Hiding in plain sight - Geocaching at Bays Mountain Park

Matthew Lane • Jan 25, 2018 at 7:30 PM

KINGSPORT — Geocaching is a game that anyone can play. You can do it as a team or by yourself. Even your family can tag along in search of hidden treasures.

And in case you don’t know what geocaching is, Bays Mountain Park is offering you a chance next week to come out and learn more about the game and meet others who share a passion for the hunt.

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity, where participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers called “geocaches” or “caches.”

These caches are hidden at locations marked by coordinates all over the world. Hundreds of caches can be found in the greater Kingsport area alone.

A typical cache is a small, waterproof container holding a logbook, pen or pencil and other small items, including coins or currency, small toys or books, music CDs or maybe even signature items like Geocoins, pins or a homemade craft item.

Once you find the geocache, you sign and date the log book, swap an item with something you brought (if you wish) and then place the cache back exactly where you found it. That way future searchers will be able to find it.

An upcoming event

Bays Mountain Park will be hosting “Caching in the Winter Wonderland” on Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. and on Feb. 3 at 1 p.m.

Participants will learn how to use a basic GPS in order to play the geocaching game.

Park officials say the modern day treasure hunt aims to exercise both your mind and body.

“There are geocaches located throughout the park and within the surrounding parks in our area, and several caches have been placed within the park by nCo — New Cache Order, a local geocaching group,” said Megan Krager, senior naturalist. “Geocaching is a great way to spend time with friends and family while exploring the park and the great outdoors.”

To participate, you must provide your own GPS device. Since this is an outdoor program, you should also dress comfortably and appropriately for the weather. The cost is $3 per person, but is free for Bays Mountain Park members. In addition to the program fee, there is a $5 per car gate fee to enter the park.

For more information, visit baysmountain.com or call (423) 229-9447.

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