Pensacola, Florida
Monday September 1st 2014

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Cash in on Geocaching

Destination Archaeology Presents Lecture on Geocaching
By Jennie McKeon

For you muggles out there, it’s not completely hopeless. You too can join the fun.

Destination Archaeology Resource Center (DARC) will host the lecture “Mosquitoes, Muggles and Museums: Exploring Florida’s Archaeology with Geocaching” on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. The lecture will be given by Michael Thomin, manager of DARC.

Geocaching involves searching for hidden items via the Global Positioning System. A “muggle” is what geocachers call someone who didn’t know that until just now.

“We have hidden 14 caches and plan to hide more at other sites,” Thomin said. “To date, we received almost 500 comments from people who have found our caches and all the feedback was positive. Many of them stated they did not know these places existed before our caches brought them there.”

Geocaching is a world-wide scavenger hunt in which you use your GPS device to locate hidden containers (the geocache). Inside the container is usually a logbook to be signed. Some even leave their geocaches behind with a prize inside. If you take it, be sure to replace it with something of equal or greater value. Many people are still unfamiliar with geocaching, even though five million geocaches are hidden around the world. That’s why Thomin hopes to enlighten people about the art of the hunt and inspire people in Pensacola to inspect their surroundings.

“Since we love archaeology so much and think it is important for people to visit archaeological and heritage sites open to the public, this was a great activity to accomplish this with,” Thomin said. “Every cache we have hidden as part of the DARC Geo-Trail and are located at a site of historic and or archaeological significance in Northwest Florida.  This trail promotes these sites by bringing people to them and providing educational content.”

To begin your geocache journey, create an account at geocaching.com where you can get coordinates to geocaches. Then locate them with your GPS device or smartphone. To find the “geotrails,” a series of related geocaches, hidden by DARC, you can download the passport at flpublicarchaeology.org or pick it up at the resource center. The first 300 people to find 12 of the 14 caches will receive a special “geocoin,” which is a metal coin designed by an individual or group of geocachers.

“People geocache for all different types of reasons, including the thrill of finding the hidden container and what prize might be inside, but more often than not the best part is the journey it takes you on,” Thomin said. “It’s a great way to experience new, fun, and interesting places.”

MOSQUITOES, MUGGLES AND MUSEUMS
WHEN: 6 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 17
WHERE: 207 E. Main St.
COST: Free
DETAILS: flpublicarchaeology.org