BS in Earth Sciences
Earth and Soil Sciences Department
Gregory Shannon Bohr
Geocaching, a high-tech treasure hunt that couples using handheld global positioning system (GPS) devices with hiking, is becoming an increasingly popular outdoor activity, drawing a wide-range of participants from all age groups. Because the activity is largely participant-created and run, there is little oversight for how geocaching is monitored and controlled, including environments like open spaces and along hiking trails. Many participant-created caches are placed off-trail, and often enough, in environmentally-sensitive areas. This paper begins with the development of geocaching through the advent of GPS and discusses past research involving recreational ecology and environmental impact. From the insight from these related reports, guidelines for participating in the activity of geocaching are developed, for cache placers and cache seekers alike.