A secret, high-tech “treasure hunt” you never knew is right in front of you… With just an app on your phone and your own two feet, you can visit amazing locations, make new friends, and find awesome treasures.
“You are a muggle,” says Joshua Johnson, laughing, “that’s what they call people who are not aware of this geocaching world.” Geocaching is an outdoor, location-based game in which participants hunt and find “caches”, or hidden objects, using GPS technology. There are over 3.5 million geocaches hidden around the world. There’s a whole world invisible to you right now– kind of like the muggles in Harry Potter.
But if you have ever stumbled across geocaching online, you probably already know who Joshua Johnson is. Johnson, better known as “The Geocaching Vlogger”, has amassed over 54,000 subscribers and millions of views on his YouTube channel as he documents his finds from around the world. His charisma and love for the game is contagious through the screen and his digital presence is ever-growing. Johnson is just as passionate about the geocaching content he puts out as the game itself; he hasn’t missed a weekly upload in ten years. “I’m a little bit stubborn,” he says, chuckling, “I set a goal at one point to create one new geocaching adventure a week and it’s been going strong for ten years.”
According to Joshua, what makes a really good geocache find is three things: an awesome location, who you’re with, and how creative the geocache is. Whatever is in the container itself isn’t too important to him. “The reward is really in the journey,” says Johnson. Sometimes the geocache will take you to new locations like waterfalls, parks, cool businesses in a new city, and sometimes even a new country. Other times, there are themes or puzzles to finding the cache. There are even different kinds of official geocaches like mystery, virtual, and multi-caches, or multiple locations in one cache. “My love for geocaching comes from all the wonderful benefits that it has. People hide geocaches in places that they want to show off… It’s kind of like a tour guide,” says Johnson.
Johnson says one of his favorite things about geocaching is the diversity and welcoming spirit of the community. “It’s a hobby for anyone and everyone, and when you go to a geocaching event it’s very clear,” he says. Because it is a niche hobby, Johnson says major geocache events are like a family reunion.
Owensboro will host MOGA, or the Midwest Open Geocaching Adventure, one of the oldest and largest geocaching events in the world this year. Geocachers will travel from around the country to participate in the event at Yellow Creek Park and Rudy Mines Trails on Memorial Day Weekend, beginning Friday, May 28 through Sunday, May 31. Johnson will be visiting Owensboro for a second time to attend MOGA this year. “MOGA is special because of the competitive aspect,” says Johnson, “it can be sort of a race.” Don’t worry if you don’t want to compete– there are permanent caches placed for those who want to go at their own pace.
Johnson says another reason he loves big events like MOGA is because it’s an excuse to explore a new city, or in his case, re-explore. “When I think of Owensboro, the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame sounds amazing. Also, the riverwalk area. Owensboro also has a “geotour” which is a set of designated geocaches where if you complete them you get a commemorative coin,” says Johnson. “As someone who’s been there, the city has a lot to offer.”
Don’t forget! Those interested in attending MOGA this year have the opportunity to save money on their stay and get an extra special cache by booking through www.mogageo.com . They are offering special rates for MOGA attendees that will also earn them a commemorative coin for MOGA 2021 and a chance to win a $100 Marriot gift card. You MUST visit through their site to get the deal!
Watch the full video below to hear Joshua Johnson talk about some of his favorite YouTube videos to film and his personal advice to geocaching newbies!