Geocaching's biggest fans — Thales Navigation, manufacturer of Magellan GPS solutions, including the first full-color handhelds, and Groundspeak, developer of the popular geocaching.com website -- have teamed up to sponsor an event to help participants in the hottest outdoor family fun sport demonstrate their commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment. In the continuing spirit of Earth Day (April 22), the first Cache In Trash Out Day, on Saturday, April 26, will bring together geocaching enthusiasts and Magellan GPS users from as many as 160 countries to pickup trash during their high-tech treasure hunts and hikes.
Geocaching.com members and other Magellan GPS users are preparing for Cache In Trash Out Day with a swirl of activity on the web. Thousands of these outdoor enthusiasts are expected to help clean up and protect their playing field -- public parks and outdoor recreation areas around the world.
"We're excited to team with Groundspeak, whose many dedicated geocaching members are equally as conscious as Magellan customers about preserving our natural resources and environment as they use GPS to navigate through forests, parks, mountains and on water," said Lonnie Arima, vice president of worldwide consumer sales and marketing for Thales Navigation. "We hope this event not only helps clean up parks and other public land around the globe, but instills in families a new level of appreciation for the outdoors, and an increased awareness of how easy and fun GPS navigation can be for an array of activities."
Begun in May 2000, geocaching has become a trail-blazing phenomenon for family fun and fitness that utilizes GPS navigation while exploring the outdoors. Geocaching has become a natural choice for a family activity because it combines handheld technology that children are accustomed to with the old-fashioned, outdoor, family fun parents want -- with little or no cost. Players log onto geocaching.com to determine the coordinates of a cache and then, using their Magellan GPS units, hike to find the awaiting treasure, which they leave or replace for another person to find. However, on April 26th, from London and Sydney to Seattle and New York, the emphasis will be on picking up a treasure-trove of ... trash.
"We applaud the geocaching community for its dedication to the environment, and we thank Thales Navigation for its commitment to geocaching and Cache In Trash Out Day," said Jeremy Irish, Groundspeak's co-founder and president. "The geocaching sport could not exist without innovative GPS receivers like those in the Magellan SporTrak GPS series."
The top five environmentally friendly rules guiding these high-tech treasure-hunts are:
- Don't bury caches. Treasures are hidden or camouflaged, but kept on the Earth's surface.
- Stay on the trails.
- Don't trample vegetation.
- Keep cache contents safe, and make sure you sign the logbook.
- Cache in, trash out!
Geocaching is great fun for 8- and 80-year-olds alike, and all it takes is an adventurous spirit, a handheld GPS unit, such as those in the Magellan SporTrak and Meridian product families, and five minutes to log onto the global headquarters for geocaching: www.geocaching.com . In minutes, families get coordinates pinpointing the location of a cache, rated one to five for the type of terrain and difficulty of discovering the cache. The only other thing needed is the desire for good, old-fashioned family fun while hiking in the great outdoors.