Sunday, March 18, 2012

5 Earth-Friendly Geocaching Tips

geocache GPS use

On multiple levels, geocaching is one of the most fun outdoor activities for adults. Not only is it sort of like a treasure hunt, but it’s also great exercise and often involves going to new locations and discovering beautiful natural scenery that you probably wouldn’t have otherwise found. For this reason, geocaching tends to be tied with earth-friendly practices, such as Cache In Trash Out, or CITO events where geocachers clean up natural sites.

So, since the first day of spring was last week, I though today we’d look at some tips for geocaching in an ecologically-friendly way.

1. Stay on the trails

As much as possible, stay on the provided trails so that you’re not disturbing anything you don’t have to. Many times you’ll have to go off of the trail eventually, but follow it as long as you can in order to try and protect the environment. This can also help make you less conspicuous to muggles.

2. Don’t leave anything behind

The phrase “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints” is very apt here. You should always leave a cache in better shape than you found it, and that includes the area in which it is near. That means taking all of your trash and such with you when you leave.

3. Bring garbage bags

Some geocachers take things a step further and bring garbage bags with them when they geocache. That way they can clean up litter in the area on the way to and from the cache. Bonus: this will make muggles even less likely to notice you hovering near a tree as they’ll just assume you’re puzzling over some trash or something.

4. Respect wildlife and plants

Do your best to respect nature as you hike through an area. This means not destroying anything and leaving wildlife alone. Letting wild animals go on about their business will be safer for both you and the animal.

5. Don’t drive more than necessary

If you’re really trying to be more ecologically friendly, then consider cutting down on your use of fossil fuels. Bike or walk to the cache, if possible, or go geocaching on your way to other things. If there is a cache far away that you really want to find, then see if you can take a group of cachers so you don’t all have to make separate trips.

Do you have any tips for geocaching in a nature-friendly way? Tell me about it below! Happy caching, everyone!!

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