Get Fit: Geocaching

Posted at: 07/13/2012 8:21 AM
Updated at: 07/13/2012 8:22 AM

Everyone likes a good treasure hunt.

In fact, thousands of people across the country are doing just that, every day...

And the treasures? You've probably walked passed some of them without evening knowing it.

In today's Get Fit on Six... Geocaching


Steve Patten has been geocaching with his family since 2008...

It's like a treasure hunt, but with your gps.

You need to know the latitude and longitude of where you're at,” says 5 year veteran of geocaching Steve Patten

The treasure, a cache.

“And you put them into your gps unit or a smart phone that has gps and off you go,” Patten continues.

Gps in hand, coordinates entered... Kenny King and Chris Kuball go on the hunt. There are more than 1.5 million caches world-wide. So we wanted to find a few.

“There it is back there... Jack pot... That's the good stuff. There's our log.  So then we have to sign it,” says Kenny

Caches come in all shapes and sizes.

“You might be looking for something as small as the tip of your pinky,” says Patten. Some are as large as a 5 gallon bucket.

But they're not all that big says Patten, “Sometimes it’s solving puzzles.  Some of them are hard. Some of them are hard to get to.”

And they're hidden -- inside anything - just a log in the smallest of caches to trinkets, trackable items or a camera to capture who stops by in the larger ones.

“Ok, now I’m 8 feet so I have to be close.  Ya, I’m not seeing it,” says Kenny.

They're all listed online. And have clever names. Right now, Kenny’s looking for "Don't be Alarmed"…

There's also a brief description of what you're looking for, sometimes providing some additional hints.

“Oh, don't be alarmed... Check it out,” Kenny adds.

“Almost every rest stop you stop in on the side of the highway will have one.  Every state park has one; most city parks you find have them.”  Steve says geocaching works out more than just your mind, “The potential would be something like 5 to 10 miles depending on how much you want to do, where you're at.”

Walking trails, hiking through the woods, a physical benefit to geocaching.

“So I’m within 9 feet, I’ve got to be pretty close to this one and I’m guessing since you like to kind of hide them in creative spots this tree would be a good place. [It] looks like a cheese ball container,” says Kuball

Patten says, “it's also been really, really good to us as a family, because we'll go out for the day, we'll be gone for a day all six of us and it's just more of an opportunity to spend more time together as a family.”

There are about 200 geocaches in the Austin and Albert Lea area with around 500 in Olmsted County.

In northern Iowa, Worth County holds a high concentration of caches while Mason City only has a couple dozen.

We've joined in on the fun host our own geocache... Here are the coordinates for its location.  N 43° 40.511 \ W 92° 57.126.  Just plug them into your gps and you're off.

If you're interested in Geocaching visit www.geocaching.com for more information.