Geocaching becoming a local, worldwide pastime

They're hidden everywhere: in the woods, on top of mountains, around vast deserts and even lurking around on the borders of Geneseo campus. They're geocaches - small, secret treasures that might be closer than you might think.

It may sound strange, but it's all part of the thriving pastime called geocaching, which, in recent years, has become one of outdoor enthusiasts' favorite hobbies.

Pronounced “gee-o-cashing,” the high-tech hobby has only been in existence since 2000, but has quickly gained popularity as a 21st century treasure hunting game. To play, participants use a GPS-enabled device to find a geocache hidden at a location attached to a specific set of coordinates listed on geocache location websites.

A geocache is typically just a waterproof container with a logbook, in which the geocacher can enter their name and the date the geocache was found. The geocacher then replaces the container exactly where it was found and leaves it for the next player to discover.

According to the Groundspeak website, “Geocaching is the real-world treasure hunt that's happening right now, all around you!”

And it definitely is everywhere; the unique pastime now reaches all over the globe. In fact, claims that there are approximately 2,226,360 active geocaches worldwide, with over 6 million geocachers originating from more than 200 countries.

While most geocaches are easily accessible, if you're looking for a real treasure-hunting trip, there are definitely some pretty extreme locations to explore.

Luckily, if you're just looking to start hunting for geocaches, you don't have to go that far. In fact, there are sites all around Geneseo, from Long Point Park at Conesus Lake to some historic sites in the village to the trails of Letchworth State Park - even on the College campus itself.

So if you're interested, give it a shot. It's cheap, it's active and it's an easy way to get outside before the weather turns cold. Plus, who doesn't love a treasure hunt?