WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News

Geocaching

By: Teresa Moua-Her
By: Teresa Moua-Her

With all the hi-tech toys that people might be getting this Christmas, a global positioning system receiver might be one of them.
Since the federal government allowed citizens to own GPS units in 2000, a scavenger hunt game has become so popular, cities and towns are using it as a way to get more tourism, Including Eau Claire.
If you're ever driving on the road and notice people wandering aimlessly in the woods, don't be alarmed.
They might just be looking for a sentimental treasure.
They're hidden in a cache (cash). Not cash as in money. It's a container filled with little trinkets like toys and souvenirs and it can be hidden anywhere.
In the summer hundreds of people will walk and bike on a trail but don't know that only steps away there's buried treasures that will only be found by high-tech treasure hunters
The high-tech activity is called Geocaching.
Geocachers use GPS receivers to track the target.
Kent Smith has been searching caches for 2 years
Anyone can get involved with the technology driven activity, Kent?s six year old son takes part in it.
He says, "It's awesome, I'm doing great at it."
According to Kent there are some 2,000 caches hidden in the Chippewa Valley.
Geocaching is becoming so popular the Chippewa Valley Visitor and Convention Bureau is planning to use it to attract people to town.
Linda Adler of the bureau says they?ve been keeping up with the changing technology . She adds that it?s just one more thing they?ll be looking for as an activity based technology trend
Geocaching can also be a teaching tool.
Kent says, "There's a cache series that goes to about eight of some of the historic homes in Eau Claire so you got to go in and learn about the homes to figure out the coordinates for the final cache.?
Adler hopes local promotions will draw a global audience.
So perhaps the next time Kent finds a cache, there will be an Eau Claire coupon inside.
"We will be looking at ways to build into our internet some promotions,? says Adler.


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