Updated: Friday, 21 Nov 2008, 10:34 AM EST
Published : Thursday, 20 Nov 2008, 7:58 PM EST
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - It's a growing craze that combines the thrill of a scavenger
hunt with the high-tech power of global positioning systems. Many
western New Yorkers are getting in on Geocaching.
"Yep. Point-17 miles away."
They're not on a nature walk...
Rob Haak, Rob Hoffman, and Dave Brown are geocachers, looking for a hidden container, called a cache.
Haak said, "It's a lot of fun, it's some exercise. For me personally it beats sitting on the couch playing computer games."
Geocaching is a high tech scavenger hunt.
Players use handheld GPS navigation units to lead them to the cache location.
Rob Hoffman plays the game with his iPhone.
Hoffman said, "It's not as accurate as the handheld units, so I think I'm going to get out and get a handheld unit and then use them together to find the geocaches."
The caches come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are found in all types of terrain. And sometimes they're pretty far off the beaten path.
Getting there isn't always easy, and the cache can be well hidden.
One is an ammo box containing a bunch of trinkets.
Haak said, "I'm very new, I've only found 17 so far for me this was definitely one of the hardest and one of the most fun."
Some hunts require players to find a series of clues before getting the cache.
Dave Brown recently found a nine-part multi-cache near Franklinville.
Brown said, "It took me a couple days because it's very hilly terrain, I'm not in the greatest shape in the world."
All caches have a log book to sign. Once the hunt's over, players log onto the Geocaching web site to leave feedback for the person who hid it.
So who plants these things?
Fellow geocachers like CheektowagaChick and Dragonflyby.
CheektowagaChick said, "I have found caches in 37 states and 13 countries."
Cheektowaga Chick has also hidden 80 caches in western New York.
CheektowagaChick said, "First thing you'd want to do is get an idea of where I'd like to put a cache, whether it be a wooded area, a park, an urban cache where you can just put this on a guardrail."
Dragonflyby said, "The idea is to hide the cache someplace where the coordinates we give that are going to appear on the web site are pretty accurate."
Hundreds of players could find the same cache.
The items inside are not to be removed, unless otherwise stated.
Players then put the cache back where they found it, so the next
group of geocachers can experience the fun of finding it.