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Looking for an inexpensive activity around Lake Nokomis this summer?  Geocashing is a treasure hunting adventure for the whole family.

 

Geocashing  uses GPS through your mobile device to help treasure seekers locate “treasure” which range in size from magnet the size of match box to a tennis ball container.  Geocashers that find the particular item sign their name.  Others leave a small trinket or SWAG (Stuff We All Get) signifying they found the item.  These items can be taken and replaced with other SWAG by future players that located the geocache.

 

The origins of Geocashing go back 150 years to a game called Letterboxing which used clues to direct players to certain landmarks.  In 2000, when GPS greatly improved it’s accuracy, you could now locate an item with a few feet of it’s GPS coordinates.  The original name GPS Stash Hunt or GPSstaching became Geocashing.

 

Within a block or two around Lake Nokomis, there are 25-30 geocaches waiting to be discovered with varying degrees of difficulty.

 

There are over 200 Geocaching apps to help you geocache and many are free.  Some of the free apps are “intro” apps and may only show a portion of the Geocaches in your area. Apps with all registered Geocaches range from $0.99-$9.99.   Many apps will provide clues such as the size of the item, the degree of difficulty, the terrain around the item and whether or not the geocache can be found in all seasons.

 

Much to my surprise after downloading my first Geocaching app, a geocache was hidden a mere 100 feet from our front door.  It took about 15-20 minutes using our iPhone app to find our first geocache.  Since then we’ve found about 10 geocaches around Lake Nokomis.   There are a couple my wife and I haven’t found but make sure we spend about 5-10 minutes each time we walk around the lake.

Once you find the geocache you can sign the logbook if the geocache is large enough or note the log on the application you are using.  In our abbreviated social media world and because the geocache logbooks can be small, players may leave notes such as (TFTC/H – Thanks for the Cache/Hide), BYOP (Bring Your Own Pencil), DNF (Did Not Find) or (TNSL Took Nothing. Signed Logbook.)

 

Some recommend tips for geocaching around Lake Nokomis is to wear shoes and clothing that match the terrain of the geocache.  Some are located in wooded areas or the edge of the lake. When geocaching with younger players with lesser attention spans you may want to find the geocache first so you can help direct them to a geocache they can find on their own.  As you treasure hunt watch out for “Muggles”, which is based on the term meaning a non-magical person taken from the Harry Potter series and are people who are non-geocachers.

 

I hope to see you all out geocaching around Lake Nokomis now that winter is gone.  Happy Hunting!!!

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