You know the hype, and sensationalism, and all the stuff surrounding NFTs + Web3? Well, apply that to the great outdoors, community-building, hiking, and adventure: geocaching!

I just spent the better part of an hour reading up on/looking into the hobby, and I am speechless (or, I don't know how to put it into words, really). Basically, around 2011, when I was at REI taking a land nav course (they offer free courses sometimes - at least in the Beforetimes), the subject of geocaching came up a couple times - an actual treasure hunt for random "SWAG" and "loot" that can only be found in hidden areas in the great outdoors. It involves hiking, GPS (usually - but analog (map + compass) challenges exist, too), camping (sometimes), exercise, and intelligence! Wow! I want in!

So, I am researching this diligently. I opened an account on the official Geocaching(.com) website, downloaded the app (right now I am free member, but membership costs a scant $30 per year), and when I fired up the map, I saw ~12 caches (pronounced "cash-ay") that are within walking distance on the primitive trails at Cliff Cave County Park. I might have actually seen one before, but I am not sure. There are also some along the riverside (Mississippi River), and a few up near Jefferson Barracks (where the CCP trail will eventually meet the JB trail - someday (I just found that out tonight, too)), and then there are some around the Black Forest Apartment area, which is down Meramec Bottom Road a bit (not far from my apartment, at all).

So. friggin. cool!

So, I know what I will be doing to put my day hiking gear to good use, as well as the Rucker backpack that is getting ordered.

There are some things required of me to do this activity, though (which I will not buy from Geocaching.com, because they are overpriced):

  • a notebook of some kind (for notable markers on/off the trail)
  • a phone with GPS and a good battery (DONE!)
  • a decent pen (I am thinking a space pen w/ key ring)
  • a flashlight
  • a magnifying glass (it can come in handy for maps, etc.)
  • "technical" gloves (for using a smartphone in cold weather (w/ the specialized fingertips and whatnot))
  • other hiking ephemera (backpack, water, weather protection, on and on (all of that is mostly covered))

So, this is brilliant. I am excited! :)