Geocaching Games Find Growing Popularity

Notice the "Geocache Hunt" on this poster?

The treasure-hunting adventure of geocaching is finding its way into more community events, adventure games, and even school competitions.

Malibu Creek State Park in California, USA is combining geocaching with mountain biking, trail running, and rock climbing for its first ever “Malibu Adventure Games.” The event is a community effort to raise the funds needed to help keep Malibu Creek State Park protected and open for the public.

Daniel Weissauer with Malibu Adventure Games says geocaching is a perfect fit to showcase all the park has to offer, “We were interested in creating an exciting scavenger hunt for the Malibu Adventure Games using a format anybody could participate in, something combining technology and nature.  Racking our heads together, we’d all heard of geocaching from word-of-mouth experiences and knew it’d be perfect”

He adds, “The Geocache Hunt is designed to highlight the beauty of the park.”

Others events, like the Wild Canyon Games in Oregon, USA use a geocaching course to challenge athletes. Geocachers are timed. Teams have five hours to hike, run, and scramble over rocks to accumulate geocaches worth the most points. 350 geocaches are hidden across 169 square miles of wilderness. The geocaches further from the start are worth more points.

Some schools are seeing the academic potential of geocaching. High School science students in Illinois are judged on their geocaching skills. The JV Science Team from New Trier Township High School outside of Chicago just placed first in the state in a geocaching competition.

Geocaching at the 2011 Wild Canyon Games

Geocaching is trial event in the Illinois Science Olympiad. Teams are given a GPS device and allowed 30 minutes to follow a sequence of waypoints to a location. At each way point the students must answer a question related to geocaching or earth science. A couple sample questions are, “What does hitchhiker mean in [geocaching] slang?” or “Who is considered the “Father of Geology?”

Weissauer with the Malibu Adventure Games says awareness of geocaching is gaining ground. He says it was an easy decision to make geocaching part of the Malibu Creek State Park event, “We included geocaching because
of its huge popularity, the unique location and history of the park, and the amount of families coming out. We believe the Geocaching Hunt will grow over the next few years as word gets out.”

If you find yourself in Malibu, California this weekend, space is still available to register for the event.