Heading Outdoors

Activity Provides Mental, Physical Benefits


Kalei Renner

FRESH FINDS: Finding new places with her friends became an entertaining hobby for junior Kalei Renner. over the summer. “It’s a giant map of your area and places around you and you can tap on different geocaches and then you go to them,” Renner said. “It’ similar to a scavenger hunt.” Geocaches are never supposed to be taken from their location. Pictured: Hailey Wojtas

Wanting to get out of the house when everything was shut down, junior Kalei Renner and her friends decided to start geocaching. In order to go geocaching, all that is needed is a phone and the great outdoors.
“I had the sudden desire to go geocaching which is a way to explore different places,” Renner said. “It’s a giant map of your area and places around you and you can tap on different geocaches and then you go to them. It is similar to a scavenger hunt. It led me to a lot of places I would have never known about. I went to Ashland one time and I found a tucked away bike trail, a giant skate park and this hidden waterfall.”
There are two main types of geocaches. One is a “basic” version that is accessible to anyone. A subscription model is also available for a small price. These are harder to find and require a tougher terrain. Renner pays six dollars a month for her subscription.
“When you find one you’re supposed to sign a piece of paper to show you were there,” Renner said. “There’s a subscription version where you can find bigger geocaches that have actual items in them. The objective of it is to take an item from one and take it to the next one you go to. You aren’t supposed to take the items and keep them for yourself.”
Through her new hobby, Renner was able to get fresh air, exercise and see her friends. Going geocaching has led her to different places she would have never found otherwise.
“The most interesting place was Ashland,” Renner said. “My friends and I would plan out dates to go geocaching in multiple places. Obviously we could have hung out at home, but since everything was closed down it was a way for us to get out of the house and explore new places. We went to a lot of places.”
With a new hobby under her belt, Renner was able to see her friends, see new locations and get out of the house. Geocaching not only helped her physical health, but her mental health as well.
“When you’re trapped inside of the house and don’t get enough time outside, you get into your head,” Renner said. “Going out and being in nature boosted my spirits and I appreciated it more.”
From seeing new places to hanging out with friends, Renner benefitted from geocaching. Whether it be free or paid, the activity has become a part of a weekly routine for her.