Saturday, October 9, 2010
A few weeks ago I participated in a geocaching event in Maine. I chose to look for caches which were hidden around the shores of Flagstaff Lake. This meant that I could spend a day paddling the lake, going from cache site to cache site, combining two fun activities at the same time. I managed to find 9 out of the 10 geocaches I looked for, a pretty good record for me. One of the caches was a brand new one created for the event on an island in the lake. All of them were not easy to find. They were well hidden!
I recently received news that some kill-joy out there has been going around stealing caches and throwing the contents in the garbage. He manged to find and distroy the new cache and perhaps some other ones around the lake. His rationale is that he is "defending the forests" by removing what he sees as trash, littering up the landscape. He fails to mention that most of the geocaches he has removed up to this point actually were hidden in roadside guard-rails, a commonly used hiding site...
Sadly this is a case of a mis-guided person whose actions do nothing to defend the forests, but serve only to alienate him from hundreds of geocachers. In fact the motto of the geocaching world is "Cache in, trash out". Caches are not litter. They are carefully hidden, safe for animals and help promote an appreciation for the wilderness by getting people out there in the natural world. While paddling Flagstaff Lake, I brought along a trash bag to defend the forests and beaches. I collected all the trash I came across - there was a lot of it! - and was able to recycle nearly all of it when I returned home.