Saturday, December 31, 2011

Geocaching, Travel Bugs

Geocaching is the high tech treasure hunting game that helps guide your adventures and explorations.  Travel bugs piggy-back off of this concept and add another element to the fun. 
According to the Geocaching website a travel bug is a trackable tag that you attach to an item. This allows you to track your item on The item becomes a hitchhiker that is carried from cache to cache (or person to person) in the real world and you can follow its progress online.  Some of you may think this is a strange idea, but the real fun is trying to help other participating parties get their travel bugs where they want them to go.  Let's say someone buys a travel bug, registers it online and then places it in a geocache.  Now if you find this and decide to take the travel bug, you are responsible to log the removal of the travel bug online.  Once on the site you can see where the travel bug has been, and where the owner wants it to go.  Owners have goals of their travel bug's meeting up with other travel bugs, or traveling to a place the owner can only dream of going.

Some of my best experiences with travel bugs include finding a travel bug that originates from Australia, my dream travel location.  It was a travel bug attached to a Koala bear, so I instantly thought of Australia when I saw it, and was happy to find it really was from Australia.  Another time me and a friend found one in Michigan, logged it and realized its goal was to go to the Netherlands.  Being Dutch myself I thought this was intriguing! So when I went down to visit him in Illinois I brought the travel bug with me and we placed it into a cache at a park near him.  Long story short about a year later it ended up in the Netherlands, and its goal was achieved. 

The only problem I see with the travel bug concept is when a geocacher picks one up, and fails to log it online, and never moves it along to the next cache.  Although this is somewhat rare, and it does happen from time to time.  So not only is completing the goal difficult, surviving the journey proves to be a challenge for many travel bugs.

One more thing! You can geocache right from your Android phone or Apple iPhone with the Geocaching app.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's night and sets achievable new years resolutions.  I've included a video that breaks down travel bugs a bit more.  Enjoy :)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Geocaching, an Exploration Initiator

Sometimes, it seems to me that people don't go out and explore the world around them because they simply don't know how.  And if they do know how, they don't know where to explore.  One of my favorite things to do creates an answer to this question.  I present to you, geocaching.  Some of you may have heard of it.  Geocaching is basically a treasure hunting game where you are given coordinates and your objective is to locate the "cache" at those coordinates.  In my experience the caches located in a wooded setting are the most challenging, yet the most exciting.
My explanation is a bit vague, so I have included this video that will help introduce the idea to you from the official geocaching website.
I hope this video sparks some interest, and inspires you to get out and enjoy nature and the outdoors.  Some of the geocaches require hiking equipment, boats or climbing gear, but for the most part you can go with just tennis shoes and bug spray!  Next time I will introduce the idea of travel bugs, which is a concept that resides within geocaching.  Enjoy :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Introduction to Exploration

Hello, my name is Marc Steensma, I am a Business Major at Montana State University in Billings, Montana.  In life there are many things that I enjoy, but sitting on the top of my list is exploring.  This world is so beautiful and wondrous.  People live for 50 plus years and barely scratch the surface of what is out there to do and see.  My favorite things include mountains, evergreen trees/forests, lakes, animals, deserts, and all of the National Parks.  I've traveled quite a bit considering my age, the only states I have yet to visit are Alaska, Hawaii and Louisiana.
My goal here is to inspire at least one person to go out there and view this beautiful world.  I will utilize my words and photography to communicate the unexplainable draw I have to nature.
My hope is that this post finds all of you in a good place, and if anything, creates an urge for exploration, and a feeling of wonder.
I'll leave you today with a nice little video that I find to be pretty cool, enjoy! :)
Oh, and I am home in Michigan, where I am from, for the Holidays, but I'll be driving 25 hours back to Montana next week!

Note: I would love to do something like this, finding the perfect location is the challenge.  Maybe some of you have suggestions? :)