This is a survey of recreation in the American West. The primary purpose of this project is to explore, document, and publish a permanent, voluminous, wide-sweeping, and studied record of the State of Recreation in the summer of 2014.

For The Record, Recreation is essentially everything and anything that isn’t work, it’s the opposite of work, it’s leisure. It’s the what, the where, the how, and the who of what we do with our discretionary time, money, energy, etc. It’s also a biological and psychological imperative. We need to do it. Everybody does it.

While Recreation is an exceptionally ubiquitous and universal form of human expression, it’s not homogenous. In fact, there exist myriad forms, expressions, styles, modes, manifestations, permutations, etc. Because this is a survey, and because this project was initially conceived and further designed to explore and document the seemingly infinite varieties of recreation, we aim to catalog as many examples possible—if it’s Recreation and it’s happening in a public or nearly public space then it is within the purview of this project.

To that end Yonder Journal will spend the entire month of July deep inside America’s vast network of roads, campgrounds, State & National Parks, coastline, beaches, rivers, mountains, lakes, forests, deserts, valleys, small towns, fairgrounds, trail systems, gas stations, parking lots and similar, visiting as many different Recreational Activities in as many different Recreational Areas as possible in our effort to witness and subsequently memorialize leisure, however elusive or obvious.

Follow along starting july 4th.



Field Studies Beta

no. 1

Field Studies Beta

Beta Submissions are now closed.

Dear America, Yonder needs your submissions. We need detailed, accurate, insightful, actionable, on-the-ground information regarding Recreation as it applies to our somewhat fluid trajectory. Where is it happening? Who is doing it? When are they doing it? What are they doing? Et cetera, et cetera. To that end we created a Beta Submission Form, which BSF outlines the entire process, including exactly what’s required and how it’s required. The 10 best BSFs will be rewarded in the form of a Complete ByPoler Makeover & Yakima Rack System, the retail value of each package is roughly $1000.00 (figure neither scientific nor guaranteed). You will also likely receive a YJ bandana and some other art and survival-based sundries.

Quick Facts:

  1. For more information regarding our somewhat fluid trajectory, please consult the map below. We will zig and we will zag. We are curious and easily compelled into action. And we regularly make bad decisions—but we are NOT going to Maryland. Please only submit those Recreational Areas and Recreational Activities which apply.
  2. As much as we’re looking for Recreational Areas and Recreational Activities, we are also interested in spots. You know what we’re talking about, and if you don’t, we’re talking about locals only swimming holes and whatnot. Seriously, tell us about your spots. If absolute, unconditional secrecy is required, we can do that. Seriously, we can. We love saying things like, “go here, if you can find it.” #dontblowitup
  3. All forms of consensual recreation are relevant. For example, Gem Shows and Hawking. For a more detailed list please see below.
  4. The more interesting and less obvious the Recreation, the better.
  5. Surprise us. We know about Yosemite and rock climbing, and yes, we are going to Lake Havasu.
  6. Your BSF may be published.
  7. The Reward Selection Process is completely subjective and arbitrary. We will simply chose those BSFs which are the most helpful, relevant, interesting, etc.
  8. We know that you know that we already know—in many cases— where to go, so we might go where you said to go, but maybe we were already going to go there, like, even before you told us to go there, so if we go there and we don’t publicly thank you and/or recognize your contribution, please don’t be upset, it’s just that we were going to go there anyway. That said, we will do our best to acknowledge any and every contribution to this project. Seriously.
  9. Beta Submissions are now closed.

A Somewhat-Exhaustive List of Potential Recreation Categories

Arm Wrestling, Backpacking, Bikini Contests, Bird Watching, Body Building, Bushcraft, Canoeing, Climbing, Conventioning, Dancing, Demolition Derbying, Diving, Flat Tracking, Fishing, Hangliding, Hiking, Jump Roping, Kayaking, Kite Flying, LARPing, Motocross, Mountain Biking, Mountain Man Rendezvousing, Oil Wrestling, Rafting, Rock Collecting, Rodeo, Rollerblading, Skateboarding, State Fairs, Strong Manning, Sunbathing, Surfing, Swapmeeting, Swimming, Team Sporting (e.g. Basketball, Soccer, Baseball, etc.), Train Hopping. 

 Download PDF


The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon. The location was posted on a Usenet Newsgroup as 45°17.460′N 122°24.800′W. By May 6, 2000, the cache had been found and logged by Mike Teague of Vancouver, Washington. According to Dave Ulmer’s message, the cache was a partially buried black plastic bucket containing software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot. A plaque called the Original Stash Tribute Plaque now commemorates the site.

