JACKSONVILLE — Geocachers Tim and Christine Madere from Savannah started geocaching as a family activity seven years ago. They have enjoyed the hobby since then, and have faced easy and difficult hikes to find caches of items.
“In Georgia, we had to go up a mountainside, and we had to dig rocks to get to it,” Madere said.
The Maderes say they have found geocaches in every county in Georgia. Caches of random items can be found in old Tupperware containers or ammunition boxes.
The Geocaching app shows the locations of boxes around the world.
The Maderes are trying to reach 25 out of 30 locations in Duval County to earn a prize from REI in the St. John’s Town Center.
Volunteers run most of the events, but the Jacksonville parks department and tourism group Visit Jacksonville joined the fun this year. Organizers say that geocaching has grown.
“The kickoff every year has gotten bigger as more people have found out about it and they want to find these caches around Jacksonville,” said Tim Madere.
Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, Madere says one thing keeps him going when geocaching.
“Have fun, enjoy it, it’s not about the race but it’s about the fun of getting out and doing things. People don’t do enough of that. They’ll stay inside and play games. They need to enjoy the sunshine and nature,” he said.
The Maderes says they expect to reach the 25 locations in the next two to three days. The geocaching challenge has been held the last seven years.
This is the first year that municipal organizations have sponsored the event.