Those seeking the loot are known as geocachers. Equipped with a GPS and the longitude and latitude of the cache, they will trek over hill and dale, through bush and briar to find their prize. GPS accuracy is generally limited to a 30-foot area, so finding a cache can sometimes prove to be a challenge.
The high-tech treasure hunting game has become increasingly popular in South Carolina, which now boasts more than 4,500 hidden caches. We're not talking gold bullion here. The swag would be better categorized as random trinkets.
"Dollar Tree stores exist because of geocaching," quipped avid treasure hunter Ken Robinson, a former law enforcement officer-turned-private investigator.
Directions for more than a million hidden treasures in 200-plus countries can be found at www.geocaching.com. Enter a zip code and choose the skill level and difficulty of terrain that suits your search party. In South Carolina caches can be found anywhere from the mountains to the beaches to urban areas.
Be aware, the containers can be as tiny as a pencil eraser or as large as an ammo box. If you locate a cache, you can take something from the container as a memento, but you have to leave something for the next player. Finders are asked to sign a log and return the cache to the same hiding spot. Their successful searches can be entered in the geocaching website, allowing others to share in their adventure.