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TPWD News Release — Aug. 31, 2012

Discovering Hidden Fun at Texas State Parks

Park Rangers Offering Trainings to Share Modern Treasure Hunt with Visitors

AUSTIN — Are you missing out on a modern day treasure hunt? You are if you’re not familiar with the sport of geocaching, the high-tech game that is growing in popularity. This exciting activity gets folks of all ages out of the house to explore the natural beauty that surrounds them and to burn a few calories, all while having a great time.

Texas State Park rangers at a number of parks around the state this month are offering visitors the chance to join in the fun by learning how geocaching works. Geocaching uses Global Positioning System (GPS) technology and devices like a Smartphone to guide players to the location of all types of hidden containers. “It is like a walking version of the navigational systems you use in your vehicles,” says Robert Owen, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ranger. “Some caches are easy, while others more difficult to find. It really gives you some flexibility when you pick your adventure for the day.

“If it is being played correctly, you won’t recognize someone who is geocaching,” Owen says. “Geocachers try to go unnoticed. They might be at your neighborhood baseball diamond or community park and they’re looking for hidden, or cached, items. If cachers are noticed, someone who doesn’t understand the game might remove the hidden item. Then the container is lost for other cachers that will surely come looking later. It’s a kind of a secret that more than 4 million people around the world are in on.”

Texas Parks and Wildlife wants to let you in on this not-so-secret hobby enjoyed by four million geocachers. Visit the TPWD website to learn the dates of more than30 Geocaching 101 workshops being held this September all over the state:   http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/calendar/geocaching.

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