Understanding Environmental Values of Geocache Participants

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Geocaching is a 21st-century hide and seek game using digital technology to find hidden caches. Geocaching is a relatively new recreational activity combining both physical and mental exercise. Research has shown that geocaching has many benefits for the participant, but due to the nature of the activity, it can have detrimental effects on the environment. This research aims to understand the environmental values of geocaching participants, examining the motivations to participate and the benefits derived.
Following a literature review concerning geocaching and theories on human values, a gap was identified, and the study was developed to research the environmental values of geocachers. A questionnaire was developed based on two research surveys, the Schwartz Value Survey and the Portrait Value Survey. The questionnaire was distributed through social media on geocaching Facebook groups allowing responses over a one-week period. Analysis of the responses demonstrated strong pro-environmental values among geocaching participants. The results indicate that geocachers have a Self-Transcendence dimension orientation, with both biospheric and altruistic values being prevalent. It is recommended that geocaching be integrated into recreational land management and used as a tool to educate and raise awareness of the natural environment and encourage active and inclusive participation in an outdoor activity.
Date of Award1 Jul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Glasgow
SupervisorNikki McIntosh (Supervisor)

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