Treasure hunts become real with geocaching

Stephanie Jessie

When Steve Briggs’ grandfather died in 2012, he chose to honor his name in a not so normal way: by hiding a geocache on WKU’s campus.

“Grandpa was a WWII veteran and taught me to be adventurous,” the cache reads online.

Geocaching is described as a “real-world, outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices” on 

Started in 2000 when GPS technology improved, geocaching allows participants to find objects hidden around the globe using only the GPS coordinates they have been given. was founded shortly after the first hunting experience and has since served as the main gateway for the players, allowing users to get coordinates, hints and clues to find hidden geocaches in their area.

“I heard it from my father-in-law,” Briggs, assistant director of Residence Life at WKU, said. 

While visiting his father-in-law in Nebraska in 2007, the two found a micro-cache the size of a nail head. After coming back to Kentucky and seeing the abundance of caches in the area, Briggs began caching on a regular basis.

“My best year was 2011, right around the semester break,” he said. “August and September and then the semester break — December and January — usually are my peak times. My goal, I think seven is the max I’ve had in a day and so this year, during the break, I’m going to go and have a day of 20.”

Briggs has traveled as far north as Wisconsin, as far south as Florida and was even able to get three states in one trip during a visit to Chattanooga with his wife. During one cache hunt where the new hotel by South Campus is located, Briggs found himself face-to-face with a stray cat sanctuary.

“There’s all these Rubbermaid tubs turned over and someone would go out and feed them,” he said. “I counted 30 (cats).”

The hidden object could be anything, but it is normally a waterproof container with a paper log of everyone who has found the cache and some trinkets that are up for trade, including small toys, money or, in Briggs’ case, an Army man.

“My little thing is an Army man,” he said. “So, if you ever find one that I’ve been at, there’s usually an Army man associated with it.”