Geocaching is a new trend, spreading fast throughout communities throughout the world. It’s an outdoor activity that anyone with a mobile device can participate in. Mixing together technology and recreation, Geocaching is a modern day treasure hunting adventure – and who doesn’t enjoy a good old fashioned treasure hunt? If you’re on or near campus and are looking for a new and interesting way to occupy your time, Geocaching is the perfect way to explore a new area and help familiarize yourself with RIT’s campus. It’s typically an easy walk or mild hike to find them. There are over 2,470 geocaches around Rochester to find and around 12 of those are located on right here on campus.
What is Geocaching?
If you aren’t familiar with geocaching, it can be described as a treasure hunting game that people all around the world participate in, hiding items for others to find. Participants, called geocachers, use an app called Geocaching which allows the users to locate these hidden items. Each item has the attached latitude and longitude coordinates of where it’s been placed. The geocaches (a container of some sort) are typically well hidden, so you might have to search for a bit before discovering your treasure. Once found, the geocacher uses the app to log the code name of the cache and the date it was found, proving it was truly found. After signing it off, the geocacher must place it exactly where it was found, so other members of the geocaching community are able to locate it.
Geocaching Rules and Guidelines
Geocaching is a fun and community-centered activity, but there are still some rules and guidelines to follow to make sure everything runs smoothly. If you plan on joining in on the fun, make sure to follow these rules to keep the game fun and safe for everyone:
1. Watch out for muggles
Yes, you are right…they are the same type of muggles from Harry Potter. A non-geocacher is considered a muggle, similar to non-wizards being called muggles. Even though all the items are placed in legal places, with no context, it looks odd if you are searching in a tree or a bush to someone passing by.
2. In order to take, you must leave something
Depending on the size of the cache, they sometimes have a reward or treasure in them. You can only take something from the cache if you can exchange it with another item of equal or lesser value. Also, people of all ages are playing, so make sure what you leave is family-friendly. Part of the fun is seeing what other people leave behind. Arcade toys and coins are popular. Most of the RIT caches have the same item, can you guess what it is?
3. Check the logbook
It is common for caches to also have a logbook with them. Logbooks are records of everyone who has found the cache beforehand. If the cache is too small for exchanging items, it will just have a logbook, while bigger ones typically have both. When you find a cache don’t forget to log yourself being there! It’s always fun to see if you know anyone when reading it.
4. Report damages and thefts
If you notice anything about the cache is damaged or any of the contents inside are gone, make sure to report it back to the app. This will alert the owner, who can replace or fix the cache.
5. Don’t move the caches
Since each geocache is logged by its coordinates, make sure you keep it in the same place it was found. If you think the container is in the wrong spot, email the owner directly or make a comment on the log to notify the owner. It might be tempting to hide to the cache in a new place, but it’s important to remember these aren’t for taking. If you think of a better place, try hiding one yourself!
Some of the Behind the Bricks team members went around campus to try and find a few of the 12 caches located in the area. While out treasure hunting, we were able to locate three of the caches, finding fun surprises and having a blast exploring the campus. It took us anywhere from one minute to ten minutes to locate the containers – and some we couldn’t even find. RIT has some very well hidden caches, making it even more exciting when being able to spot one.
Now, we don’t want to ruin all the fun of the hunt and give away the locations. We suggest downloading the app and trying it out for yourselves! Send us a DM or tweet us @RITBehindBricks where you think we found these ones.
There’s so much more to discover with this fun adventure, so we hope this is enough to get you started on your first Geocaching adventure!