Thursday, August 4, 2011

Waymarking for frugal family entertainment

at a former gold mine

I keep a geocaching blog and I’ve taught people how to find and hide geocaches. For families intimidated or looking for less adventure, waymarking may be a good fit for you. If you have found geocaches or waymarks, leave a comment about your favorite or most recent.

What it is. In my mind, waymarking is like directed sight seeing – a funny sign, an unusual tree, an interesting historical statue that is somewhat hidden from streetview, an out of the way memorial, or interesting sight (fairy door, anyone?), as well as conventional businesses and cultural landmarks – that you locate with a gps unit. The sights are not hidden like a geocache. A gps unit is not completely necessary but frequently very helpful.

Who can find a waymark. Many waymarks are handicap and stroller accessible, much more so than geocaching. Anyone with a gps who can physically drive or walk to the sites listed at can find participate in this hobby.

How to find a waymark. Visit and create a free account. Search for the ZIP code (or category) of your choice. Choose a waymark to find and enter the coordinates into your gps. Find it, log your visit at the waymarking website, and you’re done!

Where to find waymarks. Waymarks are everywhere. You can find 75 waymarks as of today’s date in Des Moines proper. Many more exist, waiting to be found, in the suburbs.

Why find waymarks. Waymarking is like geocaching in that it reveals a new perspective to the ordinary, everyday places. Some folks also enjoy competition, and others make a game of finding one waymark per day, one in every county, one in every state, etc.

Waymarking places landmarks as the focus of the hunt. Children and adults alike can perform this activity. GPS units can be checked out in geocaching backpacks (see article here).

This article is also located at my Examiner column.

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