To promote interactivity and participation in Western Recreation while simultaneously studying & surveying Western Recreation, and to demonstrate Yonder’s love for GPS-based nerd activities, pirate treasure maps, remote locations and adventure-oriented performance art, we are hiding/burying/concealing/activating one Geopackage a day for 25 days in the wake of our expedition throughout The West. Each Geopackage will contain a collection of practical and/or inspirational Art & Survival Sundries inside a Numbered Industrial-Strength Ziplock Bag. The contents of each NISZB will include a number of the following:

  1. Yonder Journal Western Recreation Bandana featuring art by Lucy Engelman
  2. Yonder Journal Mythical State of Jefferson Poster, hand screen printed by Chris McNally
  3. Poler Stuff Camp Mug
  4. Poler Stuff Wool PS Cap
  5. Poler Stuff Trucker Cap
  6. Gerber M600 Needle Nose Plier Multi Tool
  7. ICNY Reflective Performance Socks
  8. Outlier Soft Goods
  9. FairEnds Cap
  10. Woolrich Blanket
  11. Stumptown Camp Mugs
  12. Stanley Thermos
  13. Stanley Cooler

Traditionally speaking, once a cache is discovered by a Geocache Practitioner she/he will run through the following protocol/motions:

  1. Sign a logbook if a logbook is present,
  2. Rummage through the cache’s contents, taking some objects while leaving others,
  3. Leave the cache “in play” for future GPs to discover,
  4. Post the date, time and any other relevant details related to their discovery of the cache.

The Western Rec Geopackage Protocol is similar but different in several ways, the most significant being once discovered you are encouraged to keep, carry, and covet the contents of the NISZB as you see fit. What follows is the complete breakdown of the Western Rec Geopackage Protocol:

  1. Western Rec Geopackage locations will be published on day- by-day basis beginning on July 4th. For information about which geopackages are in play please consult the Western Rec Geopackage Status Report below. For details regarding where each geopackage can be found please consult our daily Field Briefs.
  2. There is no logbook or item exchange. Again, please keep, carry, and covet the contents of your NISZB.
  3. As such, there can be only one successful practitioner or “discoverer” per geopackage.
  4. At the time of discovery please take a #selfie or equivalent.
  5. At the time of discovery please record the date and exact time, along with any relevant sensations.
  6. At the time of discovery, or once back in service coverage if applicable, please Instagram your selfie (@yonderjournal + #westernrec).
  7. As soon as possible following the discovery, please email us: westernrecreation@yonderjournal.com. Include a brief description of the events/ context(s)/circumstances surrounding the recovery of the Geopackage in question. Was recovery your only reason for being in the area? Were you passing through? Are you alone? If not, who’s with you? Where are you headed? Etc. Additionally please tell us your name, age, where you were born, where you live now, what you do for work and a list of your Top 10 preferred methods of Recreation. Any and all details are encouraged.

Western Rec Geopackage Status

  1. Geopackage #1 – LOCATION UNKNOWN – Undepolyed
  2. Geopackage #2 – 38°39’7″ N 109°40’36″ W Moab, UT – Claimed
  3. Geopackage #3 – 34°19’5″ N 110°56’54″ W Payson, AZ – Claimed
  4. Geopackage #4 – 37°52’16.7″ N -119°21’42″ W Yosemite NP, CA – Claimed
  5. Geopackage #5 – 37°46’25″ N 111°24’53″ W Kiva Koffeehouse, UT – Claimed
  6. Geopackage #6 – 34°52’6″ N 111°44’7″ W Sedona, AZ – Claimed
  7. Geopackage #7 LOCATION UNKNOWN – Undepolyed
  8. Geopackage #8 – 43°24’23″ N 116°51’51″ W Marsing, ID – Claimed
  9. Geopackage #9 – 41°47’29″ N 114°44’15″ W Wells, NV – Claimed
  10. Geopackage #10 – 37°9’43″ N 113°4’52″ W Grafton Ghost Town, UT – Claimed
  11. Geopackage #11 – 34°6’29″ N 118°15’26″ W Atwater Village, Los Angeles, CA – Claimed
  12. Geopackage #12 – 41°47’29″ N 114°44’15″ W Crescent City, CA – Claimed
  13. Geopackage #13 – 44°22’13″ N 121°8’6″ W Smith Rock SP, OR – Claimed
  14. Geopackage #14 – 38° 35′ 36″ N 121° 25′ 53″ W Sacramento, CA – Claimed
  15. Geopackage #15LOCATION UNKNOWN – Undepolyed
  16. Geopackage #16 – 43°45’26″ N 122°0’17″ W Waldo Lake, OR – Claimed
  17. Geopackage #17 – 37°39’36″ N 118°48’43″ Mammoth Lakes, CA – Claimed
  18. Geopackage #18LOCATION UNKNOWN – Undepolyed
  19. Geopackage #19 – 39°33’33″ N 119°51’52″ W Reno, NV – Claimed
  20. Geopackage #20 – 43°39’11″ N 124°12’22″ W Reedsport, OR – Claimed
  21. Geopackage #21 – 37°35’18″ N 120°7’28″ W Mariposa, CA – Claimed
  22. Geopackage #22 – 39°8’4″ N 121°34’48″ W Yuba City, CA – Claimed
  23. Geopackage #23LOCATION UNKNOWN – Undepolyed
  24. Geopackage #24 – 37°19’46″ N 118°19’27″ W Bishop, CA – Claimed
  25. Geopackage #25 – 32°58’16″ N 115°14’35″ W Brawley, California – Claimed


Plotted above on Lucy Engelman’s map is the loosely planned, general trajectory of the Western Recreation Survey. Our actual route will almost certainly be modified, deviated, added to, subtracted from, etc., but let this map serve as a basic outline and guide to preparing your BSFs.

American Field Studies: Western Recreation is made possible by


with additional support from Poler.

Yonder would also like to thank contributors Lucy Engelman (WR Map), and Sage Brown (WR Design), Shinola, Gerber, Outlier, Woolrich, ICNY Sport, FairEnds and Stumptown Coffee.