CHEK Upside: Is Geocaching the perfect pandemic pastime?

CHEK Upside: Is Geocaching the perfect pandemic pastime?

From afar they may look like a typical elderly couple in Victoria out for a mid-day stroll, but Anne and John Lowan are actually on a mission.

“It’s a combination of playing on the computer and hiking mostly,” said Anne. “It’s a treasure hunt.”

Anne and John are experienced geocachers – a worldwide game played by millions where players use GPS or their smart phone to track various items known as ‘caches.’

Players then sign the cache and record it online via an app or a geocaching website.

Experienced players can also hide their own personalized caches for the community to discover.

Anne and John started back when the game was first introduced in the early 2000s.

“It’s a good sport,” said John. “We were about to retire and we kind of needed to find something to do, and this is something we’ve been enjoying together.”

“It’s easy to get retired on a couch and we didn’t want that,” added Anne.

According to Annie Love, Senior Business Development Manager of Geocaching HQ, there’s been over a 65 per cent increase in geocaching accounts worldwide over the past year. Also, local geocaching authorities sent CHEK News statistics which indicate nearly a 20 per cent increase in published caches in B.C. from 2019-2020.

“It’s become very popular because it’s safe,” said the 76-year-old Anne. “You know you can get outside and hike because we know so many obscure trails and we can just stay well away.”

For Anne and John, it’s been the perfect pandemic pastime for staying active, maintaining a safe physical distance from others and keeping their spirits high.

“It’s the main thing that’s really kept us going,” said John. “Happy, enthusiastic and satisfied…It’s an easy sport for anyone to get into.”

Anne and John are part of a large community of geocachers on Vancouver Island and Victoria believed to have the only brick and mortar geocaching store in Canada.

For more information on geocaching, click here.

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Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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