Why do people geocache? There is no one simple answer to this question. It really depends on the individual. When geocachers are surveyed though, a few strong themes appear.
Geocache for a Sense of Purpose
Many geocachers use the sport as a way to get out and get exercise. Walking around a track or the same block over and over again gets old and there seems to be no reason to do it. With a cache to find, there becomes a purpose, a reason to keep going. Geocaches are all over the place so geocachers don’t see the same things every time they go out to exercise.
The Thrill of the Hunt
If you like the thrill of finding buried treasure (and let’s be serious, who doesn’t?), then you might get hooked. Finding a secret buried stash can be exhilarating but more than that, the following of the clues and solving of a mystery – that’s the real hook. Several small adrenalin rushes and “Aha!" moments. Even if the cache seems unimportant to others, it will always serve as a reminder of that experience and the finding of a small treasure.
A Reason to Buy New Gadgets
Sometimes you just need an excuse for buying a new GPS. Geocaching gives you that reason. And let’s not stop there, a GPS device is the most essential tool but there are several other tools you can use for geocaching. Say you wanted to go out on an overnight geocaching expedition, you know, just for the challenge. You’d need an entire gear bag including headlamps, a backpack, fire starting equipment, etc.
Discovering Something New
A lot of geocachers say the reason they do it is simply to go places and see things that they wouldn’t normally see. The cache is usually set out in the middle of the woods in an area that most urban folks never see. Many people who hide geocaches choose locations of significance – either because of their beauty or historical significance.
Some geocachers aren’t very social people and enjoy getting out on their own. This can be a chance to get away from people for a time or just the opposite, it could be a time to bond with friends and family. Geocaching as a group allows a bonding experience. It could be used for father/son time or as a rite of passage for a future hunter.
Knowing a Secret
For the devious, there can be a feeling of participating in a "secret society" and knowing things that many other people (muggles) don’t know about. There is something to this feeling of belonging to something special and the culture of geocaching is quite accepting.
Why do people geocache? The reasons could be endless. These are but a few of the major ones. You may have an entirely different reason. The truth is, geocaching is an activity which offers a real life experience in the ever more virtual world.
TodaysCacher.com: www.todayscacher.com/2004/jun/ people.html
The GroundSpeak Forums "Why Do You Geocache": forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ index.php?showtopic=230444
Image credit: Dmott9, http://www.flickr.com/photos/dmott9/4152330673/sizes/m/in/photostream/