Promoting geocaching as a draw for tourists

Between Mad River and Messiter there are now 11 geocaches

Kevin Deckert shows the basic materials needed to make a geocache to a meeting of the Thompson Headwaters services committee in Avola last month.

Kevin Deckert shows the basic materials needed to make a geocache to a meeting of the Thompson Headwaters services committee in Avola last month.

Geocaching already attracts many tourists to the Avola area and it could bring in even more.

That was the report given by Avola resident Kevin Deckert to the Thompson Headwaters services committee during its June 18 meeting in Avola.

“Between Mad River and Messiter there are now 11 geocaches,” he said, adding that he put in a number of them himself.

Anytime someone finds one of his geocaches, he gets an email.

A geocache at Shannon Creek gets several visits per year, while one near Wire Cache gets several per day.

“It’s amazing how many Europeans play this,” he said.

As explained by Deckert, geocaching is essentially a treasure hunting game.

A geocache can be as simple as a waterproof container holding a notebook for those who find the cache to sign.

The person setting up the cache registers it with its precise GPS coordinates at www.geocaching.com.

Usually the geocaches are located in locations of great natural beauty or other interest. For example, people searching for the geocache at Ivy Creek rest area are advised to look for the First Nation petroglyphs nearby.

Tourists planning to visit an area can download a list of geocaches to search for.

Each site is rated according to how difficult it is to reach.

People can take items from a geocache they find, but only if they leave something of equal or greater value.

Deckert told of a key tag that he left in one local geocache, only to have it travel to Holland in one day.

Since then he has tracked its movements for thousands of kilometers, mostly through Europe.

Gold Country Communities Society has distributed hundreds of geocaches in the southern portion of the TNRD, he said.

These have proven to be a major draw to bring tourists into the area.