What is Geocaching?

By Wyatt Goolsby
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The investigation is still ongoing after Midland authorities received a bomb scare close to the UT Permian Basin CEED building.

It all started Tuesday afternoon when groundskeepers found an ammo canister near the facility. As it turns out, it was just a box full of toys, which were all part of a bigger geocaching game.

It can be a scary sight if you find an ammo box near a big building. If you don't know what it's for, you would probably call the police, too. But it's very possible the three young people authorities are now searching for were just on a high tech treasure hunt.

"When I saw it on news, I knew immediately what it was because my family had just been out there a couple of weeks ago and had found the cache," Midland geocacher Charlotte Dameron said.

Dameron said every Sunday, she and her family look far and wide using GPS devices in search of hidden items.

"Caches range from just tiny little-bitty pill type size containers to film canisters to ammo cases to five gallon buckets," Dameron explained.

The containers have small toys and nick-knacks that are moved around all over the country. But there's one big rule Dameron said she makes sure she follows.

"We usually cover ours up with cameo tape or some kind of dark tape so that people don't mistake the cans for anything that could be harmful," Dameron said.

Which is exactly what Dameron thinks happened when authorities found a canister without clear labels.

"I think that the Sheriff's Department, everybody involved handled the situation very well, but I do want people to know that it's a safe, fun, harmless, legal activity that people of all ages can do together and have a great time doing it," Dameron added.

Dameron said more than 300 geocaches are hidden all over the Midland-Odessa area. In fact, there's a whole local organization online for geocachers in West Texas. Members say they hope people will be aware of their game and their canisters placed around the Basin.