Geocachers raced around Liberty County on Saturday as part of the #nofilterneeded Geocache Adventure, learning about the county’s history and culture along the way.
The event was one of the activities for National County Government Month.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunt using GPS devices. Participants navigate to GPS coordinates and attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden in the area. In the container can be a log book or other small items. Geocachers are encouraged to leave something of equal or greater value if they take an item out of the cache. Items can be special geocache coins or other prizes.
Geocachers near and far met at Dorchester Civic Center in Midway for a kickoff picnic. They also participated in a cleanup of the area as part of Keep Liberty Beautiful’s annual community cleanup event.
Eighteen caches were hidden around the county. Geocaching stops included Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center, Walthourville City Hall, Sunbury Cemetery, Geechee Kunda Cultural Center and Bryant Commons. The first 175 people to complete the course and turn in the puzzle correctly receive a special geocache coin at La Quinta Inn and Suites.
Shane Davis of Hazlehurst has been geocaching for about a year. He called geocaching a “fun family activity” and likes exploring new areas. Davis heard about Liberty’s geocaching event and decided to spend the day in the area. He and his family have traveled all over South Georgia and parts of Florida. Davis’ goal is to hit all of the continental U.S. and possibly Alaska and Hawaii.
Daughter Kaitlin Davis also enjoys geocaching.
“I grew up hiking. So this is another reason to hike and you get to meet some great people,” she said.
“Get out and get started. A lot of people get hooked after finding the first one (cache),” Shane Davis said. “It’s a great way to spend time with family outside.”
Derek Mitchell, a friend of Davis, talked about having his own customized trade coin called pathtags. A pathtag is a small coin, about the size of nickel, that is left as a signature item by geocachers. Each pathtag has a hole drilled in so it can be worn on a chain.
Mitchell’s coin has an image of a gun, his name and three crosses on the front. Underneath is the phrase, “God, Guns & Guts Made America.” Geocachers can trade these coins with others, collect them or leave them in cache boxes. His wife’s pathtag has the cartoon character Taz the Tasmanian devil with a pink background.
Local geocachers Robin and Brian Tiner helped organize the event. They gave the gathered cachers instructions and a brochure to log the answers to the puzzle.
Robin Tiner was excited about the event.
“I just wish I could be there with each group when they find the caches,” she said. “Some of them are very hard and you have to solve a riddle in order to find the combination to the lock on the cache.”
She also thinks the event will help increase tourism to the county. The brochure included questions for feedback on their experience, such as how much money they spent and whether it was their first trip to Liberty County.
On the Nofilterneeded Geocache Adventure Facebook page, participant Tory Baker wrote, “I’m so glad that I decided to do this Geochaching Adventure today! We finished the trail and got our coins.”
The #nofilterneeded Geochache Adventure was sponsored by GeoVista Credit Union, the Liberty County Conventions and Visitors Bureau, Keep Liberty Beautiful and the county.