For Immediate Release
Att: Lifestyle Editor, City Editor, Travel Editor
“Geocaching – a new High Tech Treasure Hunt!”
Algonquin Park, Ontario – May 31, 2007 – “Geocaching? What the heck is that?” This is a question that is increasingly being asked as more and more people are learning of this new activity. Put simply, Geocaching is a high tech treasure hunt, a modernized version of orienteering. Since it started in 2000 (when the US military increased the accuracy of civilian use of their GPS satellites by a factor of 10) the sport has grown to include over 450,000 participants in 192 countries. There are over 400,000 active caches worldwide and, no doubt, there are a few within walking distance of where you live! Geocaching combines the increased accuracy of a GPS (Global Positioning System) unit with the power if the internet to make it very easy to discover the many hidden caches wherever you may be.
A cache is typically a tupperware container, a peanut butter jar, or an army surplus ammo box. Inside is a collection of trinkets – trading pins, small toys, whistles, etc. The idea is that if you take something then you leave something. There is also a log book to be signed by everyone that finds it.
There are several websites that support this sport, but one of the main ones, Geocaching.com, allows users to search for nearby caches, download them into their GPS’s, and keep track of all the caches they’ve found or placed.
The sport has grown from an “underground” activity to one that is being actively supported by local townships as a way to promote tourism. One such area, the Wilberforce and Greater Surroundings, touts itself as the “Geocaching Capital of Canada” (www.GeocachingCapitalOfCanada.com). All the towns in the region have added that label to their highway signs, and many of the local businesses have their coordinates on their street signs.
One such business that has embraced the sport in a big way is the Algonquin Eco-Lodge. They have created a set of caches on nature trails around their lodge, and have also tied in with other caches that are in the area. To make it easy for people to enjoy this activity they have put all the data on their website so people can download the coordinates into their GPS, and if they don’t have on the Eco-Lodge people will be happy to rent a preloaded GPS for the day.
Robin Banerjee, the lodge owner, said “this is a great way to get people out and exploring their environment. It’s fun for the adults as well as the kids, since everyone enjoys a treasure hunt – the adults get to play with some high tech toys, and the kids get the thrill of discovering the cache and trading toys.” To make it an even more attractive activity, Robin pointed out that their caches contain information about why that location is significant or special. “It allows us to give the tourists a personal tour without being physically with them”.
Located near Bancroft, Ontario, at the southern tip of Algonquin Park, the Algonquin Eco-Lodge is a year round getaway offering hiking, swimming, canoeing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, snowmobiling, and dog sledding. Set in the tranquil forest, on the shores of a private lake, with deer, beaver, moose, and the occasional wolf nearby, the Lodge accommodates 34 people in cozy comfort and is in keeping with the concept of making minimal impact on the environment. Powered entirely with alternative energy the Lodge still provides all the basic comforts such as indoor plumbing, private rooms, and even an outdoor wood-fired hot tub and sauna.
The Lodge is owned and operated by Call Of The Wild, an award winning soft-adventure company specializing in designing trips for those who want to get a real taste of the Canadian wilderness without having to truly ‘rough it’. Call Of The Wild’s owner and head guide Robin Banerjee has been offering a unique brand of tourism since 1993 and the company has collected awards from the Canadian Tourism Commission and the Canada Travel Awards in Britain.
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For more information and photos please contact:Mr. Robin Banerjee
23 Edward St.