Mammut Sports Group, the Swiss quality alpine gear and apparel brand, has recently announced the launch of the Mammut Shoe Chase, a summer-long geo-caching contest to promote its recently launched Spring 2009 line of Mammut footwear.

Shoes from Mammut’s new multisport and hiking line will be stashed across Europe, North America and South America for anyone to find. The contest begins immediately and will run through September 2009.

The Mammut Shoe Chase will lead participants to various alpine, backpacking, urban and dealer locations, where sponsored athletes and other Mammut representatives have hidden the caches. To find the caches, participants will use navigation skills and geo-caching techniques, based on coordinates listed on www.basecamp.mammut.ch. Points are awarded based on speed, difficulty and number of caches found, and participants record their findings in an online logbook. Whoever has earned the most points at the end of the game wins Mammut equipment and an exclusive tour with extreme alpinist Stephan Siegrist.

On a similar note, the mobile navigation specialist Garmin will introduce in September a geo-caching contest at Zeche Zollverein in Essen, Germany. At the huge former coal mining area that has been named a world heritage site, several thousand active geo-cacher and GPS fans will meet for the first event of its kind in Germany.

Geo-caching has been developing a lot within the last years to a new kind of outdoor game with a growing number of followers. Not only are technical buffs interested; it is also a fun game for families and children.

—Regina Henkel