A look at the hobby of geocaching in Arizona

Geocaching has been around for more than a decade; it's a GPS-led scavenger hunt with prizes hidden all over the globe.

- Geocaching has been around for more than a decade; it's a GPS-led scavenger hunt with prizes hidden all over the globe.

Arizona recently made about 9 million acres of land available to geocachers, and now the hobby is more popular than ever.

The hobby gives a glimpse of nature as you've never seen it before.

"Hundreds of people walk by here every day, nobody has any clue," said Joe Highley, a geocacher.

The hobby has boomed thanks to Gov. Ducey lifting a geocaching ban on state lands.

"It's added 9 million acres of Arizona land that we can now geocache on," said Highley.

Highley is a 10-year geocaching vet, hunting under the name "Just Hike" with the back of his t-shirt a nod to the geocaching rulebook.

"Five-hundred twenty-eight is a 1/10th of a mile, so that's the minimum distance between each geocache," he said.

In the Geocaching world, a new person is called a "Muggle," just like in Harry Potter. Joe helped pick a cache from  Geocaching.com a website listing 2 million cache locations all over the globe.  The first hunt he took FOX 10 on was a cache called "Ducky the Wizard" in Papago Park.

If you take a toy from a cache, you're expected to leave another. The cache also contains a log book listing everyone who has stopped by. You're able to put down your geocaching name in a book.

The next cache he took FOX 10 on was called RocketMan. It's an easy walk for kids or those less mobile, the instructions for the cache are pretty clever. It involves attaching a balloon to a small hose and you wait for the rocket to launch.

The thoughtfully crafted cache is the brainchild of Al School a bearded bike rider known among colleagues as "The Duckmeister."

"I started using little rubber ducks, sticking snarky little notes in them that said you're close, but not quite the prize," said Al Schoon.

He's hidden almost 400 of the caches in the valley, some with prizes like little ducks, and others just for fun.

"I'm actually different than most geocachers. I'm not big on finding geocaches, but I love to place them, and I love people's reactions to geocaching. That's my thing," he said.

Al's also lost 35 pounds by biking to the cache locations. One of his newest is called "Cat's Meow" a hand crafted cache that looks like a cat's tail.

There are thousands of geocaches in Arizona if you're interested visit www.geocaching.org

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