Find yourself a cache in Alberni

If you are like me, geocaching is a pastime that is kind of off the radar. But it can be a fun and engaging hobby.

If you are like me, geocaching is a pastime that is kind of off the radar. But it can be a fun and engaging hobby and it is easy to get started.

If you have a hand-held GPS unit you can do it. They aren’t that expensive compared to what you can spend on some other hobbies. You can get one for around $200.

Dewayne Parfitt has been a fan for quite a number of years. He says that the local geocachers are a quiet bunch that does their thing behind the scenes. They are not easily recognized because each has their own “handle” and don’t use their own names. However, in the past there have been events where the local enthusiasts have met.

For those who may never have heard of geocaching, it’s basically a high tech scavenger hunt. One geocacher goes out somewhere and hides a small parcel somewhere and then registers it on the Geocaching.com website.

“These parcels are anywhere from the size of a fingernail to size of a truck,” Parfitt says.

Later if you want to find a cache, you would to Geocaching.com and pick it. You would either print out the latitude and longitude or download the info to your GPS unit. Then you’d use your unit to get close to the cache and start looking.

Around the Port Alberni area Parfitt estimates that there are 400 or so caches. Each one of them is rated in two ways from one to five on the Geocaching website. It is it easy to find and easy to get to, it is rated one and one. If it is very hard to find and very hard to get to, it is rated five and five. And then there is every combination in between. See the map of many of the caches around here.

When you find a cache, you can open it and see what is in it. Generally it is a little note or a trinket that you can keep and trade for one you brought with you. Sometimes there is a log of everyone who has found it.  If or when you find a cache you can also visit the website afterwards and write a little note on the page for the cache. You can write whatever you like about whatever you like, saying things like where you are from, what you think of the hiding place, who you were with, or anything else that occurs to you.

To use the Geocaching website, you need to sign up. But membership is free. In signing up you give your name and email address and choose a handle you will be known as. Parfitt’s is “banker48”. Stats are kept on each member. So you can see how you progress. If you visit another part of the world and find geocaches it will be recorded in your stats too.

Geocaching is world-wide in scope, from Sri Lanka to Bolivia. It is a wonderful way to explore the Alberni Valley and anywhere you go on holiday.

Just Posted

Mount Arrowsmith skaters bring Beatlemania to Port Alberni

Biennial winter carnival showcases Port Alberni skaters

Portal Players Looking for love onstage in Port Alberni

Newcomers bring fun Norm Foster play to life for short run

Alberni boys win 20th consecutive Island Wrestling Championships

Alberni District Secondary School boys finished with 69 points

Juno-nominated Indigenous hip-hop duo to play in Port Alberni

Snotty Nose Rez Kids will be at the Kingsway Pub on Saturday, Feb. 23

Coldest Night of the Year event brings attention to plight of the homeless

Port Alberni teams prepare to walk one of three routes and raise funds too

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

B.C. communities push back against climate change damages campaign

Activists copying California case that was tossed out of court

Most Read