GPS Lovers Zero In On New Source Of Fun

The latest obsession among Americans involves high-tech gadgetry, travel and the challenge of the hunt as well as finding treasure.

Geocaching is a grassroots hobby without much formal organization other than a few loosely organized volunteers and a Web site that cachers use to post and learn about caches.

Three women from the Charlotte area recently took off on an adventure. Using clues, puzzles and math problems, they determined the coordinates, plugged the numbers into their handheld G-P-S receivers and went across three counties to find hidden caches.

One of the women joined the hunt after an eight-hour drive from Florida which she says took almost twice as long because she stopped to find some caches.

There are problems with caching. One cacher tried placing an innocent cache under an Idaho bridge in 2005, alerting the local bomb squad. Then again, an annual GeoWoodstock event held in Raleigh over Memorial Day weekend drew two-thousand cachers.