arrive; I made a sort of delivery status and that “the search is already a treasure, the place is known, the effort or the mystery behind”.

There are no requirements to participate in the game, says Sosa. “I practiced for kids six and seven years to adults of any age, there are no physical limitations to do so. Course the most geocachers are lovers of nature and combine their outputs hiking, camping, biking, kayaking, etc., but there are those who hide and seek caches in cities and urban centers. simply just be methodical, respect others and the environment and, if possible, have a GPS or a cell phone with GPS. Everything else is just itching of fun”.

Sosa believes that the Argentine geocacher is no different from any other in the world. “Many of our visitors are foreigners caches, so try to stay within the same style and customs practiced around the world”, he explains.

By contrast, Kariher highlights some distinctive local practitioner: “we are not yet many and tried to help us and keep in touch, unlike Europe where thousands are and to get to know (…). Usually we hide caches in tourist areas or attractions to enhance our country and generate interest in the place”.

In addition, holding the Explorer, “the Argentine type longer messages of thanks or praise the place and upload photos to find the page”.


One of the most celebrated treasures makes global standing in Argentina: one is triggered by the tucumano geocacher Arieltuc, which presents itself as “a clearinghouse players” and has been chosen as one of the best caches the country in 2013.

This user is one of the most active in the local environment, explains the importance of being discrete when hiding a treasure. “Those who are unaware of this game are known as muggles (term taken from the adventures of Harry Potter). Unfortunately, people often curious or boycott this evil destroying caches healthy activity”. He adds: “You always have discretion not to attract attention and know how to find a hiding to go unnoticed”.

Geocaching is postulated as an original way of sightseeing, meeting new landscapes and even help the environment. On this last point, since 2002 geocaching community promotes an initiative called “Treasury, unfussy”, which proposes to clean up parks and other spaces while moving towards the booty, collecting debris that appear on the road and encouraging reforestation. Finally, this practice appears as a good excuse to go out with friends and family in a remote part of the traditional activity.


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