If you are in the Napanee area this weekend, do not be alarmed if you see a lot of people walking around searching for something you can’t see.
The region is hosting a huge geocaching event, which is kind of like a great big treasure hunt.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt game played by adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. It uses GPS devices or smartphones to find hidden containers called geocaches.
It can be done on land, or on water, and people can find geocaches in trees, on the ground, or along the shoreline. There are different levels and difficulties, so that everyone can do it.
Emmy Hendrickx picked it up during the pandemic and says she loves getting out on her canoe.
“I can see places that I’ve never been,” Hendrickx says of the games. “I can try things I have never done before.”
This weekend the county of Lennox and Addington is hosting the largest geocaching event in Canada. It’s called The Discover L&A County Mega Geocaching event. More than 1,000 people will visit the county, and search for more than 1,500 caches placed around the region.
Here’s how geocaching works: You upload the Geocaching app, or use a GPS to find the locations of the caches. Then you follow the coordinates and start looking.
They can be out in the open, or well hidden.
When you find them, you open the box, sign your name and date to prove you have been there, and leave it behind for the next person to find.
Eastern Ontario is popular for Geocaching. Areas near Bancroft, Ont., are known as the geocaching capital of Canada.
But Joe Tisdale, who is the founder of the Lennox and Addington Geocachers, says it can be done anywhere, anytime.
“I bet, in your lifetime, you’ve probably walked by a thousand of them and probably not even know it,” he says. “They’re hidden in plain sight, in our towns, in our communities, on our trails.”
For Rose Anderson-Duvall, who has been an avid geocacher for more than a decade, she says it is just fun.
“I feel like you’re on a secret spy mission any time you go geocaching,” she explains.
In its 10th year, this is the first time since the pandemic began that this event is being held, and it has her excited to meet people.
“I’m so excited, I really like meeting other geocachers,” she says. “I think it’s a really fun thing to connect with other people on.”
The mega geocaching event is on until Sunday, with the big hunt set for Saturday.