If you are looking to get your family outside this spring for a little exercise and fun while using their brains at the same time - give geocaching a try. Geocaching is a sport that is similar to a modern day treasure hunt. However, instead of using an old map and searching for an X, you use a GPS device, a set of coordinates and provided clues to find the booty. While you won't find a buried treasure chest heaping with gold and jewels, you and your family will find a cache of treats hidden in an eco-friendly hiding space. Sound like fun? Great, grab your kiddos and read on to discover the rules, etiquette and how to get started with your first geocaching hunt.
1: What is a Cache?
Caches are hidden all of the world by geocachers – a cache will consist of a pen, logbook, and treats that are placed into a weatherproof box and hidden. Then, the coordinates of the cache are shared on one of several websites or smart phone apps for geocachers to find.
2: How Difficult Are Caches to Find?
Most apps and websites will show how difficult a cache is to find by giving it a 1-5 star rating. If you have younger children, or are just starting to geocache, you may want to try an easier cache at first.
3: What You Will Need:
- GPS device or Smart Phone with GPS capabilities
Once you really get into Geocaching and will be getting off the beaten path, you will want to bring all of the necessary equipment that you and your children would bring on a day of hiking including; water bottle, flashlight, compass, maps, sunscreen, hiking shoes, weather appropriate clothing, backpack etc.
4: Geocaching Etiquette
After you find a cache, you need to fill out the log book and leave a trinket in place of the trinket that you take. The trinket should be of equal or greater value. Don’t let others see you find the geocache and after you have signed the log book and exchanged your cache trinkets, put it exactly back where you found it.
5. How To Get Started
Either go to www.geocaching.com or download the Geocaching App on your smart phone. Click on Find a Geocache, accept the user agreement, then the app will give you all of the caches in your local area. Click on the cache that you want to search for. Then, follow the compass and directions on your map to find the cache.
Geocaching is a fantastic family activity and especially fun if your family does a lot of traveling – since caches can be found all around the world. Since many children love playing games like hide and seek and find the idea of a treasure hunt very exciting, it’s an outdoor activity that your children are sure to love.
Lead Image © Luis Perez