Family-friendly and Eco-friendly: Framing Geocaching as a Legitimate Use of the Landscape

Authors: Stentor Danielson*, Slippery Rock University
Topics: Cultural Geography, Landscape
Keywords: geocaching, landscape, place, recreation, environmentalism, sexuality, homelessness
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Geocaching, a worldwide GPS-based treasure hunt game, strives to present itself as a wholesome recreational activity. Where searching for geocaches may be viewed as suspicious or deviant, geocaching insists that it is a family-friendly activity. Where geocache containers may themselves be viewed as litter, geocaching insists that geocachers take care of the environment through a philosophy of "cache in, trash out." This research examines the ways that outward- and inward-facing discourse from geocachers strives to maintain the game's legitimacy as family-friendly and eco-friendly, by contrasting it with "illegtimate" uses of the same landscapes such as littering, sexual encounters, and homelessness.

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