Have you heard of geocaching? Do you geocache? Do you take your family geocaching?
I hope that after you read this post, your answers are – yes! yes! yes!
Geocaching is defined as:
Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. (from Geocaching.com)
Our family first tried out this game of modern treasure hunting in 2009 with a borrowed GPS device, and we’ve since bought our own GPS, found over a dozen caches, and hidden two caches of our own.
Finding hidden caches can range from quite easy to extemely difficult, and fortunately all caches are rated for both terrain and difficulty to find. We’ve always chosen family-friendly caches . . . meaning that the hike is pleasant & not terribly difficult and that the area is relatively secluded (without many non-geocachers around to wonder what we’re doing).
Why Should You Take Your Family Geocaching?
Geocaching has introduced us to some beautiful places in our own area that we never would have discovered otherwise. Gorgeous waterfalls, quiet groves, breathtaking panoramas.
It’s educational – science, technology, geography, physical education, safety, first aid . . . you can learn almost anything geocaching. Reading the GPS coordinates and using a compass to figure out which way to go is excellent practice for kids (and parents). Not only will the knowledge be incredibly helpful if you ever become lost, but who knows what kind of technology will exist when our kids are grown? They need to be comfortable with all kinds of tech as they grow. Geocaching is great for allowing them to use technology in practical, real-life applications.
It’s fun! Every one of us (from Dad on down to the 4-year-old) gets a thrill when we find a hidden cache. It’s like the excitement of opening a Christmas present that is exactly what you wanted.
Geocaching gets us out of the house and out into nature. Whether your family already spends lots of time outdoors or spends most of your time in the house, geocaching will probably grab hold of you and make you want to seek out more and more caches.
Give it a try! You won’t be sorry.
To get started, you just need a GPS enabled device (which includes many smart phones) and the coordinates of a cache. Visit Geocaching.com to find hidden caches in your area.
Have you already tried geocaching or are you thinking about it? Share your experience with us.