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Geocache enthusiasts from all over the world converging on Truro

The Fitzherbert’s log all of their geocaching adventures under the name ‘2 Gypsies With No Moss Between Our toes’ on geocaching.com. A custom made sign and front license plate with their username were made for them to display proudly.
The Fitzherbert’s log all of their geocaching adventures under the name ‘2 Gypsies With No Moss Between Our toes’ on geocaching.com. A custom made sign and front license plate with their username were made for them to display proudly.

TRURO, N.S. – You may soon see a large number of people, phone or GPS in hand, wandering about the town with a puzzled look.

No need for concern though, they’re just geocaching.

The fourth Maritime Mega geocaching event is heading to Truro July 29 to Aug. 5, welcoming travellers and locals alike to take part in a week of special activities and events.

This is the second time the event has been held in Nova Scotia, and geocachers from as far away as Europe are expected to attend.

“The event itself is expecting 500 geocachers to come,” said Jason Brothers, an executive committee member for Maritime Mega.

“With interest coming in from that many people around the world, it should help bring some money into Truro, and will help advertise what the Maritimes has to offer.”

Special outings are planned during the week leading up to the mega event, including a poker run, themed flash mobs and also a clean-up of the location the first Canadian geocache was placed, at Tancook Island near Lunenburg.

Each event will take participants on a new adventure, allowing them to win prizes and collect geocaches along the way.

Geocaches are small containers hidden throughout the world and are often made from old pill bottles, Tupperware or even more elaborate homemade puzzle boxes and treasure chests.

They are found using GPS co-ordinates listed online, or through the geocaching phone app.

Inside these containers is usually a paper log, where a geocacher can write their name before logging their find using the app on their phone. Each cache found and logged counts toward a user’s overall finds online.

“It’s a great way to get outside,” said Clarence Fitzherbert.

“We travel a lot, and when we travel, we geocache. My brother-in-law started geocaching in Saint John. He took us out, showed us how to do it and we were hooked ever since.”

Fitzherbert, a retired 78-year-old Truro man, spends his days with his wife Edna visiting various parts of the world and they geocache everywhere they go.

Since starting in 2007, they have amassed more than 60,000 geocache finds in places such as Panama, Turkey, Germany and Alaska.

“It’s good exercise, it’s an outdoors activity, and it’s a good family activity,” he said.

“We have three daughters, and all of them geocache; even our granddaughters love it. It is something to do while we travel to pass the time.”

Geocaching has become more accessible as time goes on, and the number of active geocachers increases each year.

“I think it has gone from something niche to something that is accessible to everybody,” said Brothers.

“In the early days, Geocaching was only accessible to those with the technology – a GPS device – but now anyone with a smartphone or tablet can do it. You can just download the app and go.”

The mega event is on Aug. 5, and will have special cache events and workshops presented by prominent figures in the geocaching world, as well as introductory sessions for those interested in trying out Geocaching.

Special outings and activities leading up to the mega event will run from July 29 to Aug. 4, and while admission to the whole event is free, there is a $15 fee for those interested in prizes and the mega event grab bag.

Everyday is another day to geocache. Clarence and Edna Fitzherbert find new adventures each day, including a bike trip from Pictou to Oxford on Monday where they found over 50 caches. Black boxes line the trail on Clarence’s GPS, each one listing a different cache.

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