Memorial Day weekend draws ever closer, and while we at Dan’s Papers can’t wait, we also know there are many things we have to squeeze in during the next few weeks on the East End, lest we lose our chance with all that summer brings. We know that if we don’t get out and do these now, we’ll have to wait until after Labor Day before we try again…and so will you!
We continue our countdown of things to do before Memorial Day weekend on the East End with #18: Find a Hamptons Geocache
Have you heard of the outdoor recreational activity geocaching? Don’t be embarrassed if you haven’t. Geocaching was first devised back in 2000, but it’s still very obscure.
A geocache is like a hidden treasure box. Whether you know it or not, you are surrounded by geocaches right now. Almost every park and trail in the Hamptons has at least one.
Geocaches can be as small as a film canister or as big as a shoebox. These containers are hidden in a public and accessible place and the GPS coordinates are listed online at a website such as geocaching.com. Geocachers, as the participants in this activity are called, learn the coordinates then go out looking, aided by a handheld GPS device or iPhone. A cache may just contain a notebook to sign, letting future geocachers know you’ve been there, or there may be inexpensive trinkets such as wooden coins and gum-ball machine toys. The tradition is to take a trinket and, in exchange, leave one for the next guy, before returning the cache to its place.
As geocaching has evolved, some cool ideas for these trinkets have emerged. For instance, a trinket may include an identification code or QR code so that when it is found, the entire history of where it has been over the years can be looked up. These coded trinkets may travel just a few miles, or all over the world. So when you find a geocache hidden under leaves in Hampton Bays or hanging from a tree in East Hampton, the treasures inside may have roots in Europe or Asia. And it will be up to you to take them to their next destination.
It is amazing what can be found right under our noses—plus, geocaching could lead to a special place you wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
This activity is best experienced when parks are quiet and nearly empty. So get out there and find some hidden treasure before summer begins!
Come back tomorrow for 50 Things to Do Before Memorial Day in the Hamptons #17.