Geocaching is a fun activity for the whole family, and since we’ve been doing it for many, many years I thought it was high time I wrote about it. Especially if like me you’re desperate for a little fun in the last days of summer.
Geocaching is something that my husband discovered over a decade ago. At the time it was a bit more new and thus the caches were spread out a bit more and often trickier to find. Now there are literally caches everywhere! There’s probably one in the parking lot of the grocery store you go to and there may be one at your neighborhood park. It’s great because it allows young kids to participate while older kids and adults can hunt down those trickier caches.
Geocaching is using GPS tracking to find a location where a cache is hidden. Just like your car’s GPS the GPS device or app you use for geocaching will tell you how close (or far away you are) and which direction to go in to find the cache.
A cache is simply a container which contains a log and if it’s large enough a few treasures. When you find it you log your name and if you take something, you leave something.
The container is sometimes as small as a magnetic key holder, other times a metal locker that is as big as a shoebox.
The log is simply a recording of who has visited the cache. You write the date and your name or screen name.
The items you find are varied. In one box we found cool paperclips, Rainbow Loom bracelets, baseball cards, and dollar store race cars.
What you Need to go Geocaching:
- A GPS device or app. The free version of the app allows you to search for local caches while the premium version allows you to search any location. The app is $10. A GPS device will run between $75-100 approximately. We have both and in our experience the app drains your battery REALLY fast, so be prepared if you use your phone with a battery charger you can use on the go.
- Some trinkets. We search through the kids toys or pick up packs of cars or figures like the Angry Birds above to drop in the box if we find something we’d like to take home.
- A pen or pencil. This is to log your visit. Some caches have pencils/pens while others are too small or simply do not.
- Walking shoes and appropriate clothing. Many caches are in parks and easy to find areas, but if you’re interested in more of a challenge you will find yourself crossing streams and dodging thorns and branches to get to your location.
- Water. Especially if you’re looking for a challenging cache you will need water. This reusable water bottle includes a filter and is great to take along.
- A camera (or your phone). My kids each bring their cameras and we document the caches and things we find along the way (a pretty garden in someone’s yard or a dragonfly).
Once you become experienced you can create your own cache for others to find!
Geocaching is a great way to get the kids outside and exploring. Even though you’re using a screen to find where you need to go it will get your kids exploring in nature and more importantly spending time together being active!
Have you ever gone geocaching?
I’ve included some items in the Amazon widget below (click through to the site if you can’t see it in email or your feedreader).