Although it has been in existence for around 15 years or so, you may not have ever heard about geocaching. There are roughly ten million ‘geocachers’ around the world, adventurers who use their GPS devices to go on treasure hunts in the real world. The treasure they are hunting for? Geocaches. For the most part geocaches are containers (of any size) that have been hidden with a logbook (and sometimes knickknacks) inside. The goal is for other geocachers to find the cache, sign the logbook, and maybe trade some collectables. Want to know more? Watch Geocaching.com’s introductory video.
The reason I’m telling you about this is because I’m a part of the Worst Cache Scenario geocaching crew that is working with History SA to develop a new event for next year’s History Festival. This post is your chance to learn about what is in development and why we think that geocaching works so well as an exploratory and educational tool.
What will Geocaching History be?
Geocaching History will be an engaging addition to what is already a really fun month of events. We will be hiding a series of caches located close to a wide array of South Australian historical sites, specifically focusing on History SA and their three museums.
The aim is to get people out and exploring parts of South Australia that they may not get to regularly, and to encourage them to learn more about South Australian history through geocaching. If all goes to plan, there will also be some unique knickknacks to trade for the first people to discover each cache
The goal of the History Festival is to encourage South Australians to get out and explore the state’s history and stories. For a certain demographic, geocaching is a perfect way to do this in an innovative way.
Geocaching is (at it’s heart) an exploration. People use geocaching as a way of getting out and being active, while spending time exploring their environment in a way that they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.
While out caching I have discovered hidden gems in the side streets of Adelaide, as well as small oases spotted around the countryside. These are places and things that I would have had no reason to discover if I weren’t out on a treasure hunt.
But where’s the opportunity for education? Well an ideal geocache will be located on or near a landmark, giving an opportunity to learn something along the way. For example, there is a cache very close to the ‘Simpson and his Donkey’ statue on King William St. At the least a geocacher would remember the name of the landmark, at best they would leave knowing part of the story that is behind it.
This is one reason why a series of geocaches is a great fit for History SA, it is an opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge that they have about South Australian history and present it in a more unique way.
In the lead up to South Australia’s History Festival there will be more about Geocaching History posted through this blog, as well as through History SA’s social networks. In the meantime feel free to follow Worst Cache Scenario’s Instagram account to see some of our geocaching adventures.