Geocaching is a really popular outdoor activity in the National Heritage Area. But what is it, and how can you get started? We sat down with master geocacher Chris Korbel to talk about it:
Arabia Alliance: What is geocaching, in a nutshell?
Chris Korbel: An treasure hunt using a GPS.
AA: How did you, Chris, get involved in geocaching?
CK:I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors, hiking, exploring and stories of pirates. Looking over my phone apps one day, I spotted the geocaching app. Thought I’d give it a try. With four young kids, I was looking for something to get us out of the house as a family. Turns out the we live close to a park in Lilburn. I gathered up my kids and one of their friends and we started our adventures. With this loud bunch, we found our first geocache. It was ammo can packed with toys and a log book. Turns out the City of Lilburn had recently hid this one and it was only one of several in the series of caches around the park.
While we were searching, we met a seasoned geocacher who was looking for the same cache. He took his time to teach me a few things about the game. Oh, was I excited. I spent the next few days researching the game and learning things I had not known. My neighbors and I had a fun competition in finding geocaches. Before I knew it, I became very interested in this game. There were so many caches… so many hides… so many possibilities. The creativeness behind caches and the puzzles I was seeing was mind blowing. I wanted to see more.
AA: Where can people geocache? Pretty much anywhere?
CK: Pretty much anywhere. This is an international game. I would say if you are new to geocaching start at a park or an area that you are familiar with. You might find yourself seeing something you never noticed before.
AA: What’s your favorite spot for geocaching in the National Heritage Area?
CK: This game has brought me to so many cool places. I enjoy hiking the quarried areas where it feels a bit apocalyptic. I am a sucker for history. So, seeing old house ruins or a graveyard is pretty cool. But you can’t beat the view of a sunset from the top of the mountain or across the field next to a barn. There are so many good places. I even enjoy biking in the areas I can. And let’s not forget walking around the lakes.
AA: Lastly, how can people get started geocaching right now?
CK: It’s easy. You can go to geocaching.com or down load the app to your phone. The game is set up for GPS and phone users.